I’m terrified of writing. It’s not the words or the grammar that spook me, but the humanness writing brings out in me. Writing makes me feel exposed and empty. With each keystroke, the walls come down and I get a little more honest with myself. I’m not so good with vulnerability, I’m often afraid I’ll be found out. I’m not always sure my writing matters. Each word plunges me deeper into the internal struggle I face between wanting to give up and wanting to speak life. I often question whether my words have meaning. Most days, I’m uncertain my writing can be a catalyst for gutsiness, genuinity, and gratitude.
But today, I’m choosing to “act as if”. I’m writing as if these words have purpose. I’m writing as if people need to hear what I have to say. I’m writing as if God will use my words in another’s life. Acting as if is one of the bravest things I know to do. Acting as if plummets me into the deep ocean of uncertainty anticipating eventually I’ll bob to the surface and emerge a little more sure. Almost ten years ago, my high school class voted me the most courageous and though I typically choose bravery, lately I’ve been a fearful coward. Especially when I sit down to write.
On my bad days, I read quirky, humorous bloggers and get so discouraged. There are enough writers in the world. What I’ve come say as I sit at my desk has already been said. In fact, it’s been said better than I’m about to say it. What’s the point, I ask myself? I have so many other things to do, I shouldn’t be selfish with my free time, so why write? I have nothing to say, and if I did, who would want to read it? I can count on my hand who would read my writing: April, my dear friend who insists I write a book someday, my mom because she prints each blog and keeps them in a bound book, and my husband because he fell in love with me through my writing, which sounds romantic, but it’s not really. I’m pretty sure he was just bored one Saturday afternoon and his computer screen froze on my blog. And then, on those bad days, I just sit and stare at a blank screen and eventually shut the laptop.
And seconds, or hours, or days later, I breathe in courage from my writer friends and I remember that though what I’m about to say has been said before, it has never been said by me. And though I have a voice and words in me that are incredibly important, they hold value only because they matter to God. He created words and He created me to write them. Authentically awful, pointless or repeated, they’re all from Him. Writing is from Him and for Him.
Because in the beginning was the Word. Before light and dark, before suns and moons, before birds and fish, before man, there was a Voice. “Let there be light.” And it was so. Words spoken created what I see. Voice put on flesh and was known as the Living Word. The Word didn’t stop there – no, He’s been forming words ever since and his creation responds. He speaks and mountains tremble. He speaks and deer give birth. He speaks and I write.
Nobody has time to read shallow, heartless, counterfeit words revolving around myself. This world is too broken, too confusing, and too lovely to spend words on less than brave, honest wrestlings and musings that God stirs within me. I’m not a published writer yet, but I’m going to choose courage and act as if. I’m going to keep showing up and keep writing and keep submitting articles. There will be days of deep fear, hurtful rejection, and self-pity wallowing. So on those bad days, I will tell myself writing is important Kingdom work and I will act as if. On the good days and the in between days, I’ll continue to act as if my writing sparks gutsiness, genuinity, and gratitude. And one day, I’ll sit at my desk, like every other day, and I’ll realize all this acting as if has materialized.