This blog is part of a link-up with the Writers Unite group (a Facebook writing group I’m apart of) answering the questions: How does faith influence your art? What role does it play? Does your faith have implications in what you write? You can read more answers to these questions this week by searching the Twitter hashtag #faithartlife.
God. Jesus. Christianity. Discipleship. Reaching the world.
Writing. Publishing. Blogging. Sharing my words to the world.
Two separate thoughts, two completely differing ideas…In my mind at least. For about 13 years now I’ve been “born again” believer. I’ve grown up in the Christian faith but it wasn’t until college that I made the decision to follow Christ based on my own knowledge of Him and not my parents/grandparents. So for about 13 years I’ve been wrestling with this faith, trying to understand it better and Him better and in the midst of that, trying to understand me better. I have had many struggles, a few mountains, several valleys, curves in the road, pitfalls, potholes and have fallen more times than I care to admit. But I will gladly share in the mountain top experiences and the hearing from God times. But I digress.
So during most of my Christian walk I believed (not consciously) that my Christianity was separate from my dreams. More honestly, I believed that I needed to keep these things separate. Why? Because God wanted everything from me, my sins AND my dreams. This was preached to me-because its true. So many times were spent on the altar giving God my everything. I said “God I give you everything, my sins, my hopes, my desires, my dreams.” I wrote it on a piece of paper “I want to be a writer” and laid it upon the altar. I wanted to be a good, no great Christian. I wanted to not only go to heaven but to be a faithful witness here on earth. I wanted to be an empty vessel to be used by God.
As you can imagine this left me empty.
What wasn’t as clear was: What do I do now? So I waited (on God but unfortunately more on man) for an answer. So I started back filling those empty spaces with stuff, hence the potholes and pitfalls. What I didn’t learn until much, much later (within the past couple of years) was that God wanted to refill those spaces with the things that I gave Him.
He didn’t want to take my desires and dreams. He wanted (still wants) me to offer these things to Him, as a “living sacrifice” so that in turn He can use my gifts and talents and dreams to His glory. WOW O_O (I really just got ministered to)
God is not a mean dad that takes a good thing and replaces it with a bad. Yes, I was one of the ones that was terribly afraid that God would call me to something I hated, or that was ill-fitting for me. But what good of a messenger would I be if He did that? How would that be beneficial to either one of us? I’ve seen what’s it like when someone is outside of their calling, it’s not pretty.
So I want to write, and act, and direct. And I’ve been hiding those facts, thinking that if I kept it secret then no one, especially God, could take it from me. But here I am not writing, not acting, not directing, while all the time God has been patiently waiting. Saying, “Stephanie, sweetheart, I want to help you achieve your dreams. I’m sorry for the ones that didn’t believe in you. I’m sorry for the ones that laughed. I want to see you prosper but I’m going to do it my way. Your way may get you a partial success but My way will get you a place in My plan and a seat in My kingdom. Lets do this together. You don’t have to fear because I got your back and your front. Matter of fact, My spirit surrounds you. Together we will go through the rocky places
and through the desert lands and I will catch you when you fall. And when it’s dark and you feel lonely, you will never be alone. I will always be with you. Trust me with your heart.”
How do you connect your life with your faith and your art? Do you consider these in the same conversation?