– by Chioma Oparadike
How would you define your writing? Would you describe it as a compilation of words that allow you tell a story or record a series of events?
I certainly would, though this definition does not accommodate the other parts of writing. These are the parts we may be reluctant to share including our struggles, doubts, fears and triumphs.
Now imagine if you never intended to write. If you were one of those who enjoyed reading but never thought you would have the caption, writer, included in your credentials.
I was one of those. I loved to read but was afraid to write. I believed that I had nothing worthwhile to say and I definitely had very little skill in this art.
Yet, here I am, a proclaimed Christian writer with a blog and an upcoming book.
In many ways, the journey to writing was precipitated by years of restlessness, buoyed with desperation to do more even though I wasn’t sure of what or how.
I sought God for revelation and when it came in the form of encouraging young Christian women like me, I was elated and grateful until the fears crept in.
I wasn’t a writer. Yes, I could write legal briefs and had delved into personal finance blogging but deep down I felt highly unqualified. It was a double whammy for me, not only did I have to write but to write about God. How could I possibly achieve such a monumental task?
It happened with God’s help. That was and still is the only way I am able to write.
What about you? What do you do when God wants you to write?
WHEN GOD WANTS YOU TO WRITE
The first step is to obey. God expects our obedience. It is through this that he reveals his message to his people.
“…to obey is better than sacrifice and to heed better than the fat of rams.”
1 Samuel 15:22(NIV)
We are to obey even when we don’t know where the path would lead us.
I will be the first to confess that my obedience didn’t make the doubts and lies disappear. Somehow, they were amplified with each post I published and each link I shared with friends and family.
Piece by piece, I felt the layers around me falling away, revealing a naked and shivering girl, wanting to be seen and connect but also hoping to be covered all again.
May be you’ve felt the same way. You’ve experienced those moments that made you doubt everything.
You’ve heard the lies filtering through the silence, reminding you of your questionable grammar, poor storytelling and most of all, “doubtful” message. These lies tell us to keep quiet and let those with better and more impactful stories speak.
The devil is quick to whisper that we are still the same, tumbling through our flaws and imperfections with nothing to show for it.
But this is not true. I know it’s not. We must fight these lies, with the strength that comes from the Holy Spirit.
God says we are enough. That there is a message, a story and a vision he has given us. Do you believe this?
Do you believe that God is able and willing to use you to tell this story in your unique and special way? I hope you do.
THE HARD TRUTH FOR CREATIVES
But here’s the thing, your writing is still a part of your journey. It is your outlet to create and like anything we create, there will be seasons of delays and rejections.
The fact that we are Christian writers is in itself, a battle. It is a battle against the present world order of hate, judgment and injustice. We must speak truth in the face of conflict, of pressure, of discontent and even of suffering.
This will not be easy, but we must continue, undeterred, knowing that we cannot turn from this path, no matter how rocky the road may be.
SOME ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE CHRISTIAN WRITER
- You were called to write for a reason and a purpose
First of all, there can never be too many Christian writers. Your words are needed and are for a particular audience. Seek to live and write knowing that God is using your life and words for his purpose.
- You’re not the first person to doubt your abilities
The Bible is filled with stories of God’s servants and prophets who doubted their ability to achieve the assignments given to them. A memorable one was Moses. Even today, there are others who are not sure they have what it takes.
Remember that God gives the ability and he knows what you can do. Trust that will lead you on a beautiful journey to growth and purpose.
- Work on your writing
Two things, inspiration and discipline usually sustain the writing process. We write when inspiration hits but we must continue to write even long after this, when our well of ideas and stories seem to have dried up.
Seek to improve your writing, read books, do your research and grow in this area.
- Don’t compare yourself with others
A common advice to creatives in the 21st century lies around comparison. With the information overload, we are constantly bamboozled with the work and success of others.
You have probably heard that ‘comparison is the thief of joy’, but it’s much worse than that. Comparison is the thief of our creativity, our purpose and our uniqueness. It makes us believe that another person’s way must be the best way.
- Don’t do it for the likes
Don’t write just to please your audience. Unlike other writers who strive for sales and clicks, our message is different. This means that the message that we have been called to share shouldn’t be diluted or adulterated.
If the Holy Spirit says you should do it a certain way, do it. If you have any concerns, please raise it with him. He is your helper and your guide.
NEVER FORGET THE REAL AUTHOR
Perhaps, the biggest lesson for us is to never forget that God is the real author. The ability to write remains a privilege for us but should be for his glory.
When I think about why God could possibly want me, the girl who writes stilted sentences (even uses the word “stilted”) and still misuses her comma, to share his message as a Christian writer, I am overwhelmed by his mercy and goodness. Throughout the Bible, we see how God used the outcasts, the misunderstood and the imperfect to tell his story.
My friends, may we never forget that it is a privilege and an honour to be used by God. Are you still wondering why God chose you? Please share your writing journey with us.
Chioma Oparadike is a Christian Writer on a mission to inspire more women to live with purpose and intention. For more encouragement on living life as a single Christian woman, check out her blog, Being Woman, and follow her on her social media accounts. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.