How did I come to be a writer?
When I look back at the intricate web that God wove for me to get to this place in time, this season of my life, I am amazed. Truthfully, I am always astounded at God’s work; yet, when I focus on it, really stop and investigate His profound and incomparable ways, I am enchanted and overwhelmed at the journey.
As a child growing up in a middle class family in the 50’s and 60’s, I was raised in what I thought was a “normally dysfunctional” family. Both parents worked to keep our household afloat, my dad loved my mother but not so much his two kids, and was an unpredictable “rage-aholic.” Mom did what she could to keep the peace, which was difficult since her widowed mother also lived with us. Dad and Grandma liked each other even less than Dad liked us kids.
I think I began writing to escape. I know that’s why I read. By the time I was 12 years old, my mother and I exchanged breathtaking novels by James Michener. And I wanted to write like that. I wrote poems and short stories. I wrote letters. I wrote in my little, locked diary.
My teen years were filled with withdrawal and internal longing. I was two years younger and a head shorter than my junior high and high school school peers. I wrote notes about wanting to be famous, wanting to be someone else, wanting to be dead. As I became an adult, I wrote articles. Business articles. Q&A articles. Interview articles. Lifestyle articles. OpEd articles. My life was a shambles. I possessed no moral compass. I wrote about sex, insecurity and suicide.
This writing, though, never really had purpose until I found God. God was never invited in to live with my family. I never knew Him through my mother and father. In the 1980’s I spent a decade seeking Him, but didn’t know where to look. I gave up. Yet, He never gave up on me. When I finally found Him 20 years later, it was on a simple, solitary walk around a lake in the summer of 2006. He opened the door, and I walked through.
I went back to school and earned a teaching credential. I wrote lesson plans, poems and stories. I began to write in prayer journals.
I’ve become a blogger and a tweeter, and have come across others whose hearts also abide in God’s love, who understand that their gift comes from outside of themselves.
Then it happened: I had to quit teaching due to illness. That was when He handed me my most important writing assignment – to write Bible curriculum for elementary aged kids. Kindergarten through sixth graders. Exactly the grades I had taught.
For the last three years, I have been, through this writing, coming to know His Word and coming to know Him. It has been an extraordinary experience.
Some people shake their heads at me. They don’t understand the passion, the calling, the inability not to do this.
Friends sometimes ask me about publishing this curriculum (When are you going to publish it? How are you going to publish it?). When that happens, I tell them that it’s all in God’s timing. I’ve been taking classes on Scripture and Biblical interpretation. I rely on the Holy Spirit to provide the words for me (after all, it’s His curriculum, not mine!). And I know that if – and when – God chooses to have this work published, He will guide me to it.
In the meantime, the journey of writing is living water. It quenches my thirst. It is my daily bread. It is my oxygen. And when God is ready, I’m here.