In my last post I wrote about some things that I had learned (and relearned) from an online writing course that I had taken. I wanted to expand on #2.
I am more than one talent.
Over 10 years ago I had started working for a ministry. Not a church, but a non-profit ministry where we worked in partnership with churches. The thing that got me hooked to this job was that they were looking for a writer/editor for their small publication and I had thought God had answered my prayers! Here I was in my mid-20s with no real writing and publication experience so I thought that this was my ticket so to speak. I was going to gain all this experience by writing and editing and then I’d move on and eventually publish and make connections and live a fabulous life as a writer. I saw this job as a stepping stone to something greater.
It wasn’t fabulous. Well, not fabulous in the way that you would think it would be. It definitely was not glamorous. It was hard work. The devotional journal we were working on was new and since it was a small publication I was doing a lot of work, which was great, but it also meant a lot of sleepless nights or nights sleeping in the office. I had never interviewed people before but was sort of thrown into the job. I fumbled my way through a lot of those. I had actually just come back to attending church regularly only a couple years before this job so I felt like I didn’t have much knowledge on Christian authors, speakers, and artists. I researched and read like no other. A little after a year the publication folded.
I stayed in that ministry for 10 years. I ended up doing a lot more proofreading than creative writing. I became the queen of shortening bios! Not so thrilling, eh? There were many days when I walked into that office wondering if my dreams of being a writer were mere ideas in the clouds. But looking back I see how much God was molding and shaping me to be the person I am today.
I learned to work with others in ministry. I learned how to talk to people, how to interview, how to listen, how to organize a conference, how to forgive, how to pray, how to laugh in the midst of chaos, how to weep with others, how to be honest with myself, and how to create boundaries. I learned from many spiritual giants who enriched my life with their wisdom and friendship. I learned about myself — my personality and my strengths, not as an excuse for myself, but to understand that God has created me uniquely for His purposes. Do you see what I’m getting at? I thought that my path on this life was going in one direction (and it is in the sense that I am going towards God) but I thought that God was going to use me in one line of work for the rest of my life and that I would fulfill all my hopes and dreams and that would be that. It was all about me, me, me.
Life is not about me. It is ultimately about Him and there are many twists and turns along the way. If I had become a writer in my early 20s I think my writing would’ve been really bad and pretty pessimistic. I wouldn’t have known how to deal with rejection or how to go about to work on a team with different personalities. God was and continues to show me that more than one talent or any talents, He is chiseling away at my heart and spirit to make me more like Him. I was so focused on myself for so long that I had forgotten that I was really created for Him. It is through my intimate relationship with Him that He’ll use me.
Now I am at a point in my life where I believe He will use me to encourage and bring hope to others through my writing. It may be through this post or through a letter I write to a friend and that’s okay. It’s not about my name or glory. Because he didn’t create me for one talent. No, he’s created me for so much more than talent.
He’s created you and me for relationship.