“It’s your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words.
A good person produces good deeds and words season after season…
Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation.
Words can also be your damnation.”
~ Matthew 12:36-37 (MSG)
When I first began studying the Bible, God led me to the verse describing the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12). In my teens, I’d discovered my talent for writing stories. But I’d never given much thought to their purpose—other than to entertain. While reading this verse, I experienced a flash of inspiration. Could I use my creativity for more than just amusing stories? Maybe I could use it to serve God. So I prayed about this revelation and sensed God urging me to share my experiences with others to bless them and glorify Him.
Despite this, I still lacked self-confidence. Did I actually have anything meaningful to say? Could my experiences benefit others? Was I truly worthy to write for the Lord? I thought about this for a long time before I acted on my inspiration. Knowing Jesus used Parables to help His followers understand His teachings, I began to study them. I discovered that He didn’t create elaborate stories. He simply used ordinary, everyday experiences. After taking a brief inventory of my life experiences, I realized I had stories that might be of value. But being an introvert, it would take some time and lots of courage to share these intense and emotional personal stories. I eventually wrote Christian stories about several of my life experiences: mental illness, emotional abuse, bullying, caring for elderly parents, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and adoption. I’ve discovered that no matter how gloomy our situation, God always finds a way to shine some light into the darkness.
In spite of inspirational moments of creativity, it’s still difficult to discern exactly what God expects from me as a writer. But I’ve discovered a few practices that help reveal His desires. Each day when I sit down to write, I pray for God’s guidance. I also like to spend some time searching God’s Word for verses relevant to my topic. This gives me the knowledge and insight I need to be faithful and fruitful in my writing. The Holy Spirit is my trusty mentor. I sense many times that the Spirit has guided me to just the right verse or the right insight to express what’s in my heart and bring glory to God. I desire to faithfully convey God’s love and grace to my readers. I pray my words will touch their hearts, move their spirits, and encourage them to seek comfort in His Word. I’ve found my daily prayers give me confidence that God will guide and bless the work of my hands (Psalm 90:17).
When you find your faith in yourself as a Christian writer waning, here’s a prayer to help restore your confidence:
O Creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and
causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the
darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with the loving knowledge of you,
that I may bring your light to others. Just as you can make even babies
speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey
the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp,
my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may
faithfully interpret the mysteries which you have revealed.
~ “O Creator of the Universe,” St. Thomas Aquinas
Photo Credit: @2017 Nina Faye Morey