When Our Stubbornness Can Get in the Way of God’s Purpose…

paper and penI always wanted to write a novel.  I wrote plenty of stories, most unfinished and short.    I finished one in high school and two in college and I was proud to finally finish an idea and bring it to fruition.  Yet it was not an easy task.  I struggled to pull out each word from my mind and fill the page.  I wrote scene upon scene and never finished them.  In college I took a fiction writing class.  My peers said I wrote such detailed description and got into the characters, a trusted friend said I was a natural with dialogue, but the blow came with my writing portfolio I got a B on because the professor said I had no conflict.  Nothing really drove the story.  My writing would go nowhere without it and that’s exactly what happened.  Years of nothingness.

Until I wrote about something close to my heart.  I dug deep for answers to questions I had always pondered about someone dear to me.  I wrote poetry, which comes easily, but for my graduate assignment I had to write a story too.  The fear arose in me.  How could I do this?  I’ve rarely finished anything.  My husband, who had recently finished a book in five months, helped provide the support to keep me going.  He was great at asking questions to guide my writing.

“Okay so he’s on a drive and you don’t want it to be boring.  Well what happens on his drive?  Does he get a flat?  Does he stop for gas and something remind him of his past?  Does he see a person that triggers a memory?”

Bethesda Fountain, Oct 2009 - 04This was exactly what I needed to push through and complete the story, which I gave as a gift to a loved one.  This sparked my writing again.  Maybe I could write a story about a small town like the ones I like to read with quirky characters, or write about things I struggle with from an Orthodox perspective for people to think about and help them?  I always wanted to write about bullying and how to cope with it.  So I started three more stories.  I even wrote about five pages for each and really liked them.  Again I got stuck.  I had a basic story outline but couldn’t move the plot from one event in the outline to the other.  I opened the documents, tried to fill the page, failed, and closed the document for months.

For years I was pushing to write a book, a story, anything.  I pushed for my dream.  I had to step back and be put in situations to accept that maybe that wasn’t what I was supposed to do, thoughts I had sadly pondered before but didn’t want to give up hope.  I wanted to have something valuable to offer people, something to say.  Yet I felt like I had nothing and my gift was going to waste.

woman prayingOr was it that I wasn’t using my gift in the right way?  Maybe I had to let go to see God’s purpose and let God provide windows of opportunity to see where my gift of writing had value.  Poetry.  I had written plenty of poems to uplift people.  That was easy.  What else?  Nonfiction.  I love research and I take good notes.  I also am really good at taking situations and seeing connections, or reflecting on how a situation could’ve been better.  Maybe God could use these gifts in writing to help others?  And so this blog was born.  Take nonfiction, reflection, poetry, and a desire to help others to use my gift in a Godly way.

May you be open to how God will use your gifts.


Questions to Ponder:

  1. What brings you the most joy and brings you closer to God and others?
  2. What am I good at (skills: people, relationship, creating, nurturing, homemaking, sports, literary, organizing etc)?
  3. How could I or have I used these to help others?  Are there opportunities that unexpectedly arose for you to use them?  Could you do it more often?
  4. Are there multiple obstacles that have gotten in my way that could be a sign I need to pursue a different path? 
  5. Am I pursuing the right path but am not ready to take the next step yet?  Is there something else God is telling me I need to do first?


photo credit: Ed Yourdon via photopin cc

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