A couple days ago, I was on my way to Hy-Vee to get ahead on homework, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how badly I wanted to write a literary short story. I had this urge to write something- anything literary- since reading a few short stories in the Glimmer Train. Literary work is something I have to be in the mood to produce, and I was, but there was one little problem: I had NO ideas, whatsoever. None that wouldn’t turn fantasy or sci-fi pretty quickly, anyway. So, (and this might sound strange to some of you) I asked God to give me a really great idea, to open up the floodgates of creativity in my mind; and while I was praying, an idea began to form, and it took off. I had a rare five hour burst of creative writing magic.
This got me thinking about all of the really great stories I’ve produced, and I realized that most of them began as an idea while I was in prayer. Now, very little of my work could be considered “Christian fiction”, but all of it does come out my own worldview, which is very influenced by Scripture and Christian culture. That means my work often times depicts the depravity of man and the power of hope. And this morning I couldn’t help but smile as I thought about why I believe my best comes out when I’m in prayer: I (just like you) am created in the image of a creative God.
I believe with all my heart that God loves creativity (just look at the sky at night or wildflowers or the complexities of the human race), and that everyone has a little bit of creativity somewhere inside them (whether that manifests in paintings or stories or architecture or even creative game play). I also believe that only with His grace can I reach my full potential. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I know without a shadow of a doubt that if I wasn’t a Christian I would be doing whatever it takes to remain comfortable. Because comfort is valuable to me. Because sometimes comfort is more important to me than almost anything else. Being a writer is not comfortable. Being a stay at home, for me, is not comfortable. Going back to school is not comfortable. Eating a salad instead of a delicious cheeseburger is close to downright torture. Right now, very little about my life is comfortable.
But, oh, is it worth it, and I would never have taken any of these uncomfortable steps without the encouraging, loving, sovereign, hand of God gently pushing me out of my comfort zone. So thank you, God, for being who You are, and please don’t ever give up on this comfort loving stubborn woman.