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This isn't really about writing, but…

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  • #47763
    Grace
    @h-jones

    Hi all! H. Jones here. I was a member of the Meraki guild a while back (GO MEERKATS! *pom-poms*), but ended up resigning due to… well, because I thought God was calling me in a different direction. However, I’ve been thinking and now I’m not sure what I should do.

    The thing is, being a former internet-junky, I’ve had some bad experiences with writing. The interwebs can be, needless to say, a really dark place. I am even guilty myself of using writing in not-so-God-glorifying ways. So now, writing/the internet/all that jazz is kind of like a link to a sinful past. Whenever I sit down to write, while my intentions may be pure at first, all I end up feeling is just a deep ickiness. That’s a large reason why I quit.

    But at the same time, writing is a skill of mine. I feel like it’s something I’m good at. Writing and art both. Yet, they’re both links to a past I’d really like to forget about. Still, for some reason, I always circle back around to it. One moment I’m like, “I’ll never write again! I won’t!” and then maybe a week or so later, I’m picking up my pencil and making notes. I don’t know if it’s me being weak and unable to resist temptation, or if it’s something more. I really don’t know, and it’s frustrating. And if God really doesn’t want me to write anymore, then I want to be able to do that for Him. I would do anything in order to please Him, you know? But is that really what I need to do?

    I guess I’m saying all that to ask, is there a way to get past this? Can I still use my writing to glorify God? Does God even want me to? I’ve tried praying about it, yet I take the yucky feeling I get when I try to draw/write as a sign not to go back. Is that really the case, though? Is that a viable reason to lay it down for good? I suppose the only way to really know is to pray about it, but since I feel like I’m somewhat emotionally compromised, I figured I’d get some outside reasoning to see if it can help me shed some light on this.

    I know this website is pro-writing, but more than that, it’s also pro-God. And I’m really trying to figure out what God wants me to do. Any insight would be absolutely wonderful. 🙂

    Tagging some people who may be able to help… (feel free to tag people yourself if you know of anyone who might be able to assist): @jane-maree @daeus-lamb @anyone-else

    I know this is kind of deep, but you’d really be helping me out here. xD And ah… that’s all, I suppose.

    Thanks a million for your time. 🙂

    Secretly Hedgehog Jones. Don’t tell anyone.

    #47765
    Taylor Clogston
    @taylorclogston

    As someone who struggles with depression and chronically intrusive thoughts which can be relieved through chemicals, I advise against using transient feelings as evidence of God’s will =P

    I kind of know what you’re going through though. You prayed about it first, good job. Maybe God will use the wisdom of people here to point you to the truth. In any event, passion has been set in your heart for the application of a neutral tool which you’ve used in the past for evil.

    But I think writing, as well as humans, can have a redemption arc :-}

    "...the one with whom he so sought to talk has already interceded for him." -The Master and Margarita

    #47793
    Buddy J.
    @wordsmith

    @h-jones

    Howdy! My name’s Wordsmith.

    What @taylorclogston said about not using transient feelings as evidence as God’s will is important to remember. God gives us His will through His word, the holy scriptures.

    I think it’s important to keep our minds in His word. We can find joy in that.

    Have you ever copied down scripture? Just written it down? Or worked on memorizing it? Just things to think about.

    Also, are you reading enjoyable fiction? It can be a great thing to read enjoyable fiction, so long as it’s clean and healthy. If you want book recommendations, SE people will be more than happy to give.

    Published author, reader of many books, Student in writing, and Lumenite!

    #47798
    Katherine Baker
    @kb-writer

    Hello!

    I wish I had a good answer for you, but I really don’t right now. I just want to let you know that I (and a lot of other people) will be praying that you find out what God wants you to do with your talents.

    Best thing I can do right now is to remind you of 1 Corinthians 10:31 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” In a way, I can see your struggle as being a blessing, because it will force you to consciously remember God in your writings.

    Another passage that came to my mind is 2 Corinthians 12:7-9: “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

    Maybe God’s given you this “thorn in your flesh” so that you would rely on Christ’s power instead of your own.

    Again, I really don’t know what the right answer is to your question. But I agree with what else has been said here. Read God’s word, keep praying, and I will be praying for you as well.

    God bless you, friend.

    Always remember you're unique...
    ...Just like everyone else

    #47804
    Grace
    @h-jones

    @taylorclogston @wordsmith @kb-writer All of you, thank you so much for your advice. It is truly helpful, and given me some clarity. It seems like a reoccurring theme is to read God’s Word, which I have admittedly been struggling with recently (and by recently I mean for the past year or so ^^’). Do you guys have any suggestions for what to read? Verses to memorize? What verses give you peace/hope?

