Please welcome this weeks guest Jennifer Slattery for The Journey. She answers the question: How have you seen God work in your writing journey?
It’s always exciting, terrifying, and more than a little unnerving to sense God calling you. I believe most often, the details come later. Consider the biblical character Samuel, awakened by God one night. Three times God called out to the child, “Samuel! Samuel! Samuel!”
And three times, the young boy bolted from his room in search of an earthly cause for the stir. Because hearing the voice of his, God Almighty, hadn’t even been on his radar. Ah, but Eli, the high priest and Samuel’s rabbi, knew:
Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, ‘Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. (1 Sam. 3:8b-9a)
So, Samuel obeyed, but notice, it wasn’t until he fully tuned his ears to God, in submission, that He received his marching orders. “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”
A servant is one who lays everything down—every desire, “right”, and expectation, focusing on but one thing: pleasing his master.
I believe that’s how most calls come. God grabs hold of our heart, our surrender, before He reveals the plan of action. At least, that was the case for me. I originally sensed the “call” on a Good Friday back in 1999. I had no idea what that meant. All I knew was I wanted to live sold out for Christ. That was the only thing that felt real.
Four moves later, I sensed God’s call again. I was training for a triathlon which required long bike rides and runs with just me and my MP3. Mile after mile, hill after hill, God stirred within me a desire for more and an expectation to see Him move. For months, the same songs played over and over, building a fire within, questions riding on the flames.
“What, Lord? What am I to do?”
And yet, He gave no answer except, “Will you?”
But God called me to something much simpler yet equally valuable. He called me to stir hearts, combat misconceptions, and guide others into action through mission-minded stories. But more than that, He taught me to hold tight to the passion but loosely to the “plan”, recognizing He has but one call for me, and that is to be alert to His voice, responding but one way: “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”
Jennifer Slattery writes missional romance for New Hope Publishers, Christian living articles for Crosswalk.com, and devotional for Internet Café Devotions and Jewels of Encouragement. Connect with her online at her personal blog, http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com, the two group blogs she participates in, http://inspyromance.com and http://faithfilledfriends.wordpress.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Jenslattery