This past week I’ve been busy redesigning my website and social media. It sounds easy, but it’s not—not for me, at least.
What colors? What fonts? What pictures reveal your brand?
As I’ve gone through the details, God has revealed many things to me. I thought I’d share one of those with y’all this week.
A question was asked of me a few weeks ago that shook my confidence as a writer. Someone asked, “What do you feel the world needs to hear from you in your writing?” The person inquiring was a spiritual leader, one whom I admire. The question wasn’t asked to harm or criticize, but the devil began to use it that way.
There were two of us in the meeting and the other writer had a prompt and polished answer. She sounded assured and confident in what the world needed her to write.
When my turn came, all I could do was mumble, “The world needs nothing from me. There is not one thing I can write the world can’t live without, but God has other ideas, apparently.”
Personally, I prefer to keep my deepest thoughts secret, because they expose my weaknesses, fears, and imperfections. But, God prompts me to write and I’ve learned, as all writers do, the real you will eventually appear on the page. That’s when the devil begins spreading his doubts and lies by whispering, “What if they don’t like the real you?”
During the process of relocating material to the new website, I’ve taken a trip down memory lane and asked God to answer the question, “Why do you want me to write?”
Driving to work yesterday, He gave me the phrase, “what I had.” He opened my eyes and revealed the why--because I want my readers to have what I had, or at least a taste of it.
What I had were barefoot summers plucking warm tomatoes off the vine and popping them, unwashed, into my mouth and muggy afternoons with watermelon juice dripping off my elbows. I had a frozen rear end from sitting on the ice cream freezer as Grandpa turned the handle and feeling the wind in my hair as I raced down the street standing on the banana seat of my purple bicycle. I loved jumping out of the pecan tree holding an open umbrella thinking I could fly like Mary Poppins and walking to the town library needing a wagon to haul all my books.
What I had was Vacation Bible School every summer learning about Jesus while snacking on vanilla wafers and red Koolaid and attending school where many of my teachers were fellow church members–knowing if I stepped out of bounds, Mama would get a call. I had freedom to walk home from school, holding my little sister’s hand, and stopping at Therrell Drug’s lunch counter, hoping Grandpa, who always happened to be there drinking coffee, would buy us a hamburger and a cherry Coke.
As I’ve aged, it has become abundantly clear, I lived in what amounted to Mayberry. My childhood was safe, stable, and rare. While I thought everyone lived as I had, they did not.
I cry for children who come from homes where the parents fight, divorce, use drugs, curse excessively, or do not live as God wants us to. I didn’t experience that.
My heart aches for parents who struggle to raise their children without God, absent the support of the church, and awash in a corrupt and broken culture. I didn’t suffer this.
My anger burns when I hear voices disrespect the founding principles and pioneers of America. I didn’t grow up that way.
I want my readers, be they children or not, to have a taste of what I had–a life where you love God, love your family, and love your country. In that order.
Now I know, next time I’m asked, “What does the world need to hear from you?”, my answer will be so my readers can have a taste of what I had.
I guess God wants that shared.