I didn’t even call myself a writer until a year ago. I like writing. I always have. I’ve kept journals my entire life and I clearly remember in school that writing essays or book reports was my favorite.
But I didn’t think I was a writer. I didn’t see it as an important part of who I am.
I definitely did not have it on the list of “things I am called to do with my life”. If you’re wondering, yes, I have that list. You should try it. It’s challenging, exciting and pushes you to make the most of this one life on earth you’ve been given.
In March of 2014 I got a phone call from someone that changed my whole perspective on writing. The voice on the other end of the phone belonged to someone who loves me dearly and believes in me sometimes more that I believe in myself. She pushes me, in a very loving and gentle way, to be more than I think I am capable of. When she told me she had been fasting and praying for me, I was knocked off my rocker. She began to tell me all about what God was showing her about me.
She said “I see you using your gift of writing”. This was the first time the little seed planted inside of my soul was watered. Sometimes, all you need is a drop of moisture to make the whole flower grow.
That encouragement from her was all I needed. That and a knowing in my soul from the Holy Spirit that it was suppose to be. Her words were confirmation of something I had been feeling but hadn’t voiced to anyone, maybe not even to myself.
So I began to write.
I created a blog and made some of my writing public. That is terrifying.
When you write, it’s like undressing yourself for the world to see. It’s baring your soul.
You open yourself up for people to pat you on the back, but along with the pats on the back come critiques and people’s opinions. People can be mean. So I prayed for God skin and took a bold step.
A year into writing more publicly, I was a part of a group of people who started a church.
Shoutout to Church 2:14 and the amazing people that make up that body.
Starting a church takes a lot of work.
I stopped writing.
Placed in front of me, through this church, was my calling. Not only did I have the opportunity to preach consistently, I was asked to lead the Teaching Team. We’re a bit off the beaten path at this church. We don’t have just one pastor who preaches, we have a team of people who all assist in this role, and I get the honor of leading this team. A dream come true. Something that was most definitely on my list of “things I am called to do with my life”.
Yet, for several months, there was this nagging in my heart.
Write. Write. Write.
But I didn’t make time for it.
It wasn’t anywhere close to a priority.
I didn’t think it was an important calling so I ignored the nagging. Take it from me, if there is a nagging, it’s probably the Holy Spirit and He will keep at it until you get a clue.
I was about to get a clue.
Let me tell you about last week. Something happened that once again woke up my sluggish and somewhat complacent thoughts on the whole writing gig.
A conversation happened with some dear women around my If Table.
The question was “What is one thing in your life you feel like quitting?”
My answer, “I feel like quitting this idea that I should write. It’s not important that I write and I need to get the idea off of my mind so I quit feeling guilty about not making time for it.”
Well, there’s nothing like admitting something to a table full of women who vehemently disagree with you. They ever so forcfully lovingly made me promise not to quit. Love them. Thanks girls!
Our family moved into our home two years ago. For the first time in our marriage, Chris and I have a gigantic master bedroom. It’s been nearly empty for two years. It’s so big and overwhelming to decorate and furnish, so it’s just stayed bare.
Two days after the question at my table, I had an idea. What if I created a writing space in our room. There is this huge empty space to the right of our bed. It’s the perfect spot for a writing desk. I could wake up early, not disturb the kids, and have my own little space to write.
Chris agreed it was an excellent idea and I began looking for a desk.
I found one online and purchased it.
I shared briefly with a friend about my goal to make more time to write.
Late that night I got a text from her. It said, “Here are some dates. Pick one. I’m available to have your kids for the entire day so you can have a writing day.”
Side note, if you don’t have people in your life that push you, help you, encourage you, run alongside of you as you pursue God’s call on your life, FIND THEM. Go out and find people who make you better. It fills you up with life.
At 2 AM that night, I woke up from a very vivid dream. I have dreams often, but I seldom remember them and I never remember them with such clarity as I did this dream. The details of the dream are important to me, but not crucial to this story.
When I woke up I was instantly overwhelmed by a very strong evil feeling in our bedroom. I have felt demonic presences before but never like this. If you haven’t felt a demonic presence I will tell you this, it feels like terror and darkness. I buried my head under the covers to get away from it. But unlike childhood illusions of monsters in the closet, hiding under the covers does not allow you to escape a demonic presence.
