My friend Jodie is hosting an Advent series over on her blog, and today's devotion comes from Exodus 3:1-20. She asked everyone to share about a time when God asked us to do something that maybe we weren't crazy about, and for me, that something was writing. The following is a post I wrote a year or so ago, prior to the recent smack upside the head that told me to get serious. This has obviously been an ongoing process and to be honest, it's something God and I are still working out....
I have a love/hate relationship with writing.
Up until four years ago, I wrote when I had to. Period. I didn't mind doing it for school (and in fact, I typically did very well on writing assignments), but never in a million years would I consider it a hobby. It just wasn't what I did. I was not a writer. Or so I thought.
If you know my story, you know that God had other plans. He decided to prove to me that, yes, I was a writer whether I wanted to be one or not. In the beginning, He literally had to pull the words out of me, and it wasn't uncommon to hear me pounding my fists on the desk and crying I don't wanna do this!
I got over it, though. Eventually. And now I'm pretty willing to admit that I was wrong.
Over the years, I've decided I'm fine having writing as a hobby. If I happen to find myself with nothing else to do, then by all means, you can most certainly find me in a cozy coffee shop with my Bible and notebooks strewn about, happily tapping away at the keyboard. Those are the times I love it. But the thing is, those coffee shop moments are rare. It's not very often that I have that time. And I'm totally okay with that. I love my job and the ministries I'm involved in, and I don't mind staying busy.
But every now and then, I get restless. I start feeling like there's this huge part of me that's missing. Like life isn't going the way God wants it to. Every time that happens, I pray for direction. And every time, God reminds me of those early days, the days when I wrote purely for Him, not because it was fun. The days when I was knee-deep in blogging and pursuing publication. The days when I relied on Him for each and every sentence that came from my hands.
It was glorious.
Time and again, I try to tell myself that it was my walk with God that fulfilled me, not the act of putting words on a page. And while I know He absolutely comes first, I simply cannot escape the idea of writing.
I've tried. Over and over I've tried. I kicked and screamed. I gave in and gave it my all. I ignored the longing. But every time, He says This is what I want you to do. And it's not enough to make it your hobby.
It's nice, in a way, to know what your calling involves. But when it's something you have to work really, really hard at and whose business side kills your creativity.... it's much more fun to keep it at arm's length. Writing for fun doesn't come with the pressure or responsibility or expectations that writing “for real” does.
And I'm not sure yet how I feel about going down that road again. If I'm being honest, those are the times I hate it. As much as I want to do God's will and be faithful to the gifts He's given me, part of me simply wants to keep it as a hobby, something I can enjoy on my terms.
It's safer that way.
Still, there are times when I come across something I've written in the past, words that hit me as though I've never heard them before, and I know I can't play it safe. God had something to say back then, and somehow, He managed to say it through little ol' me.
What if He wants to do that again?