Forget the former
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? (Isaiah 43:18-20).
Hi, friends. Welcome back.
25 years ago a composition instructor told me that I should be a writer after reading a narrative essay I wrote entitled, “True Healer.”
18 years ago I stood at a podium and read from my master’s thesis, a novella entitled “A Real Indian Girl’s Guide to Name Brand Shoe Shopping.”
14 years ago, I won third place in a literary magazine contest for a short story I wrote based on stories my grandmother had told me about her Appalachian upbringing entitled, “Deliverin’ Moonshine.”
Since the tender age of 18, I have always felt that writing was something I could do and do well, and frankly, it came easy to me. Ideas of what to write would literally just appear in my mind, and as I wrote, I could actually see the expository essay or research paper or fictional piece develop. The vision was often so clear that my fingers couldn’t keep up with the creating going on in my mind.
God had gifted me with a natural ability to write, and I was convinced that writing, at one time my only love that had never let me down, would one day become more than just a requirement to earn my degree, more than just a part of my teaching career, and more than just a hobby in my ever-shrinking “spare” time.
How appropriate then that a little over a year ago, God gave me a vision—Share His Peace is that vision.
Clearly my time had arrived. And the bonus? I would be writing for God and about God. And the double bonus? God told me that he would heal me through the blog.
In spite of my fears and insecurities, surely then this would be my writing revival.
And so almost exactly a year later, here I am, writing, but this love that once came so quickly and effortlessly has now become one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I cry almost every time I write a post, and it’s not because the content is so moving but because I can’t seem to translate the words from my mind to the screen. And I sometimes end up staying up until three in the morning (tonight included) or writing when I should be working or spending time with my family so I can finish a post because what at one time would have taken me an hour to write, now takes me three, four, five, sometimes eight hours. And truthfully, I generally don’t even feel that the writing is all that good.
A writing revival? I think not, and yet I’m aware that there’s a revival taking place nonetheless.
Prior to a few weeks ago, I expected that the healing God would do through the blog would come from my sharing of some of my past and present pains, sorrows, victories, etc. through my talented and gifted writing; I couldn’t have been more wrong.
What I’m learning is that the healing is actually coming from what has become the rather painful process of writing.
It was through this painful process of writing last month that God revealed the struggle that I’ve had since I was at least 6 years old and that is the root cause of many of my other struggles—perfectionism. And when I finally came to the end of myself and admitted that I was powerless to overcome this character defect on my own, when I wholeheartedly surrendered my heart to God, I began experiencing true transformation. The kind of transformation that Paul writes about in Ephesians 4:22-24:
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Friends, I’m letting go of what I thought I knew about myself and focusing on the new thing God is doing right now.
Pray with me:
We praise you for your desire to heal us and to restore us. We praise you for the fruitful revelations you give us. We praise you for the process of healing and transformation; painful as it may be, it is worth it. Help us to open our hearts to your perfect will and allow you to do something new within us so that we may live out our lives on Earth as the people you created us to be.
In Jesus’s Name,
So I’ve had the song I’ve chosen for today on repeat for the past a few days now. You can actually see the lyrics in the video, but I’m going to pull out the lyrics that are particularly meaningful to me here:
God of salvation
You chased down my heart
Through all of my failure and pride
On a hill You created
The light of the world
Abandoned in darkness to die
And as You speak
A hundred billion failures disappear
Where You lost Your life so I could find it here
If You left the grave behind You so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You’ve done
Every part designed in a work of art called love
If You gladly chose surrender so will I
I can see Your heart
Eight billion different ways
Every precious one
A child You died to save
If You gave Your life to love them so will I