For fear of waking my husband, and let me admit, fear that he would wake up and think I’d lost my marbles, I began whispering rebukes to the evil feeling in our bedroom. I quoted some scripture and told it to leave in Jesus name.
My husband woke up.
I told him about my dream and he prayed for me. We tried to go back to sleep.
It was like darkness that gets even darker.
I could feel it lingering. Pressing in. I couldn’t see it, but the feeling was so heavy, evil and real.
I felt the Holy Spirit say, “sit up, point to the right side of your room and tell it to leave.”
So I did. I started speaking loudly, nearly shouting with authority that comes from the Holy Spirit and I commanded that demon to leave us alone. The thought flashed through my mind that if I sent him out of our room he might go into my kids room, so I began telling him outloud exactly what he had to do. (Satan and demons cannot read your mind, so you must speak out loud when rebuking them. We know from Scripture that Satan is powerful and influential, he is not all knowing, or omniscient. Only God has the ability to know all things.)
In the name of Jesus, you must leave our home.
You cannot touch my son. You cannot touch my daughter. You cannot touch my husband. Whatever it is that you are here to steal, kill or destroy, you may not do. Leave our home and go back the pit of hell where you came from.
I could sense now that Chris felt it too. He was awake, alert and in this battle with me now. He grabbed his phone off the nightstand and opened up Youversion. He started reading out loud.
For the next thirty minutes Chris and I did warfare with this thing. We prayed out loud, we read Psalm 91 out loud and we turned on worship music. We sent it back to where it came from. We did not allow it to take hold.
The next morning I told Chris that I felt like it had something to do with my writing. It was in the exact spot where I had planned to put my new writing desk. He said “yes, an hour after you fell back asleep I woke up and had that very thought.”
Later that day, I called my friend who had offered to keep my kids so I could write. Before I could even share the story with her she says, “Hold on, before you go any further I need to tell you what the Lord told me to tell you when I saw your name on my phone. He said to tell you
“there is power in the pen.”
What?! Confirmation that the devil is out to keep me from this. A realization that this is something I need to take more seriously than I have been. It really can’t be much clearer.
This has now become an obedience issue.
James 4:17 says “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
When you know you are suppose to do something, but you don’t do it, IT IS SIN.
So I will continue to write.
My desk arrived the other day.
It was broken.
I put it back in the box and said, “nice try, Satan.”
I got my new desk a day later. It’s set up, in the same spot that the devil tried to occupy. But the devil failed.
Through the encouragement of godly people around me and listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, this time I was obedient.
What is it in your life that you need to be obedient in? I plead with you, take that step of obedience.
1 Samuel 15:22
But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.
The people disobeyed God’s instructions in order to offer up a burnt offering, a sacrifice to God.
God’s response, “I’d rather you obey me, then make an offering to me.”
God desires your obedience more than he desires your works.
My writing may be about nothing more than my obedience. Even if very few people read what I write, I know that I have obeyed. There is joy and freedom in that.
Sometimes God has to test us, to see if we can pass the test. What we see as something huge, may only be a test to see if we are ready for what His ultimate plan for us is.
Whatever that nudging in your soul is, follow it. Don’t wait. Take even just the tiniest step of obedience and watch God work. To obey is better than sacrifice.
But when you obey, don’t be surprised if Satan tries to thwart it. He comes to steal, kill and destroy the plans God has for you. He hates your obedience to God. Instead of fearing this attack, use the power of the Holy Spirit that you possess to send Satan right back where he came from.
But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the LORD; their vindication will come from me. I, the LORD, have spoken!
No weapon used against you will succeed!
I know this sounds scary and you probably feel like it’s something you are not equipped for. You are though, because God’s word shows us that we are.
The words of Jesus… Luke 10:19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.
You have the power! You have the power to rebuke the devil and you have the power to follow the voice of God in obedience.
How cool is that! It’s up to you. Take a step of obedience and watch God move mightily in and through you.
You might be wondering why I’m sharing this story with you. Seems kind of personal. You’re right. It is personal. Very personal. But so was Jesus…naked, bruised and beaten hanging on the cross for you and for me. Our salvation was personal. Our lives lived for Him should be personal.
I’ve found over the years that the times I am most impacted by someone have been times that the speaker or writer has been personal. They’ve shared their own failures, struggles and successes and been transparent and real about it. This is how I want to be. Real and raw with you. Not over thought, well written, flowery words, just realness. I hope you feel that and my prayer is that through my writing you are encouraged to seek Jesus.