During my three-month blogging/writing break, one of the things I struggled most with was a feeling of inadequacy as a writer. Not in my humble ability as a writer, but in what basis I have for actually doing it. My musings here at Surprised By Life are really only that, musings. They're my thoughts on what the Lord is teaching me through His Word—my story if you will—written in blog form. And because of that truth—that every word I write does NOT carry the weight of Scripture, is NOT the breath of God itself, I can't get away from this question:
What right do I have to write about the things of God? And what about you? What right do you have?
- Who am I that you should trust my words?
- Why should my opinion count?
- Who am I that you should believe what I have to say?
- Why should I be an authority on any subject matter relating to the things of God, when I so often get it wrong in my own life?
I came up with three reasons Christian writers should keep writing, keep telling their stories. Maybe they'll help you too?
1. Jesus has done an undeniable work in your life.
The Samaritan woman who met Jesus at the well (John 4) was radically changed by her time with the Savior.
In a world where Jews and Samaritans didn't mix, the man Jesus saw into her heart and gave her a drink of living water. With a few words from the One Who changes everything, the Samaritan woman went from hiding her failures to bursting forth into praise and shouting, "Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?" (John 4:25). Shedding the weight of her shame she came out of hiding that day. She no longer cared to hide her sin—no, now she was proclaiming it! Giving glory to the One who knew her, loved her, changed her, redeemed her. And in her excitement she ran to tell everyone else.
Can't you just see her? Free from that heavy water jug, free from caring what others thought of her, free to dance. I picture her skipping, jumping, dancing in that freedom into the town...right into it shouting, "Come, see a man!" Like a little girl dancing carelessly in a field of flowers.
The Scriptures tell us that an entire village was changed because one woman, once bound by the weight of sin and humiliation, told her freedom story. God can use us that way too. Our stories are real and they need to be told.
The transformation that has happened in your heart is the story others need to read in order to believe in the God who still saves.
2. God calls us to go into all the world (Matthew 28:19).
Nowhere in the Bible does it say that before we can "go into all the world and preach the Gospel," we have to be perfect Christians. If that were the prerequisite, no one would ever go.
But our bumbling attempts at saying "yes" to God, our humble desire to write things that bring glory to Him (and maybe a bit of hope to others?), and our sincere longing to make Him known through our failures and foibles as the God who glorifies Himself through our weaknesses—these things are one small part of how we go into all the world.
If God should grant that my writing (or yours) influence millions around the world, so be it. If God should direct just one precious woman who needs hope to these pages, so be it and glory to God.
But if I never open my mouth? If I, like Moses, tell the Lord that my faltering lips (Exodus 6:30) are unworthy of His message of hope that one woman might never hear.
If God makes a mouth, and transforms a heart so that it longs for Him and His glory alone, He can use them both to give words of life on the pages of a blog (or book, or magazine, or speech, etc).
God wants me to tell my story. He wants you to tell yours. Why?
3. One small purpose for our pain and suffering in this life is so that we can eventually comfort others (1 Corinthians 1:4).
I don't believe that the end-all of our pain, the reason we suffer, is so that we can comfort others. But it is a small piece of it.
The fact of the matter is that I haven't figured out a God who chooses suffering as a means of knowing Him more deeply, but I do know that comforting others with the comfort I've been given not only aids in their healing, it also aids in mine.
A friend recently asked me why I chose to share my miscarriage story with the world (or, ahem, the few people who read this blog). My answer? Because you asked me to.
The day I announced that our third McGlothlin baby wouldn't be joining us this side of heaven I received hundreds of messages reaching out to comfort and encourage me in my time of need. And boy, did I need. Your stories bolstered me, helped me feel like I wasn't alone, and produced a humbling of my heart as I realized that so many people cared.
But the ones that grabbed me the most, and convinced me to keep writing through the fresh grief, and then later through the healing, were those who emailed to say, "I just had a miscarriage too. You're sharing exactly what's on my heart. I don't know how to do this kind of pain, Brooke, how will I get through?"
And as I've watched my story, God's story of healing through me, bring truth and healing to others, it's made my loss mean something it didn't mean before. I'm not alone.
And neither are you.
So keep writing Christian. Keep telling your story. Submit your words to Him and be reminded of Who made your mouth (Exodus 4:10-12). Go dancing through your town screaming, "Come see a man!"
And trust God for the rest.