I do not like to write. However this is my fifth… actually my six time writing for Radius (I had to go back and look).
When people compliment my blogs I quickly tell them, “God wrote it, I actually don’t write.”
This is not me being humble, it is me being honest. I struggled through English all through high school, and tested so poorly on my college placement test I was put in English prep classes. Oh, and the reason I do not have a college degree is the fact that I dropped out of freshman composition not once, but twice. Literally, the idea of writing made me so stressed out that I would stare at a blank piece of paper for hours. I never knew how to start and was always trying to double space and use large fonts or big margins. Then they had to go and regulate that, which stressed me out even more, so I gave up.
So how did I start writing?
I’ve been thinking about writing for the past several years. I could feel God calling me to put my thoughts, my stories, and my struggles down on paper. However, the enemy would quickly remind me of all my prior failures in this area.
All that changed on May 12th, 2016.
Since I manage the Radius Facebook account, Rob emails me every week with the blog and I post it. On May 12th, 2016 Rob included this in his email, “...would you have any interest writing the blog for next week??” Which I politely ignored.
On May 13th, 2016 Rob emailed me again, “Not sure if you saw the bottom part of my last email, but I was curious if you'd be interested/willing to write the radius blog next week??”
A big smile spread across my face when I read that. In that moment, I realized that this was God asking me, and before I could even think I quickly responded, “OK. It may need some serious editing. But I'm up for it.”
I walked in to Radius the following Sunday feeling like it was the first day of school, and I was ready to take my notes. I asked Amanda to pray over me before I left. Two days later I sat at my computer, said a prayer that God would speak through me and my fingers started typing away and sharing some of the most difficult times in my life. Even when I go back and read “my stories” they make me laugh and cry. I feel God’s presence in those blogs, I feel closer to him.
This past Sunday, we were reminded that we must engage with God and talk to him, sharing our fears, pains, struggles and joys. When we engage in these spiritual disciplines of prayer, serving, scripture and praise it allows our roots to grow deep with God and live an abundant life.
When I write, it forces me to do two things; pray and read scripture --two big areas of weakness in my life. It also allows me to serve Him by sharing my times in the valley to help others who may be in a valley experience of their own. Perhaps God can use me to remind them that there is hope.
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
You may be thinking right now, “How amazing, she prayed that God would help her write and now it just comes easy.”
I was completely dreading writing this week, complaining in my head and to a friend in my whiney voice, “Why did I even agree to this. I don’t want to write.”
I contemplated excuses to give why I couldn’t write this week. Sadly, “I would rather watch Supergirl on Netflix” didn’t sound like a good one. A friend suggested I pray about it that night and write the next evening, so that is what I did. Last night, I only put one idea on paper that came to my mind almost immediately, “How much I don’t like writing but when I do I feel closer to God.”
The point to this story is spiritual discipline is not easy. For me, I am terrible about praying and reading scripture even though I understand these are vital parts in having a relationship with God.
I am deciding right now that I am going to start a prayer journal for myself. Please feel free to ask me if I have done my writing or how I am doing with my prayer life when you see me!
If you are struggling in your prayer life, spending time in God’s word, praise or serving let someone know! Let me know and we can hold each other accountable. Let’s grow in our relationship with God together.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
Gather with us this Sunday. Who knows, maybe you'll find your way to feel closer to God. In the mean time, check out Blake's message from our Grow series on Praise and Worship here.