Are you ready for a few true confessions from this writer?
I can barely draw a stick figure. Coloring in the lines takes some effort. The few times I have participated in a painting class, I nearly needed oxygen because of the anxiety I felt putting a paintbrush onto a canvas.
But give me a pen and a blank journal and words become my version of art. Writing is my creative outlet. It’s how I process and how I commit things to memory. But, up until 2022, I was only writing for myself.
Writing has always felt like home.
Personal. Comfortable. Familiar.
So when I heard God whisper to my heart about writing for Him, I made excuse after excuse. I’m not one to invite strangers into my home. So how could I write for an audience I couldn’t look in the eye? How could I open myself up to anyone who clicked on a link, or cracked open a book? How could I take words that I worked hard to string together and offer them up for rejection and criticism?
Despite all my questions, God’s whispers continued. I started talking to people close to me about it, hoping they would agree that this was a bad idea.
But they didn’t.
During one such conversation, my sister listened to my excuses for a little while, challenging each excuse as soon as it crossed my lips. But after a while, she put on her big sister/mentor hat and interrupted me mid-sentence.
“Listen, sister,” she leaned toward me. “It sounds like God has put this on your heart. He’s given you a message and he’s given you a gift. You don’t have to figure out all the details right now, you just have to decide if you are going to obey his calling.”
Nine months later, here I am writing not for me, but for Him. Writing with you in my prayers.
New things are exciting. But they can also be terrifying.
Obeying God as we do something new means setting aside our need to see the entire path in front of us. If you are anything like me, you like to see the path you’re headed down.
I squint into the distance and try to imagine what this new journey will be like. I don’t even see a path there, Lord. How do I know what to expect? How long will it take? What twists will this journey have? How do I prepare? Is this a "cute shoes" kind of adventure, or should I dig out my hiking boots?
Starting this journey to becoming an author meant stepping onto a path I knew nothing about.
In the past nine months, I’ve learned a lot... but not nearly enough. It’s all still so new. And when I look down the path too far it’s overwhelming.
Then God laid this verse on my heart in the first hours of January 1.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19
It’s hard to read this verse without feeling excited! The question “do you not perceive it?” seems to reach out and shake the reader. Are you listening? Are you ready for this? Can you believe this is about to happen?
We won’t dig too deep into the context of this verse because honestly, it would take hours. However, this passage was spoken through the prophet Isaiah to the Israelites. He is speaking to them about the hope that was to come. And although these words are pointing specifically to the life of Jesus, it can encourage our hearts today.
This is God’s character. He creates a way when there isn’t one. He pursues us. He is the God of doing new things! Making our hearts new, giving us new dreams, or new passion for old dreams, providing us strength, and stamina, and shaking excitement and life into our bones.
Over the last month, frankly, I have been less than excited about this new thing God is doing through me. I feel inadequate, inexperienced, and incapable. But when I think about God himself - the same God who spoke to an entire nation through the prophet Isaiah - whispering a dream into my heart, I get butterflies in my stomach. When I realize that he has already made a way for me to get this far, I feel strengthened. And when I focus on the next step he is calling me to, I feel empowered.
I hope you find encouragement in the God of new things. What has he called you to do this year, or this season? Will you find excuses or trust him to guide your first steps as you obey? Please send me a message and let me know how I can be praying you along as you journey into a new thing.