An unexpected opportunity inspires a former writer to reclaim a long-neglected talent.
- Posted on Sep 12, 2011
I read the e-mail again. It was an invitation to be part of a new devotional project, writing personal stories about faith. Well, I sure can’t do that, I thought. Not anymore.
Once, words had been my tools. For years I had written novels that pointed to God’s extraordinary grace. Then a bout with a viral infection left me with a disabling chronic illness.
I missed my old life: hiking, attending church, going on outings with friends. Most of all, I missed words. Cognitive difficulties made it hard to read, much less write. Even a simple conversation could exhaust me. Write devotionals? No, that was way too much.
In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader
I had prayed for healing. I’d even had some improvement. On good days, I could edit small projects for friends or answer an e-mail or two. But my homebound life hardly gave me any interesting material to craft into a devotional, even if I could summon all of the necessary focus.
I moved the mouse to “reply” and wrote that though I was grateful for the invitation, I couldn’t participate. Then just as I was about to send my response, a strong feeling came over me, almost as if my hand were being stopped by some unseen force. When I call you, I equip you, came a familiar whisper, a voice that had always been there to guide me.
Could I trust it even now?
I summoned all my faith, accepted the offer and hit “send.” At once I felt a rush of hope come over me.
Did words begin to pour from me at that very moment? No, and that is not the way God always works.
Writing continues to be a clumsy climb up a mountain…shackled with chains…in a blizzard.
Each morning Jesus meets me at my keyboard and is at my side along the journey. When I can’t find anything to write about, he kindles just the right memory. He brings me the right word when I can’t find it on my own. It might take me an entire morning to complete a single paragraph, but I am writing again.
And now I see why I was chosen for this devotional project. It is called, quite aptly, Mornings With Jesus.
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