Updated: Nov 1, 2019
I can hardly believe it, the day has arrived—the day I am officially a "real" author with a book you can hold in your hand and tuck on a shelf. Ever since I wrote my first full-length story at age 11 or 12, I have been dreaming of this moment.
This has been an incredible journey for me. Dividing Sword took about two years to research, write, edit and format. Is it perfect? No. I wish it were. But as they say, I did my best. I truly tried to do my best to create engaging characters, immersive scenes and to honor the gospel story that Matthew has given us.
There have been some speed bumps along the way. I had my share of technical difficulties, and I needed to relearn some basic punctuation rules, but by far the greatest struggle has been with self-doubt. I would look in the mirror and frown. My inner voice would demand, "Who do you think you are?" Over and over, every day for months, the question would jam its way to the front of my mind whenever I looked in the mirror, and I would feel small and unworthy to write a book like this. How can I tackle one of the greatest stories ever told? How do I paint emotions over Jesus' face, or have our Christ laugh at a joke? How dare I describe the heart-wrenching scene at the cross as if I were there?
One day, after months of this self-taunting, I finally answered back, "I am a daughter of the King."
I don't say that smugly, or proudly. I declare it with a feeling of peace. I did nothing to earn that position, it is not a rank I achieved through my own merit. It is a gift given to me that I— sinner that I am—have been washed clean with the blood of our savior, Jesus Christ, and have been adopted into God's family.
"For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ . . ." Romans 8:15-17 (NASB)
It is a spirit of slavery leading to fear that says, "Who do you think you are? You aren't good enough to do this, why even try?" For me, that oily voice whispers in my ear when I'm writing. Maybe it whispers to you when you use your art, your voice, or your hands to further God's kingdom.
Knowing I am God's child does not mean that I'll get it right, or it will be easy. There is nothing in the gospel message that mentions easy! But it means I can try, and I can live without a spirit of fear.
Paul asked this of his friends,
"Don't forget to pray for me. Pray that I'll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all, the Message that I...am responsible for getting out." Ephesians 9:19-20 (The Message)
In those little dots that I left blank, Paul describes himself as a jailbird. I left it blank so you can put your own name and calling in that space.
... the Message that I—a writer—am responsible for getting out.
... the Message that I—a parent—am responsible for getting out.
... the Message that I—a friend—am responsible for getting out.
Paul's mission is our mission: tell the mystery of the cross to one and all. I hope you will pray for me as Paul's friends prayed for him. Please, friends, ask God to use my writing for His good purposes.
There are many ways to share the message of Christ, both in word and in action. I'm hoping to share it through my writing. Where do you share, or dream of sharing? Please tell me in the comments, I'd love to hear about it!