“Are you going to keep writing?”
I was unprepared for this question at my dad’s funeral. I had begun blogging during his journey with ALS simply to keep people updated on his progress so my mom wouldn’t have to over the phone. The purpose was clear— to tell my dad’s story and how God was continually showing Himself faithful. When my dad died (August 17, 2009), I figured my blog would too.
I didn’t feel like I had anything to say, but was beginning to suspected that maybe God did. My heavenly Father was urging me on through words my dad earthly Father spoke when I told him I blogged about his story— write only the truth.
In the months following the funeral, I wrote a bit of our family’s journey of finding a new normal, and then I found many reasons not to. What was spoken to me as encouragement at the funeral — people telling me they enjoyed reading the blog and asking if I was going to keep writing, suddenly felt like pressure I couldn’t measure up to. All my words felt like not enough, so I wrote nothing. I kept waving God away with a later — which was nothing more than a delayed and cowardly no.
But after two years, I was out of excuses. In the spring of 2012, I was waiting on an overdue baby and God was prompting me to write again. Still afraid but out of excuses, I started a new blog called Stumbling Toward Maturity, wrote one post, and didn’t share it with anyone. I tossed a terrible consolation prize at a Divine invitation— See God? I did what you asked and nothing happened so that’s that. Moving on.
A few months later, YouLead and Living Proof Live came to Calgary (June 2012). God planted seeds of truth in my heart at both. At LPL, I wrote down a word of warning for my path that had been characterized by more nos than yeses: “All that we’ve worked for on this walk can be lost… we’re giving up abundant life.” I was over myself (or so I thought). My disobedience was costing me abundant life with Jesus.
I walked away from that Living Proof Live weekend with a renewed desire and fresh determination to walk with Him and simply be faithful to whatever He would ask me to do. I took the only first step I ever know how to take— seeking Him first in the Word. It was a season of deepening my roots in Christ, with very little visible fruit. I still wasn’t writing but I sensed God was freeing me from the perfectionism that paralyzed me with this question: If no one reads a single word, is obedience to what I’ve asked you to do enough?
Within the year, tragedy struck our community when a young friend passed away suddenly. After sitting with the grieving community, I found myself writing about God’s faithfulness and trustworthiness through life’s storm. For that year, I did my best to say yes when God prompted me to begin writing what is now bite-size Bible study.
God opened the door for my first speaking engagement in the fall of 2013, and six days later, cued baby #2 for his debut.
The following fall (2014), God opened two doors to speak and I found myself with a growing desire to communicate His truth. I was flying on a spiritual high, unknowingly about to be sidelined. A week after sharing about experiencing the love of Christ, I was completely taken out by an unexpected tidal wave of fear. (Another story for another blog post!) I felt like the biggest hypocrite.
In the midst of making very slow and imperfect progress out of a seven month spiritual winter, my mom asked me if I would be interested in teaching a breakout session at YOULead in Toronto that coming fall (2015). I said yes, completely uncertain if God even liked me anymore, let alone would speak through me. Yet I was keenly aware that without His intervention, my words alone would fall flat.
And I had already said yes.