A not particularly informative Thumbprints update.
In which maybe the bakery doesn't have to define itself. (YET)

Made to write?

The other day an old old friend and I were together and talking about what we should do with ourselves when our littlest kids go to school. Old old as in I met her when she was a sophomore and I was a freshman at UW. We've lived down the hall from each other and countries apart, but the blessing (and curse) of the NDCF is that it trains you how to talk about God in your life. It teaches you to ask questions and expect answers and to go there, if you will, in a way that I haven't found many people outside of my old NDCF world know how to do. Like a current NDCF staff friend of mine likes to say, NDCF grads are total snobs about conversation.

(Not sure I've mentioned the NDCF in eons, so it stands for Non Denominational Christian Fellowship (my blog name for it, not its real name) and it's basically what I majored in in college and where I met my husband and many of my closest friends.)

So anyway, even though Old Friend and I haven't lived in the same town for forever, it's been easy to catch up and we went down the rabbit hole this last time: where is God? What does he want me to do? What am I supposed to do with my LIFE?!

We actually talked about writing. Long long ago we would take creative writing classes together and read each other's work before the arrogant snots in our class (every English department has its share) got their hands on our stories and ripped them to shreds. Didn't I want to write? she asked me. Didn't I do that anymore? 

Ummmm, nope? Not in a long long time. And as I admitted this I realized AND HEY! I DON'T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT EITHER!

Because WRITING was going to be the thing that I did that made it worth having me in the world. I was only biding my time, the universe tolerating my presence, until I finally wrote the thing that yearned to be written inside me, and then I would have earned my place. I would be worthy of my parents who still talk about the writing I did in elementary school, my junior year English teacher who thought the world of me, my senior year English teacher who pushed me harder than anyone ever has, and those college professors who thought I was a wooden useless mute until I wrote my first papers and I'd see the inevitable PLEASE SPEAK UP MORE IN CLASS scrawled across the tops. When I finally WROTE something I would have then achieved the thing everyone I'd ever known had told me I should achieve. Then I'd be worthy of their love and praise and all the things they'd said about me. Then I could feel okay about however many years I spend on this planet. Wasn't I made to do this? Wasn't I BORN for this? Everyone saw this in me. *I* saw this in me. 

I just had to do it. 

This is where my old friend had left my story. And I needed to catch her up.

OH, I told her. Yeah... I don't really write anymore. I mean, sometimes? Sometimes I think about it? But... not really.

Things have happened, I told her, in the last few years. Things that have shown me, revealed to me, made me understand on entirely new planes of thought, that God doesn't love me for what I DO. That God doesn't love me less when I screw up and he certainly doesn't love me more when I do well. That I cannot earn His love. That His love is not shut away in cage with a lock inscribed OPENS AFTER PUBLICATION. That he loves me right NOW, right NOWWWW, when I haven't done ANYTHING amazing in my life! When the one thing at which I excel is eating a whole bag of chocolate chips in one sitting. I mean, that is a good God right there. 

And I told my friend: once this truth became a truth that I wholly and completely and entirely absorbed, I didn't really care about writing anymore. And I certainly did not care about getting published

For a while I've felt bad to say that out loud. Because it sounds... I don't know. Like, maybe to someone who thinks the God stuff is eye rolly it sounds lazy or dumb or like someone who gave up on a dream for a totally whack job reason. Yeah. Like someone who GAVE UP. But the thing I realized when I was telling my friend this story was: I DIDN'T FEEL BAD. 

So YEAH everyone who went to high school with me! And all my teachers! And all the people who told me I had TALENT and blah blah blah. Writing is awesome! But it's not my thing anymore. It's not the thing that makes me special or makes me ME, even. It's not the thing that I'm about or that I do or that I want to do or that I was made to do. It's not the thing that makes me worthy and it's NOT the thing that makes me lovable. 

I love Anne Lamott for saying that publication does not solve your problems. 

I love to write. I express myself best in writing. I am MUCH better on paper than I am in person. :) And I keep writing even when it's stupid, like the fact that hardly anyone writes on their dumb blogs anymore, but here I am! I would do this even if no one read. No one DID read for the first couple YEARS I did this! And now I'm learning to write prayers. It's different from straight up journaling... I'm still figuring it out, but it's good and I'm excited about it. 

But I'm probably not going to write a novel. I mean, it'd be awesome to write a novel! But I don't have to write one anymore. I can reach the end of my life and if the only writing I leave is the heaps of drivel accumulated on this website, fine by me. (I mean, hopefully someone deletes this thing, but you know what I'm talking about.) 

Am I communicating how terribly horribly VERY MUCH IMPERATIVE it was for me to be a REAL LIVE WRITER and for people to KNOW I was a REAL LIVE WRITER? 

And now how I don't give a crap? 

This is God in me. It's amazing. I never thought that would happen. I never thought I'd feel free. I didn't know I NEEDED to feel free. 

*****

While I've been sitting here writing about how I don't want to write anymore, my children have seen fourteen television shows and the breakfast dishes are strangely still unwashed and no one has thought of what to make for dinner. CLEARLY there is still Building of Character to be done and Life Lessons to be learned. But this tiny piece, this piece is good. 

 

 

Comments

AmyRyb

I like this a lot. As someone who feels best when writing, I can totally relate. I don't know if I ever connected my writing to feeling loved by God, but I did want to say that I have had a blog for seven years now and still pretty much no one reads it aside from a few select friends and family, and one random person who comments periodically. I also hoped that one day my kids would read the story of their lives, though I wonder if they will actually care, particularly since both are boys. I write anyway for a number of personal reasons, and I am fine with it. I know that I need to write for ME, and even if I'm not particularly great with it some days, I need it. I do love reading what you write :)

Lisa

Love this. So much.

Sarahd

You ARE a writer (see: every Mighty Maggie post ever) and this kind of writing is meaningful, too! So there!

Colleen

Your writing has simply taken on a different form and I am thankful to have the chance to be one of your readers. Your last paragraph made me laugh because my kids often get the same treatment!

Sarah in Ottawa

I love this and you. See you soon!

lindsay

love it!

Steph

I loved this! I love how you are letting God shape you! :)

Christina

So last month I was the "plus one" with my daughter at a SciFi/Fantasy writing conference where she was getting a big awesome award and so in some ways was basically a fly on the wall (if the name tag does not indicate INFLUENCE or IMPORTANCE nobody talks to you. Thus, I was invisible for all intents and purposes) and watching all those people jockeying for position around the Very Important People (Editors, Writers with a zillion awards next to their names, etc) and all I could think was Thank God it was my daughter launching into this world and not me. Because holy cow I can not handle that kind of pressure!! (also, how weird is it that the thing which makes/breaks a writers career is her ability to schmooze? Something wrong with the system right there, if you ask me). And, like you, it suddenly dawned on me: I might never write The Novel. And? That would be okay.
Though to be honest, I still very much struggle with proving to the world (and myself) that I MATTER. So do me a favor, and keep writing posts like this one, and maybe it will one day really sink in that God is not in fact waiting for me to publish before He decides to love me unconditionally. :-) (I know this. But still... there are days...)

ps... you are still my favorite blog-writer. Better than Hatmaker, better than momestary or whoever else is the blogger du jour ... Mighty Maggie is hands down, my fave. :)

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