After seven years, I am finally able to admit that I am an author.
Strange, isn’t it? I have been writing almost every day since I was a teenager, but yet the word “author” still sounds odd coming off of my tongue.
Maybe “writer” is a better word; because, even though I am finished with my book, and it is safely published, I can’t seem to stop writing.
I write lists to my husband, detailing the things I love about him.
I write love notes to my children for them to read when they’re older.
I am writing another book, as big as my first one. (1,000 pages!)
However, deep inside, I am still a little girl trying to make sense of things through pen and paper.
Seven years ago, I was a young teenager in a trailer park. I had dreams about what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to get married, have kids, be happy…
Then I started hearing voices in my head. A man and a woman constantly argued in my mind. They fought about everything under the sun, but gradually one subject started standing out the most. The woman was trying to communicate to the man that God loved him. The man didn’t disagree about the God part, but he bitterly opposed the idea that said an all-powerful Deity loved him.
This was where my journey to becoming an author began. I started writing down some of Hazael and Maia’s conversations. They weren’t long or profound or even very dramatic. Even so, the mismatched pair captivated me. I felt ensnared by my own imagination!
Things spread out from there. More characters wandered into my meandering storyline. I began to see that they had dreams, histories, hopes for the future, character struggles.
My imaginary world wasn’t a much happier or better place than my real world, but I still constantly found myself drifting off to live there. I loved peeking over my characters’ shoulders, walking a couple chapters in their shoes.
Speaking of the real world, things weren’t looking very good for that teenager in the trailer park. My dad lost his job. I had to drop out of school to work. My family moved to a place that had no electricity or running water. But there, in the vacuum, the static cleared. I discovered what was important in my life, and my writing really took off.
Peace isn’t “lack of turmoil”, peace is “trusting in God”. Oftentimes, we learn to trust best in the midst of our life messes.
The story winding through my mind began to grow richer and deeper. I filled entire notebooks with the conversations rambling and rioting through my head. The turmoil of a runaway slave pounded through my soul. Clare was hunted and plagued by both inner and outer demons. She wanted to find peace, but couldn’t seem to grasp hold of it even when it was offered to her. Her boyfriend constantly told her that her life could only be secure in God’s arms, but she felt that he was naïve and unknowing of the way this world turns.
And so, the story grew… I never expected to share it with anyone, but God has a habit of defying our expectations. He wanted me to share what He had given me. I personally wanted to share a little too, but fear was holding me back. I was afraid of what people would think of some of the controversial subject matter in my story. I was afraid of how they would look at me after reading it.
So “my book” moved to the backburner. I married a wonderful man, birthed a couple adorable children.
The story still simmered back there though. Words that had been written years before inspired me in completely new ways. Gradually, I began sharing my secret with a friend. I soon discovered that my gift had the potential to inspire others as well!
This was a shock. My fear took a serious hit. Hope blossomed inside of me. Maybe it was worth it to step out in faith, so that God’s will could be accomplished. Maybe it was worth it to take some flack, so that others could be blessed.
So I encourage you… God is faithful to complete what He starts. And He is faithful to provide a way to continue unfinished business. Our path He sets us on may be bittersweet, but it is so worth walking.