I thought my readers might like to know how I came to be writing this blog and the books I’ve written. So here goes. I started writing before I knew why I was writing, before I had a glimpse of the future. I am so used to just following all the suggestions that God makes to me(at least the ones that I am aware of) that I started writing without an inkling of the why or even the why-me behind it. The Lord had started me off so simply with a suggestion to take Spanish lessons sixteen years ago, that I wasn’t aware that I was starting a writing career. In those tutoring sessions after a year of study, I was asked to write a paragraph a week in Spanish.
At first, I wrote about everything in my life, my kids, friends, what was happening, but pretty soon all I was interested in writing about was living a life in Christ. I am a spiritual director, after all, and that is the major focus of my life. Five years later when I moved to Charlotte in 2008 I was just starting a bilingual blog about that life and my tutor was my editor for the Spanish. I wrote twice a month without a schedule and posted them on my website. Eight months later my tutor had an accident and couldn’t work anymore, so I cancelled the blog in Spanish and continued in English.
By 2011 I felt called to commit to publishing the blog every Monday and so I did. And I think it was that commitment that I made that has made it effortless to produce an essay every week since then. The Holy Spirit has met that commitment with ideas flowing. As I write this in mid-September I have blogposts written through early December. I have no lack of ideas—the Holy Spirit keeps track of what I need and supplies that. He also sets the themes, the continuity, and the responses to what I write.
For the first year I took a couple of weeks off a year on vacation, but since then I have not missed a week. That same year, 2011, was when I had two dreams that told me about my purpose. In June I dreamed that I was talking to one of my favorite ministers and saying to him, “Your job is to inspire the congregation, mine is to connect the dots.” As I thought about that dream over a few weeks, I saw that connecting the dots meant making the Bible relevant to 21st century life and calling Christians to a deeper relationship with the Lord. In the fall that year I wrote something down in the middle of the night and read it the next morning: “to make the kingdom real.”
This story of the blog fits into the major trajectory of my life which was to resolve the horror left from my childhood church which preached hell-fire-and-damnation. I’ve written elsewhere about the God I grew up with, a raven sitting on my shoulder ready to zap me for anything I did wrong. As I look back on my life, I can clearly see God leading me into a resolution of this dilemma: I was tied to God in such negative ways that I had to find a way to make that relationship into a positive.
So everything I did from young adulthood on centered on resolving this major conflict in my life. And as I gave my life to Christ in the early 80’s, as I’ve followed His suggestions as closely as I can, as I’ve expressed my anger at that early church to God, I have found that that early picture of God is no longer in my psyche at all. Thanks be to God! I think that I was placed in that church with my family for a reason and that this blog and the books that I am writing, the resolution that I live out in my life are the reason for that church in my life. I have suggested to God that if He hadn’t placed me there as a child, I’d be a proper Christian woman, but apparently that wasn’t what He was after in me.
As I have looked back on my life, clearly God was in everything, even in the doubt and fear I carried with me out of that childhood. Now I can see His footprints everywhere as I look back on my life , leading me over the years out of this difficult beginning. And as I’ve written before, it is in our greatest challenges and suffering that we have the most to give back to the world, once they are healed. And so I write this blog and books about the kingdom, about the Exodus story, the template for living the life in Christ, and a book to come about the Bible’s take on the poor and needy.
And I am eternally grateful for all the healing the Lord has blessed my life with and for His gift of this work to me.
Questions to ponder over the week: How would I describe my life’s journey, its major challenges and its resolutions? Am I aware of the major challenges in my life and what healing God is asking me to agree to? Will I be willing to go along with God’s suggestions without knowing where they lead? Will I trust God in everything? Am I aware of the trajectory of my life?
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who live in the truth of who we are, who will bring our whole selves, warts and all, to God in love. May we trust God totally with our lives.
I have a second website, deepeningyourfaith.com, up and running! Check it out!
I am collecting conversion stories. If you’d like to share yours, I would love to read it. I’m not sure yet what the Lord has in mind, but in the meantime I am collecting a bunch. I will only use your initials if they are published.