I can’t really tell you an exact time or place in which I “became” a writer, but I’d love to share with you the tale of how my writing came to be shared.
Story has always been in my soul. Growing up I was often by myself, but rarely was I alone. I would battle sharks and pirates alongside mermaids and dolphins in my pool. There were fairies living in my night lights that protected me from the shadow creatures on my walls. The trees would sing me songs and I would tell stories to the wind. Magic was all around, and I found never ending adventure between the covers of my most cherished books, until eventually my own words began to find their way to the page.
It was a time of innocence when childhood whimsey reigned supreme.
However, adolescence does a strange thing to imagination. I will not say that I lost it, only that I began telling myself a different sort of story. Now I was invincible, now I was a lost princess searching for her prince, for her calling, for her happily ever after. I dove deep into the plot of seeking fulfillment from a world that could never satisfy. If only I became prom queen, got cheer captain, was popular, found my prince charming; then I would have worth, then I would have value. This belief carried on into college, where I continued searching for my hero in all the wrong places.
But you know what they say, “If you kiss enough frogs, you might just find your prince.” And so I thought I had.
My happily ever after had begun, with a proposal in Kauai, a fairytale wedding on the shores of La Jolla, and a honeymoon in the Bahamas. We bought the house, we bought the cars, we got the dogs and the picket fence. Yet, the magic had all seemed to run out, reality seeped in, and it was not at all what I had expected. I had landed the prince, but he did not fill the holes in my heart like I thought he would. I was ready to run away to my own sort of “never-never land,” when I came across a random worship event at a local church. I felt a calling to go to it and reluctantly obeyed. I cried out to God just one last time, telling Him that He would have to change my mind, but no longer believing He would.
Spoiler alert: He did.
That night, the magic returned, when I heard the voice I had been searching for all along saying, “Dear child, trust Me and love your husband. Get your worth from Me and learn to serve him better. You have the only validation you need, and it comes from knowing you are mine.” God gave me a clear choice that night; lay down the story I was telling myself for His perfect composition or continue writing my own tragedy. I went to a nearby Starbucks to try to sort out what I had just experienced. I ordered a matcha latte, sat in a semi-private booth, and proceeded to pour my heart out on the page. My whole life, I had turned to writing to help me process, I had turned to story to help me understand, and now here I was being confronted by the One True Author of it all.
After the coffee shop closed and I had spent hours wrestling with the Lord, I finally went home. I walked in the front door and kissed my husband. I apologized for not being the wife God had called me to be. It didn’t happen overnight, but my husband began to notice the change in me. Over a few months, our marriage began to become so much more than the fairytale I had always dreamed of. Truthfully, my life had not changed that much, but God had changed the way I was able to see my husband and see myself, which is what made all the difference in the world.
Another thing my husband began to notice, was all the countless notebooks lining my shelves. So, as an anniversary gift, he signed me up for a writer’s conference. That conference was the Mt. Hermon’s Writers conference, and in that wonderous place, God opened all sorts of doors through the sweetest friendships. Those friendships blossomed, leading to the Inspire Christian Writers community, which helped to keep me focused on my writing and introduced me to critique groups that helped me hone my craft.
Even though a few years passed, it seemed like I had just blinked and suddenly, I had a finished manuscript, a website built, an author Instagram created, and was meeting with acquisitions editors. Somehow, as I began letting God write the story, the sharing of my words happened organically.
So, when did I become a writer? I’m still unsure, but I can tell you when my writing found its way out into the world. It is when I laid down my desire to be the author of my own story. There is still magic in this world, only now it is so much better than “Fairy Godmothers” and “Prince Charmings.” It is the truest and realest of all the supernatural. It is the supernatural love of a God who loves us, knows us, calls us, and created it all. He is writing my story and I am just here vigorously taking notes.
It reminds me of a quote I recently read from Bob Goff, “When Jesus invites us on an adventure, He shapes who we become with what happens along the way.” I suppose then in a way, I have been becoming a writer this whole time and will continue to become until God decides it is time for me to move on to the next great adventure!