“And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.” (Parable of Talents Matthew 25:25-29)
January 27, 2017:
This morning I was called by a well-known Christian book publishing company. It wasn’t really a big deal, the man was responding to a form I submitted to them online without realizing it would lead to an actual conversation. However, in hindsight, it is a big deal because it’s a big deal to God.
You may be wondering why: Last summer (2016) the Lord spoke into my heart, saying it is time for me to fulfill a commitment I made to write (outwardly) for Him on a serious level again. You see, two years prior God put me in my place about a book manuscript He wrote through me. Said book is about my life before and just after Jesus shook things up. He obviously intends for the book to be released into the world or he wouldn’t continually (rightfully) nag me about it! He held me over a barrel until I finished it…Oh, I finished it…in record time too. Alas, other than editing it continuously, I’ve done little else with it.
I digress…Last summer when the Lord spoke into my spirit about writing, he immediately opened a door: a short-story I wrote was accepted for publication in a book of collected testimonies. (I’ve since had two more shorts accepted for publication in books, plus several others pieces in online publications.) For someone who’s hoped to be taken seriously as a writer for a long time, this was both monumental for my self-esteem (that I am a good writer) and for God’s glory in all efforts for him.
After the call with the publishing company, I sat ruminating about it as I watched beautiful snow fall outside. Suddenly a male Cardinal flew nearby and for some reason my mind became flooded with thoughts of my deceased, beloved, grandmother. As my heart swelled over and down my face, a very Christ-like thought came forth:
Through all the days in this life when I tried and failed, feeling like such a nobody, to her I was always a somebody. She always saw me as special.
Oh how this pains me…I so wanted to accomplish something in life that they (my grandparents) would be proud of. In the five years before they passed from this earth (3 weeks apart in late spring of 2014), I was no longer ashamed of what I wrote and able to share. You see, in Christ, my writing topics transcended from dark into Light. Despite the “talent” having always been within, due to the content it was mostly hidden from sight.
The transcendence began with the online publication I founded in 2007. In 2009, just before Christ restored my faith, God orchestrated and delivered my first divine assignment: co-authoring and editing an entire Christian, creative non-fiction book (that was published). The poetry which transcribed itself and flowed through my mind also took on a new, beautiful life. As the Holy Spirit taught me to wield the pen (and keyboard) for the Lord’s purpose, my writer’s voice changed as life in Christ, and Christ in me, ebbed and flowed.
The tears are for her. I deeply miss my grandmother’s always loving, encouraging words and demeanor. Her warm tight embrace and always happy to see me smile. The tears are over some of the last words she spoke to me, before she went to heaven. Perhaps they were prophetic in nature and sent to me from God’s mouth to her lips. As she lie before me in much pain, she said, “Don’t ever stop writing. You are going to be a well-known author one day! I just know it.” (She actually said famous but I think that was grandma pride speaking.)
During those five years prior to their deaths, I had been sending her articles, the published book, as well as some poetry I wrote. She was never privy to my personal life before Christ. I was too ashamed of who I was and what I wrote about that girl to share with the two people I adored most in life. I am so very grateful things changed…that I changed!
Grandma knew she was dying as she looked into my face and spoke those words. In that moment, I knew it too. The unimaginable was about to happen and there was nothing I could do…However, God knew that I’d let my relationship with my grandparents hold me back from finishing that manuscript containing the truth about who I was, before Christ. I’d let that relationship prevent me from sending that story out into the world for His glory. Now I’m at a place in life where I no longer allow things to hold me back from His presence and desires. Nor would I ever want to make that wonderful woman out a liar…
God used that unexpected phone call as a reminder: All I need to do is trust and release it to His care because the details are already worked out; for he is a God of details; a promise keeper for those who love and serve HIS purpose (Romans 8:28). Amen!