30 Posts Challenge: #3 Me and Writing

So you’re still here?? God is so good! I am glad you are because I get to continue telling you such wonderful things my God has done for me. I love sharing how loving He is. He deserves so much praise and adoration… and I am blessed to be able to do that through writing. He loves all of His children, and all of His children need to know that He does… and I am blessed to be able to do that through words. That is how God speaks to us, through His Holy Word. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. – John 1:1 KJV. So how does the Word Himself, the Author and Finisher of our Faith, use a little girl who comes from a fallen world to simply pick up a pen and allow the ink to speak? He chooses to.
I was 9 years old, in 4th grade, at a local school where I was living in foster care. I had just been saved and baptized a couple of months before. I vaguely remember the idea of a little girl being given a puppy for her birthday. Her parents had put it into a box with a bow. The box had holes for the puppy to breathe. I titled it A Surprise for Me, even though I really wasn’t thinking of me, nor wishing for a puppy. A few weeks later a teacher pulled me from my class, so excited, took me to the library and opened a magazine. My poem had been published in a children’s magazine. She had submitted it. I still didn’t grasp what she was saying. She had me read it in front of everyone, making such a fuss over it. Suddenly every kid was writing something. When it became something to brag about, I lost interest.
I didn’t write again until I was 13. I was home and in a different school, sitting on the steps, again off in my own little world doodling. I did that a lot. At times, my friends or classmates would see my poems. People started making such a fuss. Somehow, this did not disturb me. Instead it actually seem to either validate what I was already thinking, or show me something about myself. I was encouraged to send one to Reader’s Digest. It was used but I was not credited for it. My teacher said it was a lesson in copywriting.
I wrote one that got me into a lot of trouble. It was for a guy. Some of my friends said it was too good and accused me of not writing it. They were so upset at thinking I was lying that they literally wanted to fight me over it. For whatever reason they backed off, but not before the teaching staff had been brought into it. My favorite teacher, who was like a Mom to me, and was highly upset because she said it was pornographic. I genuinely thought Heat Wave was romantic. I could not understand why everyone was upset. The controversy actually opened my eyes to what I had written, and what was on my mind.
The writing bug was in me. Poetry was my love. My teacher’s would let me write in place of an assignment, or ask me to write more and give me extra credit. My friends would ask me to write something for their boyfriend, best friend, or different reasons, and put their name in place of mine. They would even pay me. I use to think, “When I grow up, I’m going to write cards and letters to sell. No one ever writes cards for specific occasions or writes them in a language we speak. I’m going to be a CEO by the time I’m 30.” As you all know, Hallmark beat me to it…. lol.
At 15, I had ran away from home (for the umpteenth time), and was put into a detention center. I noticed every time a girl cried, saying she was sorry, that she got to go home. So when a counselor asked me to write something, I wrote a poem that worked. When I began college and took my first English class, the instructor gave us poetry assignments. She called me Prolific. I thought she was insulting me. She laughed and told me I had innate ability to write. I didn’t know what innate was either. She told me I had ability to write in meter, rhyme, and structure without even knowing what they were. She encouraged me to write for the school paper. I did.
Soon teachers and students were complimenting me. Classmates I already knew were even asking for my autograph. I was put into several campus papers, magazines, and newsletters. One lady used one of my poems Teach to open her speeches as she went around speaking for a ladies’ organization all over North Carolina. I was totally surprised by all of this, but it was teaching me that my writing could actually put a smile on someone’s face, or console them with difficulties that I thought only I had, and even won the hearts of people who were so unfriendly with me for no reason at all. God was opening my eyes to a whole new world of purpose.
As I graduated from the community college and began the 4 yr college, God taught me how to incorporate His Word into my writing. I had staff who enjoyed reading my personal journals so much that they urged me to consider doing devotionals or a book. They were using my pain and struggles to encourage their days because they said they saw such an unchanging love for God amidst such pain and agony, a love they could only hope for, and were learning from me. These were Pastor’s wives… very respectable, faithful women of God. They saw beyond the words of a promiscuous, unwed teenage mom into a heart filled with pure love for a God that was growing that love to be stronger for Him and Him only each day. People’s responses to what He has whispered in my ear have been His way of confirming to me that His whispers are not just for me.
After graduation, my son had just graduated from his elementary school, and we had switched churches. I was given counsel on my spiritual gifts, so I brought them my writings, and they told me my testimony was inappropriate. Wanting to set a good example for Anthoni, I sought the Lord on the poetry. I went through thousands of poems and writings, tearing up quite a few. When I asked the Lord, “What about those who have copies, the ones already published, and the ones I have forgotten about?” He answered, “Then it will be a testimony… to what I have done in you, in your writing, and I will be there with you.”
As I continued to decline with my health around 2005, unable to get out, to serve in church, getting closer to getting bed-ridden, I struggled with having a purpose for God. That is when my church asked me to do a “writing” ministry… their words. Since I was already writing cards and notes to everyone for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, weddings, new babies, etc., they asked if they gave me a list of birthdays and anniversaries, and supplied me with all the cards and stamps I needed if I would do it as a ministry. They had supplies on hand as they asked with a sticky note on top that said “writing ministry.” This was an answer to prayer. They had no idea I was asking God, “Am I a writer? Did you or did you not make me a writer? If you did, send me a sign that says exactly that somehow. If not, do you have a purpose for me?” God has always been so personal like that for me! I love it! That sticky note said, “Yes. You are a writer. You are my writer.”
I gladly did this ministry for 6 years, learning of  being an encourager… a genuine ministry… a genuine spiritual gift. I cannot put into words the blessing doing such a ministry was for me. Here God was having me to encourage, console, acknowledge, and share in the lives of loved ones, friends, and even strangers, yet the love and blessing was absolutely pouring both ways. In 2011, He led me and Anthoni to make a move that had to do with his bible college. When the Lord was letting me know the ministry was coming to an end, my heart was broken. So many people looked forward to those messages. More than once someone would tell me that I was the ONLY card or note they ever received on their days or at all, that they knew they could count on me. I was not the one who sent those messages, but I would be a part of breaking that trust. I was placing my trust in God.
God knew what He was doing. Not only have I moved twice more since then, having my things either stored or destroyed, but my memory and my health have declined so much more. I can’t remember sending a note that I have sent several times, so the person lets me know how insincere I was and how frustrated they are, so do not send anymore. Some grow weary or angry from my asking for their birthdates to be written down again and again. So while I may occasionally send a greeting or note, I generally do not anymore.
Nowadays, as I fight my health, anxiety, depression, and a failing memory, I struggle to get something written before I forget it. More and more I find him leading me to be who He has created me to be. My testimony may be offensive to some, but if it saves even one, or encourages, or comforts as many as God will allow I am trying to get it out while I can.
There is one poem God gave me years ago called Frozen Box. It has a line that reads, “He’s like the lightning in the sky each time I feel it near. The beauty of its pretty color sinks beneath my fear.” This is me and God. I want to reverently fear Him as He so rightly commands and deserves, but I do not want to be afraid to stand before Him and talk, to hear Him, to lay in His arms and hear His whispers, to feel Him gently draw near and smile with me. My earnest desire is that you will experience the same, that you will desire Him, and welcome Him, and feel His embrace, and know how much He loves you. If anything I ever write does that one moment for you… praise His Holy name! That’s what it is all for… that you know… God loves you!

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gaillovesgod

It's not about me. It's all about my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

4 thoughts on “30 Posts Challenge: #3 Me and Writing”

  1. Your life is a lovely testimony of the value that our gracious God places on each of his dear children. Thank you for sharing this. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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