These words are not my own.
"I'm a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world." -- Mother Teresa Writing is hard for me. So. Very. Hard. Not because the words don’t come, but because they do. And they come straight from deep within my heart. Writing is so intricately woven into who I am, and it took me forever and a day to realize that. It took even longer for my poor family to figure out that words flowed smoother on paper than they did out of my mouth.
Writing thrills me. Writing also terrifies me. I get giddy over words, but I have intense anxiety about sharing my words with others. There are many times that I’ve thought that writing was one of the hardest things I choose to do.
Even back in elementary and middle school, words fit. Words felt right. But along with a deep relationship and understanding of the art of writing, a voice loomed over that declared my writing wasn’t good enough. When I hit high school, the voice said that it wasn’t practical to become a writer, that a bachelor’s degree in English meant you had to become a teacher. When I hit college, the words, “someone else is better than you,” repeated itself over and over in my head.
I’d like to sit here and tell you that this isn’t something I still struggle with, that the voice is long gone. But that would be a lie.
As I’ve bumbled along in trying to figure out where the words come from, why I love producing pages on pages of rearranged letters, and how the heck I can work this into my everyday life, I learned something.
These words are not my own.
I suppose, on some level, they are, if you want to get technical. It’s my hand that writes them, my fingers that type them, but they are still not mine. They are a gift given by the God most high, who deemed me fit for the gift of writing. Do I understand it? No. Am I worthy of it? Not at all.
But for some reason, when God created me, He decided to throw in a penchant for letters and a skill for producing words. Between you and me, I’m pretty sure He hadn’t had His morning coffee yet, but I won’t know the answer to that until I get to Heaven.
Recognizing that the words I produce are not mine alone radically changed my perspective. Me reading other writers’ work and comparing it to my own work is the same as telling God that my gift isn’t good enough.
When we recognize that our talents are not ours alone, that our gifts were not by our own merit, using those gifts can become an act of worship, recognizing the gracefulness of the gift and using it for His glory, to serve His people.
Dear, sweet reader,
You are so uniquely woven. Before your parents knew you, God loved you. He took the time to carve out big things and special talents that no other person has except you.
Don’t let the monster of comparison be a voice in your head. Thoughts that tell you that you aren’t good enough are not from God. In the world’s eyes, your gift may not be practical, it may not be your full-time job, and it may not make you any money. But that’s not the point.
That gift was bestowed upon you by the One who crafted you, who instilled a talent deep within your heart that is so innately part of your being, it can be hard to understand and explain it.
Scripture lists several different spiritual gifts, and I wholeheartedly believe that these gifts are only the main heading with several different subcategories within each gift. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 gives evidence of this:
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good…. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.”
Your gift is as unique as you are, my dear. Two people may have the same gift, but it manifests itself in entirely different ways because of how each of us is woven. Don’t allow that monster tell you that your gift isn’t worthy, that it isn’t worth pursuing.
Recognize it. Use it.Let it be an act of worship and praise.
Your gift is not entirely your own.
And these words are not my own.