I am a writer and that means that sometimes, (well, probably too often, really) I get caught up in what I have to say. This happens for a variety of reasons. I want to inspire people. I want to encourage others. I want to share my journey and help others in the process.
Sometimes I want to be a messenger. I want to be a vessel. I want to feel, dare I say it, I want to feel important, necessary, worthwhile.
And sometimes, I get focused on feedback. I want comments. I want an audience. I chase statistics and popularity and validation.
And, then, I remember. And I pause. And I pray.
I remember why I write.
I pause and breathe and listen to the words that whisper their stories to my heart.
But most importantly, I pray.
I talk to Jesus and ask him to write with me. I tell him that he gave me this gift for words and weaving them together to create stories and I ask him to be the mysterious muse that writers and artists seek out for their creative process. What better muse is there than Jesus? He was, after all, a master storyteller. He is the author of my faith. He knows the story of my life intimately.
And that’s where my heart and my mind have been the past several days. In prayer with my Muse.
With words swirling about in my mind, clamoring to get out and tell their stories, I’ve held back. I’ve held back because I’ve been too focused on me and what I want my writing to do or to be. As if writing is a performance instead of a weaving of story and sharing of truth and of humanity; glimpses of life told through the hearts of writers and their characters.
I cannot be a writer and control the words. Does that make sense?
I think that the words must be free, the story organic, the muse my Creator.
And so, I sought out my Muse, the Author of my story, and invited him to work with me. I’m revising a novel that I started a few months ago and sometimes I feel a fretting building up inside me: is this right? does this work? will people like it?
So I paused. And I prayed: Jesus, you gave me this gift. Will you write this story with me? Can we do this together?
I prayed those words late yesterday and again today. And guess what happened?
He answered me. He showed up in an obvious way and spoke the words of my heart back to me through a ministry that I follow. And by follow, I mean that I’ve liked their page on Facebook, but rarely do I click through to their links. Until today.
Until today when they posted a podcast about Creativity and Story and how our love of story can draw us closer to God.
Friends, Jesus may just as well have been sitting beside me whispering in my ear. Writing, creating, is about spending time with God.
It’s not about writing about God or for God. It’s about writing with God. And with those words lingering in my ear and in my heart, I rediscovered the heart of my writing. I rediscovered my heart for writing.
Even if nobody ever reads a word I write, I will have spent time with God in a creative soul-filling pursuit, my life and my story weaving intimately with God’s greater story with every word that drips onto the page.