Please welcome this week’s guest Alison Bryant for The Journey. She answers the question: How have you seen God work in your writing journey?
But then God changed all of that. In 2007, I sensed that He wanted to alter that part of my identity. Stories and characters sprouted in my brain and demanded to be paraded across pages for others to enjoy. I longed to give the characters what they deserved, but I hesitated.
Do you ever get a glimpse of where God is leading you—how He wants to change you—and think, “No, siree. I can’t do that (…or be that, or go there. You fill in the blank.). Who do I think I am to try?” I actually said that, for Pete’s sake—to God, the creator of the universe and the creator of me and you. Can you imagine? (You can imagine my grin right now.)
It wasn’t that becoming a writer sounded like a bad calling. It simply seemed unattainable. Such a self-absorbed perspective in retrospect.
He proved loving and persistent. He held up a mirror to show me part of who He’d designed me to be: a writer.
I accepted His calling.
He started me on baby steps. One memory makes me giggle now. I remember peering at a mug for sale online that said, “Writer”. Large, bold letters. It was a big moment when I gave myself permission to buy it. I was a writer. God had said so.
Step by step along the writing road with God, He kept molding my identity for His purposes. A blog materialized. A novel about the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) of World War II spilled out, page after page. An editor requested devotionals for a book by fellow ministers’ wives. The publishing world became less hazy as I attended writers’ conferences. I wouldn’t trade this journey so far for anything.
And here’s the amazing part I’m learning about God working in our lives: When we think it’s about us and how we’re changing, it’s actually the opposite. Isn’t it ironic—accepting a calling from Him that reveals who He made us to be ends up showing more of Himself? We take that mirror that he used to show us ourselves, turn it around, and reflect more of Him to the world. It’s not about me and my stories. It’s not about us.
It’s about Him. When we say “Yes” to His design for our life, He reveals more of Himself. And we have the honor of standing amazed.
He reveals Himself in the pain of following His calling. Writing isn’t for sissies. We must hone our craft, not giving in to smug satisfaction or the feeling of having arrived. There’s pride to sacrifice each time we offer our imperfect scribblings—our “babies”—to the world for scrutiny. Yet His strong arms hold tight and strengthen.
He reveals Himself in the sheer joy of writing. I see His smile and hear Him cheering me forward when I get lost in writing. Historical novel, devotional, blog post…no matter. My soul sings when words fly, or on slow days crawl, from my fingers onto the screen. To paraphrase Eric Liddell in the movie Chariots of Fire, when I write I feel His pleasure.
To my utter delight, He reveals Himself through supportive family, friends, and other writers who come my way. It has been said that no man is an island. Truly, no writer is an island. He intertwines our journeys in fascinating ways that no one can predict.
And He reveals Himself to be the greatest, most creative writer of them all. He composes our lives with mastery and love. It’s a privilege to hold the mirror to reflect a little more of Him into the world.
Alison Bryant writes historical fiction, devotionals, and articles. Her best research memory so far is a ride in a World War II-replica biplane over the Maine coast one autumn with her minister-husband, David. She is a Texan living in New Mexico where she works in the field of drug prevention and drinks a mocha every day. She blogs at www.alisonbryantwrites.com.