In college I gave up writing (other than journaling) because I came across so many amazing, talented writers. I couldn't have a vocabulary that extensive even if I used a thesaurus on every word! I decided that there are enough words, books, and blogs out there. Nothing new can be said. I continued to journal what the Lord was teaching me, but I concluded that my written words didn't have anything to offer.
Then when I was a young bride I began transcribing for a ghostwriter. We began talking one day and she encouraged me to stretch myself in writing. I was put on the spot and shared my conclusions with her. She adamantly disagreed with me and told me that if God gives me a message, I should share it in writing. She encouraged me to stay in practice. I felt incompetent, had no formal training in writing, and wasn't sure if writing was something God gave for me and Him privately or if it was something to share.
Soon after, I discovered that maybe not everything had been written. As S. and I looked for curriculum or devotionals for our students in youth ministry, we found plenty of topical studies; dating, lying, your relationship with your parents. We couldn't find anything for our students who had recently committed to Christ that would teach them the basic story of Scripture, how to connect with God, and what God's character is like.
So I wrote one. Nothing fancy and not using many of my own words; just a quick introduction with questions that a leader can do while mentoring a new believer. A;life was born- an interactive study that includes video, devotional, and a year long reading plan. Much of BIG OAK is getting this study into the hands of people who might benefit from it. I felt insecure about throwing it out there to our group of students and leaders but then I had students talking about how it helped them understand God. Okay, I must still be insecure about it because I haven't picked it up to read it in 3 years.... it's so hard to have something in permanent print that I might see fifty mistakes in today! When S. decided this year that he wants to do more with a;life I decided to go back and re-write it. I have yet to get the courage to pick it up.
When S. created a blog for me, handed it over and said, "start writing" I again intended on it being a private thing. (Well, except for my mom. I knew she'd think it was great because she always thinks I'm smarter and funnier than I am. I love my mom.) Somehow people kept finding out about it. I am learning that maybe God has some messages and lessons for me that might also speak to other people.
All that being said, thank you friends for letting me know when something encourages and spurs you on. And thank you my husband for pushing me and making me look good.