He has been urging me to do this for, quite literally, years!
On Monday night I was evidently ready. So when my husband said, “Go away for the weekend. It will be good for you,” I did not sigh and say, “You’re right. I should, but now…?”
This time I nodded. “Ok.”
So Friday afternoon I checked into a hotel he’d booked for me (he feared I would back out when I was faced with the reality of spending money on myself) and carried my bags up to a room that had no human presence in it other than my own.
It was unnerving.
I had a specific job for the evening. About a week ago I was accepted into the Redbud Writers’ Guild (www.redbudwritersguild.com) and I received a request from a member of its Board of Directors for a whole list of things, one of which was a one/two-sentence description of my reason for writing.
My reason for writing.
I knew my usual answer—that I can’t seem to NOT write—wasn’t what I wanted to have next to my name. That’s not really a reason; it’s a negative statement.
I decided to look at some of the other writers’ descriptors. I read nearly all of them. Then I visited many of their Websites and blogs. I cried over the tough things some of them are going through and rejoiced at the amazing ways God is using them and their writing gifts.
While I enjoyed all their sites and writing, I identified with only some of their reasons for writing. Many have a particular “niche.” I don’t. Many have writing that flows out of a particular ministry. Mine doesn’t.
In between all this I looked up verses (in three different translations) that have the words “write” or “writing” in them.
I read and thought and prayed and jotted down notes.
And I was reminded of what I learned a long time ago.
I love story.
I love it because I have this deep-down-in-my-gut belief that every story, no matter how small, no matter how terrible, is somehow part of God’s big, grand, beautiful story. In this STORY, God, as Joseph puts it so well, turns all things meant for evil into good. Not a single part of anyone’s story is wasted. Each one plays a vital part in God’s sweeping epic.
Years ago, in an inservice at work, I took a Strengthsfinder test. Top on my list of strengths was “input,” which was described as “a craving to know more,” a desire “to collect and archive all kinds of information.”
What? I thought—but then I read the bigger description at the back of the book. In the long list of the kinds of things “Input” people like to collect is this: STORIES.
Teaching was my main career focus at that point. There wasn’t much time leftover for writing, but when I read that, something in my heart hummed.
It’s true. “Story” is the theme that links all the writing work I do.
By the end of my first night away, I had three possibilities, all related. I’ve since added a fourth. They’re below. If you have a minute to vote, I would appreciate your feedback.
If you have any suggestions and you don’t mind sending me a comment, I would appreciate that, too.
Thanks for reading,