I received some wonderful encouragement from a friend when I started writing again. I was lamenting the fact that Elyse Fitzpatrick had already written all the books I want to write, and she said “no one has written all of the books. There is always room for more…and your words are greatly valued and appreciated, unique to your story and like no one else’s.” I want this on a T-shirt. #allthebooks.
I feel deeply connected to God when I write, always have. From my baby Christian days writing poetry feverishly, through my first blog, through 365 days of poetry. So whether or not the books have already been written, Imma gonna write more.
I listened to Jamie Ivey’s 100th podcast this week and I get the feeling she is probably currently writing the book I want to write, and I can’t wait to read it. To see how it complements my own story, to see how God weaves his way through our different lives. To get inspired to keep writing, scribbling away, making sense of all these words and thoughts I have.
Then I discovered a new podcast by the lovely Christy Nockels, and in her first episode she talks to Annie F. Downs. Annie is my soul mate. She doesn’t know it, but she is. I passed by her at If:Gathering, just inches away, I regret not talking to her, because she’s so wonderfully everyday. I may go back to Texas next year, just to stalk Annie. Like Beth Moore is your fancy get up, but Annie is your workaday writer. She just gets it. So I’m listening to Annie and getting so encouraged and so lifted up, and they start talking about how everyone always seems to write about the same things at the same time and how that’s okay. She says that when people are coming up with the same things, it’s because God is breathing a theme into his church. God is telling thematic stories through his varied people. So we end up with all kinds of books about appreciating the little things, and not sweating the small stuff, and saying the best yeses. And I am sitting at work listening, pounding on my desk, saying a silent Hallelujah in my best southern voice. All ready to go home and start work on the book that’s been permeating in my mind for the last week.
Then the bubble bursts as dear, sweet, Annie says that in late 16, early 17, we’ll be seeing a slew of books about friendship, because that’s what the Lord is doing right now.
And I just about bust open, because that’s where my heart has been this week. In my friendships, and my people, and how different they have all been, and how they have affected me, and how I’ve wanted to give up, and where God has injected life. And I am torn apart in a split second because Angie Smith is going to get there first, Jamie Ivey has it down, Ann Voskamp is calling the shots, and there is of course no room for my voice among the angels God has set among us.
And my friends, THIS IS A LIE.
Because no one has my voice. No one has my stories. And no one else is going to write this. And when they write their story, and I write my story, and we all write each other’s stories, we breathe life into this God sent message. And the more voices yelling this into the world, the more chance the world will listen.
So, now what? I will still bum out that my book will be slow to write, and one of many, because bumming out is a spiritual gift of mine #blessed. But I’m going to write my stories anyway. I’m going to tell of my God, and tell of my friendships, and tell of my family, and my kids, and my soul, and how He saved me. And if no one wants to read it, I’m going to print it and give it to my friends, so they can hold my heart in their hands and know they are loved, and know that they have improved my life and my soul.