And You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV)
Come March, I’ll have been writing my weekly newspaper column for 17 years. Quite frankly, it’s downright scary. Think about it: one column a week or 52 columns a year for 17 years – that’s 884 columns.
Granted, I’ve recycled some, but when I sit down at the computer on Friday morning (deadline time), fear washes over me. What haven’t I written about? What can I write that will be fresh, original, true to Scripture? What words will deepen our understanding of who God is, and how He expects us to live? That will reach out to readers’ hearts and draw them closer to the God I love, serve and struggle to know better? What aspects of the Christian walk haven’t been written about not only by me but by others?
When my kids were living at home, they provided much fodder for this writer. But no more. They are adults living lives of their own, and I must respect their privacy. The empty nest provides little in terms of writing material. My poor husband says, “We have no skeletons in our closets.” He’s a good sport and never complains when I write about him or some interesting tidbit of our life together.
I ran out of “Michele” long ago. The well of creativity, I feel, has been plumbed dry.
So every time I sit and face a blank screen, I close my eyes, bow my head and pray, “Lord, what do You want to say through me? Who needs to hear what from You? Write this column through me.”
Sometimes I’m pleased with what flows from my fingers. Sometimes I’m not. But when I hit SEND, I have to trust that God answered my prayer and someone out there needs the words I sometimes think are ineffective.
In 2013, I focused on the theme of “hope.”
This year, 2014, liking schedules and lists as I do (must be the teacher in me), I’ve decided to explore God’s attributes using the alphabet. Not only will that give me 26 ideas for columns, but will also provide an opportunity for us – for me as the writer and you as the reader – to explore more deeply who God is and what having faith in Him means in our daily lives.
When I first started writing, I wrote a prayer that I ask you to pray with me throughout 2014:
Bless me with Your creativity, O Lord. Sharpen my mind, my thinking. Bless me with originality and creativity – creativity of ideas and of expression. May my writing be fresh, crisp, refreshing, like a breath of fresh air in a stale and stagnant room. Let it inspire others to a practical faith, a deeper commitment, and a closer walk with You. May it encourage better relationships with others and provide discernment and guidance. Change lives through the words You give Me. Amen.
Special-Tea: Read Psalm 63
(Next week, we’ll seek God through the letter “A.” We’ll explore a new letter every two weeks.)