I love to write. I always have loved writing. For as long as I can remember, I've loved to write letters and notes. I actually enjoyed writing thank you notes after high school graduation and wedding or baby showers. I know, I know ... that's just weird, but then I guess I'm probably a weird person at times. In fact, I'm sure I'm more than just a bit quirky because not only do I love to write, but words and writing words actually fascinate me.
I think a lot about writing. It's true. Sometimes, as I'm going through my day, I'll find that I'm thinking about how I'd like to write down exactly what I'm experiencing. The next thing I know, I'm writing and editing an entire essay in my head ... wishing I had paper and pen (or my laptop) handy to write the words down for posterity. I wonder how many people drive down the road writing long notes in their head, praying all the while that they can remember the beauty of the words they are thinking so that they can write it all down as soon as paper and pencil are handy. I think a time or two I've even pulled over to the side of the road, frantically digging through my purse for some tiny scrap of paper and a pen so that I can write down some wonderful phrase that's rolling around in my head before I forget it.
My writing often helps me get through bad days. When I get upset, I rarely lose my temper and go off on someone verbally. But I usually can't wait to get alone and write everything that I'm feeling and thinking down. Over the years, I've learned that as I write I can begin to sort out my emotionss and understand better what I'm feeling and why. And while I've never managed to keep a traditional journal, recently I've discovered prayer journaling and my prayer life has started to change in ways I never imagined. It's opened me up to my Heavenly Father in a way I'd never opened up before. Suddenly my prayers went beyond "bless so and so" to sharing much deeper thoughts and concerns with God.
Recently I had a conversation with my new friend Jon ... he was talking about giving his musical ambitions to God. He talked about how it was hard at first. After all, his music was something that he sort of considered "his" and it was so deeply personal. To give it to someone else, even to God who had given it to him in the first place, was just hard. But he chose to do that and he went on to talk about how God has blessed that offering. I could tell it was something that Jon didn't regret doing ... rather he seemed so at peace with God being in control of his musical talents. It was an inspiring conversation for me ... somewhat of a turning point.
Over the years, I've had people tell me from time to time that I should try to write a book, but I never had any serious writing ambitions. I think it was partly because I figured there wasn't much that I had much to say that was book worthy. Besides, I just liked to write, and writing a book or writing for a job just seemed like too much work.
When I was in high school, I briefly thought that maybe I'd like to write for a newspaper ... but then I thought how I'd hate having to be objective as a reporter and I figured I wouldn't get an editorial position straight out of college. There have been times when I thought that maybe I'd like to be a freelance writing, but that seems like such a hard job. What if no one liked what I wrote?
No, I decided long ago that writing for a job wasn't for me. I'd just keep my writing for myself ... I'd write to please Paige. All of my life, my writing has been all about me. I write when I want and about what I want ... and I liked it that way, thank you very much.
But lately I've been getting those sorts of comments more and more ... comments about how my writing is a blessing. It seems that every time I turn around, someone is suggesting that I write a book. It's no longer just my mother encouraging me in this path. It makes me wonder if there maybe I've missed my calling in life somewhere along the way ...
So about a week ago I decided to try to just give my writing to God. Honestly, I don't know what this is even supposed to look like. I mean, do I now write in a different way? I was so worried about doing something wrong that the first thing I wrote after that decision took me 3 days to write. I was scared that the words were mine and not God's, and I wanted it to be perfect.
In the past week, my head has seemed so full of things to write. I'm struggling to keep up with all that is in my mind and heart. This has actually always been one of my concerns with the idea of writing a book or getting published. What if I ran out of ideas? What if I woke up one morning with nothing else left to say? Deep down I know that I really don't have anything worthy of saying in the first place. I don't necessarily see things in new and fresh ways. What could I possibly share with anyone that haven't heard before? This past week, as I've had so much I wanted to say and not enough time to write it all down, I've realized that there is a certain amount of freedom in giving my writing to God. I no longer have to fret that I'll run out of things to write about because now I'm trusting God to give me words to write.
And as far as my writing being something that's worthy of reading ... well that doesn't have to be a concern for me either, as long as I'm trusting God for the message. This has actually been something God's already been teaching me over the past couple of years. During one of the darkest times of my life, I felt like I had so much to say about a particular situation and yet I had no words. A very casual acquaintance of mine called me up late one night, literally out of the blue. In fact, I didn't even know she knew my cell phone number! She didn't waste any time with chit-chat ... she got straight to the point and said she felt like she needed to remind me of what my name meant. Sheila said, "Your name is Angela Paige. It literally means 'heavenly messenger.' God wants you to have the courage to speak His truth, Paige ... be His messenger."
Later on, my sweet friend Josephine echoed those thoughts in a slightly different way as she prayed for me during a phone conversation that I would not have a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of courage to speak God's truth as I dealt with that horrible situation.
I've thought about that a lot. I've always been afraid to speak my mind, but I'm not afraid to write my mind. Furthermore, on my own I may not see things in a new or fresh way. But then again, it isn't my thoughts that God is particularly interested in sharing with the rest of the world. It is HIS thoughts that need to be shared with the rest of the world. So while I don't have much to say that is book worthy, God has plenty to say. And He uses people like me every day as His messengers.
I don't know what God has in store for me or for my writing. It may mean a book someday in the future, or a job that includes writing in some way. Or it may just mean continuing to blog and post notes on facebook, write long encouraging emails to my friends and the like. But whatever it is meant to be, I'm giving it fully to Him now. I'm no longer writing to please Paige or fretting over whether or not my thoughts are worthy of writing down. I'm simply writing for God, and in the process I'm learning that God is going to share more of Himself with me as He gives me ideas and thoughts and words to share, and that in and of itself is rather amazing. This past week I've learned that I have to give up more of me in order to gain more of Christ.
What an amazing thing that God would even want my writing for Himself! What a precious gift to me!