I’ve struggled with this post – struggled with my purpose, my pride, my willingness to be completely open. But this is all I have.
A few months ago I knew why I write;
Because it is a ministry and God uses it. My greatest joy is in seeing the ‘God moments’ when people are drawn to Him in any way.
|Dedication to my friend|
Like the school acquaintance I dedicated my first book to. My protagonist was based on her. After reading the novel she went from being a skeptic to having the beginnings of faith in God and praying daily.
But my husband became unwell and last month was diagnosed with a rare brain disease. That same friend with her newfound faith rang me up, drunk, in tears.
‘How can you believe in God now?’ she demanded amidst a few other choice words. ‘You’ve given your whole life to Him and this is what He does to do. What kind of God is He, if He even exists?’
The rant continued as I tried to give calm, quiet answers.
‘Don’t be angry with God on my behalf,’ was all I could beg her. ‘I have peace. Rob has peace. God helps us grow stronger through things like this.’
|Visiting Rob in hospital in July|
‘But Rob’s going to die!’
‘We all are. But if we know Jesus we live forever with Him. Rob’s looking forward to that.’
‘So you’re saying you don’t care if your husband dies and leaves you with those four kids who need their Dad?’
‘No, I’d be completely devastated. But I’ll have God and I have peace that it will all be okay.’
‘Well you’re stupid, Jen. I can’t understand it. It makes no sense. ‘
‘I know it doesn’t make sense in our human thinking. God’s peace isn’t something we can understand. It goes deeper than our understanding.’
She couldn’t get it. She swore at me, insulted me, and with words that cut me to the core, she turned her back on God. And my heart broke.
|What is the use? Have I failed?|
The joy I had at the way God had worked and used my books was shattered. Wasn’t the message in them clear enough? - the message that God allows suffering for a reason and that He loves us unconditionally? Where had I gone wrong? Had God ever used my books at all, or would all my readers come to the same point of disbelief in a crisis?
|More than human minds comprehend|
Then once again God reminded me of the bigger picture. I thought I was writing so people could come to know and love God. What if it is so much more than that?
I thought of Jesus. The people of the day thought He was there to be an earthly king and rescue them in the way they understood their need to be rescued. But God’s plan was so much greater.
|So much more than expected!|
I have to stop looking at what God does through my human eyes and values. His ways are not my ways, nor His thoughts my thoughts. Just as my friend was thinking with human perspective, so often I do, too.
I thought I’d come so far, but I’ve gone back to the beginning. With my husband’s illness I can no longer continue my work as a primary school chaplain and don’t have the money to self-publish any more. I write because I’m feeling broken and writing to me is like breathing. I need a big, deep breath of fresh air. I need to pour it all out to God and once more let my writing be my relationship with Him, not my ministry FOR Him.
|Hiding my mouth at 12|
Psalm 62:8 (NIV)
‘Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.’
- For me, this is how it began. A broken, lost, misunderstood teenager who could never find the words when face to face with someone; who found God there, ready to listen as she wrote and poured her heart out to Him.
And He is here again. Closer than ever before, sharing my heart, my hurts, my life. In the brokenness He is there. In the confusion, He makes sense. In my fear He brings me peace. When will I learn to walk this closely with Him in the times of joy and perceived achievement in ministry? Why does it take heartbreak to return me to my first love – to the shelter of His arms?
|I write because He is alive!|
I don’t know the answers, but I do know He loves me just as I am. He loves me enough to be there when I fail, when those I wanted to draw to Him turn their backs, when it hurts, … always, forever. I am His and I will continue to pour my heart out to Him, for He Is my refuge. I write because I breathe, and I breathe for Him, because He is alive and He loves me no matter what.
And my story, God’s story, isn’t finished yet. Maybe I haven’t gone back to the beginning … maybe I’m somewhere in the middle at the crisis point. All I know is that the end will be satisfying and greater than I can ever imagine.
This is my prayer for you and for me; In our short time on this earth, may every word that flows from our hearts and out our mouths or onto paper or screen, bring us closer to our Saviour Jesus and fill Him with joy.
Jenny Glazebrook lives in the country town of Gundagai with her husband, Rob and 4 children along with many pets. She is the published author of 7 novels, 1 traditionally published, and 6 self published. She writes because words burn within her. She is an experienced inspirational speaker and loves to encourage others to walk closer with God and hear His voice each day. She has a Diploma of Theology and has been a CALEB finalist 3 times.
For more information go to her website: www.jennyglazebrook.com