True or False

A few years ago I began to post articles on a blog. Last year I resigned. Fear crept in.

I had eagerly signed up to write.  But after reading the blog I began to reconsider my agreement.  Writers, good writers, experienced writers were putting forth interesting, engaging material.  They were well crafted.  Fear began to sweep over me.

I had written newsletters and Christmas messages, but never waded into the deeper writing waters. After one semester of freshmen English, reading the literature and writing the papers, I met with the professor to review my work.  He expressed his belief that writing was not my vocation.  I shrugged off his comments.  It didn’t matter.  I was a studio art major with little writing required. Now the voice of this college professor returned.  He told me I wasn’t a good writer. He had all that English education and I had none.

Even though I withdrew from the blog, the writing bug remained.  As a writing friend commented, it is therapeutic. So what to do?  I began creating emails for a few friends.  I journaled.  I read writing books that concluded anyone could write–that must include me. I joined a writer’s group and began to submit material for review.  I discovered I can write.

So what about the college professor?  Looking at it from an older, wiser point of view I suspect he did not like my style of writing or perhaps I was too inexperienced to have a style. Maybe I did not connect with the symbolism he discovered or lacked the confidence to stand up for myself.

Either way, he said I could not write and I accepted those words as true.  How often have I done that?  How many times have I heard someone say you will never …. or you will always…. and believed them?  We can allow the words of others to build walls around us that become barricades to further growth.  We can believe their words even when they are not true.

Words can seem so final, so prophetic, yet they represent one person’s opinion and not necessarily God’s plan nor the potential for his transformation. Learning to shed the false words we have received is a good step toward finding the truth about ourselves, revealing the beauty God is producing.  We can then experience the fullness of who he calls us to be.

Joining a writer’s group and submitting work for critique has been a risky step with great reward.  As I read my first piece the leader of this organization said, “I like your style”. His comment served as an eraser to all I had heard before.   And in the days ahead, as fear creeps in I delete it with this statement and continue typing.

Do I have much to learn about writing?  You bet.  But it is a doable challenge rather than an unrealistic expectation.

God chose Moses – a murderer, one slow of speech – to lead his people.  “Moses answered God, ‘But why me?  What makes you think that I could ever go to Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?’  ‘I will be with you,’ God said.”  Exodus 3:11-12a