I've always been a lover of words. Spoken. Written by others. Learning new ones. I was a kid that spoke too much, argued really. My family called me a "Philadelphia Lawyer"; I'd argue that the sky wasn't blue. I wrote letters to pen pals around the world, cousins of cousins that were learning English and dreamed of a different life, and new kids that I met on vacation that became my "new best friends" (especially if there was a cute brother in the family!). I journaled. Wrote poetry, of love lost and deep emotions that normal 10 year olds didn't have.
I realize now, it was all therapy (well, except the boy part).
I DO love words, but more than I love words, I LOVE PEOPLE.
Somehow, God takes these words and uses them to open doors to encourage people. To hug on women (in person or online) that are walking a place that I walked 20 years ago, or 10 years ago, or last week. There's a common thread that runs through the cloth of our life. My written words are just proof that I was there once. Or twice.
My writing has come in seasons, and just like when I was a kid, the more difficult a season, the more the words flowed, especially the seasons of poetry. It was that therapy thing. I knew I could write out of pain, but didn't quite get it until all the truth started flowing around me. Family secrets that were hidden, words kept quiet from my ears as a child. Somehow, to channel that feeling that I KNEW something was wrong, even if I didn't know what it was, allowed me to work through it. Now that I know some of those truths - and not to trust the things I thought were true - has enabled me to not need that place to vent. Someday I'll write the truth, for posterities sake, and not worry about stepping on toes or insulting parents or offending someone. I hate being the carrier of secrets, but I want to be sensitive to the living, to the ones I love.
I love writing what God's teaching me as much as I love what God's taught others. When it's about God, I'm there - but I'm more there when I'm in His Word. I love God's Words. Memorization isn't easy for me, so I have found that the easiest way for me to hide it in my heart, is to read it over and over. Soak it in. Soak in it. To literally have it written on my doorposts....but that doesn't jive with current living situations, and I've let it slack...so I'm going to take that up again and write it on my 3x5 cards and put it on my mirrors (not that I look in mirrors often!) and other strategic places. Good words of affirmation and kindness and instruction; words of God being who He is, and creating me to be who He intended me to be.
In all the writing I've ever done, I've never dreamed of writing a book. Oh, I can spin tales of love, adventures of situations gone awry, but to feel them bound, to hold it in my hand with my name on the cover doesn't really push me. I HAVE dreamed of someone stumbling upon my writings someday, long after I'm gone, and thinking "wow, this is special" and THEM doing something with it! Isn't that odd? Every other writer I know, in person and on line, wants that "writing deal" to come through. Not so much me. I'd rather write to reach that one lonely woman out there that just doesn't "fit in" with the women at church, or that small town mindset, or whose husband always works too much....these are the audiences I crave. I want to say to them that it's ok to not fit in. JESUS DIDN'T FIT IN. That to chase after Him is so much better than chasing after the crowd of beautiful and popular. To say the words that I wish women said to me my whole life. You're lovely just the way you are. You are ok. Accepted. Loved. Valued.
I don't think I need a book to make that point. Others have done it wonderfully, and I love to share titles and quotes and encourage others to read them.
I love to take secret prayer requests and lift them up all day long, with grandkids running around my ankles and knees, with a dog towing me around the loop of my neighborhood as I try to fit into my last year's size summer clothes.
I love to pray for people who are called and equipped to go to other places, other nations, to learn languages and cultures and KNOW that they will never fit in and will ALWAYS be different because their heart beats in tune with their Maker, and they want to share the words of Perfect Love and Truth to the Nations that don't know; to the one lonely one that has dreams and visions and doesn't fit in.
I love to pray for the lonely, that their heart will long for Jesus, for the God that loves them, the Abba Father that created them.
I love to pray for the places where no one has yet gone - to pray that someone will feel called by God to go there, to learn about them, to have the people here on the ground behind them to pay for their journey to GO, churches full of people who catch on to this God given vision to reach the unreached.
I pray for the people that travel here from far away lands, people of privilege and good grades (or knowing someone in the right place to get them a visa) and they come here for opportunity and education, and looking for "the American Way".
I pray for every American Christian that crosses their path, that they will open their eyes and discern the hatred that our press fuels, that some churches add fire to, and instead decide to be different and to love the lost, to be a friend and invite them in, these foreign neighbors with no family - or the ones with so much family, yet they don't fit in. They are Called by the One.
So these are the words that motivate me. The words I want to write. To share life. To encourage others. To love. To put words to my days, difficult and not, so that others realize that they are not alone in walking this road. I have a Shepherd that walks beside me, and He wants to hold you too. Words that are not bound in a book, but bound in a heart.