Who I was…Before I was…

You know… it’s amazing what a little jolt of reality will do for you. Your life can change in a millisecond. You’d think I’d know that by now. In the Spring of 2014, I was diagnosed with cancer and suddenly, the million things that mattered only moments prior, were no longer important. Living was my only goal. No, not every jolt of reality is as major as Cancer, but I’m always ready to glean from my experiences, you should be too.

My day, like most others, was filled with domestic duties balanced against work to make others’ literary aspirations come true. As I considered the day’s happenings, it struck me. Life is unpredictable; tomorrow is not guaranteed. Yes, I know that is cliché, but it is also undeniably true! Suddenly feeling the shortness of time, I decided to pause my domestic duties for a moment and peruse a computer folder full of half-written, unpublished pieces and see what I came up with. It so happens, that I wrote the following piece two weeks shy of two years ago, just prior to my diagnosis—not significant to the piece, but interesting still.

So, after a bit of dusting off and a little polishing, I am posting…

There are days I don’t feel much like a real writer. When someone asks me what it feels like to be an author, my response is that I don’t really feel like one. In fact, I realized just the other day that I most often see myself as nothing more than a scrawny young girl scribbling out poetry and angst in some tattered notebook, feeling certain it will never be good enough to share.

Fast forward to now…A professional? Right! A novice? Not me! An amateur? At best. A not-so-scrawny, not-so-young girl still scribbling? Spot on. I work with each client, doing the best I can to further their dream, rarely taking into consideration the scope of work and decades of writing, editing, and design experience I’ve gained. However, not long ago, I had to pull all of those experiences together in a resume for a potential client. I had to list details from every project, every author and organize them in one place. It was only as I looked at the finished list that I realized- I am indeed a writer.

I have always had a desire to help others get their thoughts into print, and so, that is usually where I focus. I enjoy writing my own thoughts and ideas, and I continue to hope somewhere along the way, I can share personal experiences that will help people, but that is usually as far as I get—hoping. In fact, it took me by surprise when my husband reminded me well into my writing career that I had told him early on I would one day write books. Oddly enough, I didn’t even remember having said it! Still, it was enough a part of me that I had written…always…even if only for myself. I obviously knew I’d write. It was enough a part of me that I had spoken it aloud to him years before I was actively pursuing a writing career. So, he obviously knew I’d write. Who else knew I’d write? God. How did He know? Because He created me with exactly that gift and ability…before I was.

God told Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5-6 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” In this biblical passage, it was clear to God what Jeremiah was; he was a prophet. It is also clear to us today as we enjoy a birds-eye view of Jeremiah’s life and ministry. However, I am not convinced it was clear to Jeremiah. Jeremiah’s life and ministry were wrought with difficulty, and it must have been challenging at times to see clearly in the midst of such trouble. With his entire world difficult and unmanageable, how was he to know he was at the center of God’s plan for his life? He often didn’t.

Even with the advantage of a bird’s eye view of Jeremiah’s situation, I still struggle to gain clarity. What I am… what I will be… is not always clear to me. Okay… it’s rarely clear to me. Still…before I was born, God knew I’d be a writer, and the evidence is there to support. I have always loved the written word. Prophetic words of penmanship for God have been spoken over me multiple times. I was designed by my Creator to make the revelation of His Word available to others in such a way that it applies to life. He has equipped me to help others learn how to apply God’s basic principles to life amid the chaos we all face.

Careful, though, if you ask me to speak publicly. I’ve done so a time or two, but I am not a gifted speaker. The thought of speaking to a group of people with all eyes on me makes me weak. But give me a few minutes and a computer and I can more easily make sense of the mangled mess swirling around in my brain. I always tell people it is the security of knowing I can self-edit before release and make sure what I said was exactly what I wanted to say. However, at the end of the day, whether speaking or writing, whether I feel like a writer or just a scrawny, scribbling child, it doesn’t matter. I am what God says I am, and I am who He called me to be.

Too often, though, I find myself caught up with the cares of daily life. I have a full house at present, and I must do many household chores. There is much laundry and too many dishes on any given day. I struggle in my mundane chores sometimes because as I work, my thoughts are pulled toward pen and paper. But as a wife, a mother, and a grandmother… I feel I should be doing the domestic work at hand rather than getting lost in a blissful sea of words. I grapple between doing the tasks at hand and fulfilling the Call of God. I am now at the place where writing is my actual vocation, and I enjoy it so much that I sometimes wrestle with feelings of guilt, fearful others will see me as shirking my domestic responsibilities.

Life is convoluted, and we all too often forsake the nagging sense of a deeper, divine call to address the day’s demands. We ignore that scribbling young girl of long ago because there are things that require our immediate attention. What we fail to realize is that what God has created and called us to do IS the immediate need, and it IS the most important thing needing our attention. It is why we were created, and if for some reason you don’t feel confident that you know what God has called you to, let the cares of life go for a moment and ask God who He had in mind when He formed you in the womb. Even those with revelation of a divine call may struggle while growing into the gifted, faith-filled, worshipful being the Father had in mind as He fashioned every link in our DNA.

The pressures of life may cause you to forget what God whispered to you as a child, but I urge you and encourage you to guard against that. Yes, I do admit; my flesh is often inclined to think of myself as a housewife, mother, and grandmother merely moonlighting as a writer, author, editor; but God is graciously helping me to see myself as the writer, author, or editor He designed me to be, moonlighting as all of those other things!

No, we aren’t privy to the bird’s eye view that would help so much in understanding who God made us to be and how the big picture is working for our good. We might even disregard it if we were. However, if we study God’s Word, and build a loving relationship with Him, we will begin to see that He truly is God enough to make a writer, maybe even a best-selling author someday, out of a scrawny, insecure, poetry scribbling young girl! Not only that, but he can make what He originally intended out of You!

Father, we ask in the Name of Jesus that you reveal the person you desire us to be and equip us to walk in the Call You have placed upon our life! Amen