Now that I have a passion, and truly understand what it means, I can’t believe I lived so long without one. Sure, I have the love kind. The intense passion that bursts during love making and basks in the afterglow of sweet intimacy. And the flavor of passion that moistens your taste buds just before you take a bite of your favorite cheesecake. Let’s not forget the type of passion that numbs your throat from shouting when your favorite team wins the big game or when the students you’ve mentored perform on stage and receive a standing ovation. The passion I’m talking about is different.
This passion is a burning desire to mold a masterpiece, to create. It’s not the feeling you get when you’ve completed a monumental task, or the flicker your feel when the start a new one. It’s an intense spark driven hunger, to create, to fix, or to transform something that rewards you with utter joy. That’s how I feel about writing.
This writing thing is relatively new to me. I hadn’t voluntarily picked up a pen until seven years ago. Honest. Never possessed a desire to write, and considered it a chore when I had to write as much as the little family update notes in Christmas cards. There always seemed to be a multitude of exciting and conversely required things to do that kept my focus off a page.
It all changed at 4:00 a.m. that dark July night in 2005. I woke from a fitful sleep, thrashing and gasping for a saving breath. ‘The Dream’ as I call it, shook me to the core. I was powerless in every sense of the word and woke up feeling every emotion known to woman. I say woman because we all know there are certain emotions that men just don’t feel. My husband did provide a warm embrace and assurance that it was only a dream. He even caressed me back to sleep. The next morning, still drowning in a crush of emotions, ‘The Dream’ was my chosen topic of discussion. After a few hours of creative chatter and brainstorming my nightmare transformed into a compelling story. A story that’s changed my life.
Six years, countless workshops, numerous writers meetings, and hundreds of revisions later, I have a novel. Did you hear that? I have a novel…me! Go figure. This story however, is not about my novel, but the blessing I received while writing it. I’m going to reveal what God did to mold me into the passionate writer I believe I’ve become.
After my story was dropped in my lap, I struggled for a time trying to decipher what to do with it. Everyone I talked to suggested that I write a book. “Easy for you say,” I pouted and even stuck out my tongue. I literally had no clue what to do next, so I prayed.
Heavenly Father, Weaver of Wonder, show me the way. I don’t know how to write, yet You’ve given me this story. Pave my path, open my mind, and use me to glorify You. In Jesus name. For a time, not much changed. I worked, cleaned, worshiped, took a few vacations, loved on my grandkids, and so on. Then, I noticed the marquee on an office building about a block from where I work showcasing a national writer’s organization. That’s not to the good part. When I entered the building to inquire about joining a writer’s group, a lovely receptionist informed me that the local chapter met once a month in the same building I work in! Of course, I joined the group, and for the record, am currently serving as secretary. Okay, back to my story. November 11, 2008, I opened my bible to the book of Habakkuk. I’ve been reading my bible faithfully for over ten years, and I never remembered seeing Habakkuk. Never heard a sermon spotlighting Habakkuk, or even knew such a crazy named book existed. I still chuckle when I say it, Habakkuk, it just sounds funny. Here’s what I read:
Habakkuk 2 The Lord’s Answer: Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so the herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
After clearing the lump that had ballooned in my throat, I scooted to my knees, tightly closed my eyes, and prayed, Sweet Jesus, Kindler of Courage, thank you for this message. I’m humbled to hear from You and honored that You think I can do this. Please give me the fortitude, wisdom, and desire to inscribe what You require. Oh, and for the record, this is going to be one heck of a task.
What a moment. I still bask in the joy of that day.
I believe if I hadn’t continued to seek the Lord, and worked my tail off learning the craft of writing, my story would have remained tucked in the corners of my mind with the rest of my dreams. I believe, since I was obedient and heeded His call, I’ve been blessed with a passion that makes life that much fuller. The passion is the blessing. Don’t be afraid to try new things and think outside the box. Explore, learn, and grow. The result might surprise you.