I realized something as I sat at home this past Saturday: I love to write. Furthermore, writing empowers me, gives me a voice like never before, and pulls me closer to God.
You would think that I wanted to write from a young age…but you would be wrong. I grew up as a numbers kid; I could work any mathematical problem that was placed in front of me as a child. Then when I grew up, I went to a Math/Science/Engineering high school and I majored in Finance in undergrad. Seriously, I loved numbers! To me, English was the worst subject in school and I even failed that class once in high school. Simply put, writing bad, math good. I was also that typical numbers-lover because I was shy and avoided people at all costs (no pun intended). I hated talking to a group of three or more people and I would miss classes or church if I knew an activity required me to speak.
Now here I am today, a writer and a speaker… if that’s not God, then I don’t know what is.
So, as I was sitting at home on Saturday writing a new piece (for something top secret, that I cannot share with you yet), it hit me like a ton of bricks that this was the life. This was literally the life that I had dreamt about…except it wasn’t the life that I wanted, it was the life that God wanted for me. I know, that’s confusing, so let me explain…
As like any child, I went through about 50 different dream occupations, including, but not limited to: a pediatric neurosurgeon, a therapist, a hair stylist, and most importantly, a ballerina. Those were the occupations that I wanted to have, but even then, all I wanted to do was please my mother. Unknowingly, she had put a lot of pressure on me to do more than she and my sisters were able to do. As the baby of five, I often heard that one sister did this and the other did that, so I should at least be able to do better than I was currently doing. As far as my mother, she came to this country with the equivalent of a middle school education, so she definitely expected greatness from me. It was a lot of pressure growing up in my family; I had to be and do better because I was the only American and success and promise had practically been handed to me on a silver platter. So, I did not care what my occupation was, I just wanted to please my mother. (Note: Yes, live your life with an audience of one…but that One is God.)
My desire to please my sisters and mother continued into high school, as I went to the same school that my sisters had graduated from in 1988 and 1992. I followed in their math and science footsteps…because it was expected of me. I loved what they loved, and I hated what they hated. I had become so much like my sisters and my mother that my voice even sounded like theirs (you know, minus the Jamaican accent). As high school was coming to an end, I really did not want to go to college. I wanted to be a hair stylist…but higher education was expected of me, so I went. I bounced around between two universities and a total of four majors before I graduated in 2010…two years behind my former high school classmates. But I could not stop there; my family expected more, so I went to graduate school. The same thing happened there that had happened in undergraduate school: two schools and four majors/concentrations later and I graduated with a MPA in 2014… two years longer than the typical completion for a graduate degree. So, now I had more degrees than my family members and, while they were proud and pleased, I felt empty inside.
You all know what happened next in my life- the depression, the further suicide attempts, the massive weight gain, blah, blah, blah (click each “blah” to read about other moments in my life). But when I finally said YES to God and decided to move in His authority, my dreams for my life shifted. No longer was I concerned with the secular titles and occupations, I just wanted to be a helper of the world and a friend of Jesus. I even remember closing my eyes one day last year after I had lost my job and I envisioned my perfect day. The day began with me as a mentor to youth, helping them navigate the trials of their lives, and ended with me writing and sharing my testimony.
That was it; no convoluted titles, occupations, and never-ending education paths, I just wanted to mentor, write, and share.
So, as I sat at my desk on Saturday writing, I realized that in the course of seven days, I had done all that I had dreamt: sharing on Monday, mentoring/tutoring on Tuesday, and writing on Saturday. My dream, my true and divine dream, was actually happening right before my eyes! When I write, time becomes irrelevant as I try to type out the words that flow from the Lord. Literally, God’s words just flow quickly, and my poor fingers try so hard to keep up with His words (that’s why I have so many typos). But this, writing and sharing about God, this is what my heart lives for.
As I look back on the last 24 years of my life, I see that the things I used to dread and fear are actually the very things that God has called me to do in His service. I cannot speak for God, nor would I ever try, but I can safely surmise that I feared the things that I tried to do without Him…but with Him, there is no fear. When I tried to walk and do things in my own stead, I either failed or flapped around with no real purpose. But in Him, I have purpose and know no failure because it is all for Him and His kingdom. Do I still make poor decisions? Occasionally; but even in my mistakes, His love and mercy change them into blessings.
So, as I sat at my desk on Saturday, I closed my eyes and realized that when I write, I feel closer to God in those moments than I do at any other point in my day. I write my prayers nightly and I write for this blog weekly…but that is not nearly enough. In order to write, I have to be still and I have to be patient. Since He is always the main content of my writing, I have to write only what He gives…which requires a close relationship with Him and the ability to know, hear, and listen to His voice. At this point in my life, I write so much that I burn through pens every three weeks, complete journals in about three months, and eat through storage on my laptop. I even re-taught myself how to write in cursive because I think my cursive writing speaks my heart’s words, where as my print speaks my rambling.
Writing is my form of worship.
Some people worship God through song, while others through dance. Some people worship with their hands, and others with their feet. For me, I worship God through my writing. It is in my writing that I tell God how much I love Him by sharing His mighty works with the world. I find it funny that the things Satan told me I was horrible at doing, are now the ways that I worship and share God. (Note: Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. In most cases, what he tells you that you can’t do, is actually what God says you can do. Conversely, what Satan endorses is normally what displeases God.)
When I changed the audience that I aimed to please, God changed my worry spot into His worship place. My fear and displeasure of writing turned into the method by which I honor my God the most.
What is the fear in your life, that if changed, could be the fruit of your faith? Don’t tell me, tell God.