    Secretly Hedgehog Jones. Don’t tell anyone.

    #47806
    Grace
    @h-jones

    Oh, also, I would love some good fiction recommendations if you have any suggestions. 🙂

    Secretly Hedgehog Jones. Don’t tell anyone.

    #47807
    Buddy J.
    @wordsmith

    @h-jones

    I found reading Nehemiah (not listening to someone else read it) to be so helpful… The courage Nehemiah has is astounding, and has helped me.

    Maybe it would help you to think of the scriptures as a joy to read, if you’re not already. When I find myself lacking motivation to read the the bible, I try to remember that there is a certain joy in reading it. I have been gifted with His word so that I might benefit from it. If we are always looking at it as convicting our sins, that can be harmful. The scriptures are brought to us as a light! And we have access to that light.

    Also please remember that as God’s child, you will never be forgotten. He is working in your life. He is there. John says …All these things i write to you that your joy may be full.” Even though that is John speaking, it is also the word of God. God sends us those writings that our joy may be full.

    You could start a plan where you just pick up the bible, flip to the very beginning and read through to the end, reading only a chapter every day.  I will sometimes choose sections to do that with. So I recently finished reading from 1st Samuel to the end of Nehemiah. (a great read!)

    And please know that you are not the only one who struggles with the reading of scripture… I must keep on top of myself or it will slip away, and there have been times when it has. So if you mess up, don’t hurt yourself over it. We cannot punish ourselves enough for sin, which is why Jesus died for us. His death is sufficient for the whole world. He offered you this life, so that you could grow. And growth is stunted if we are angry at ourselves, and hacking our legs out for messing up. So when you forget to pick up your bible, and you realize you did, pick it up then. And then set a reminder for the next morning.

    You don’t have to use these methods exactly, but they’re what help me.

    As for book suggestions… LOTR is my first one. If you have read it, I suggest you go deeper into that lore, it is amazing! The Silmerillion is an amazing read as well, though should be read after reading LOTR.

    The Chronicles of Narnia

    100 Cupboards

    Ashtown Burials

    Peter Nimble And His Fantastic Eyes

    Boys of Blur

    Leepike Ridge

    Sophie Quire The Last Story Guard

    City Of Ember

    The Wingfeather Saga

    Ender’s Game

    I have more, but that will require a little digging, which I’d be happy to do if you’d like 🙂

    Published author, reader of many books, Student in writing, and Lumenite!

    #47830
    Chelsea R.H.
    @seekjustice

    @h-jones

    This is something I’ve struggled with too. I haven’t always used my writing to glorify God, and sometimes it has been downright damaging.

    I also struggle with a “Puritan” mindset, as in, I am sometimes tempted to see anything I enjoy as being sinful, simply because I enjoy it. I don’t believe this is a biblical concept at all (though we definitely can be drawn to sinful things as entertainment) but I still struggle with it. (We should note though, that the Puritans didn’t actually believe that everything enjoyable was sinful, just that a lot of it was, just so we know).

    As to how to combat it…You’ve made a great start with prayer. Pray, pray, pray…and pray a little more. I would also suggest finding a mentor or accountability partner. If you have any older siblings, they could be great for this. Admit to them that the internet is a gateway to sin for you (it is for most people, if we’re honest) and ask them to pray and keep you accountable. Also, if you still live at home with your family, using your phone/computer in a space such as the lounge room, could be helpful. When I am struggling with the stuff I look at or read, I tend to try and do this. We’re much more comfortable doing things we know are wrong when we’re on our own. So, if you feel that writing draws you into a place where you’ll be back where you were in the past, these are some good things to remember.

    I can’t tell you whether God means for you to pursue writing, but its something for you to pray and meditate on. Remember, it’s okay if you decide that writing is too dangerous for you or that God doesn’t want you to pursue it. Sometimes God asks us to give things up for him.

    And finally, a few Bible books and fiction books I suggest you read:

    -Psalms. These are the ultimate glorifications of God!

    -Ezekiel, particularly Ezekiel 36-37. I was at a conference yesterday and the speaker spoke on these two chapters and it was amazing. There’s so many promises buried in these two chapters and I think you would benefit greatly from them.

    -Romans. Romans is all about redemption and how we serve and glorify God.

    -Lamentations. It’s extremely depressing, but in the midst of the sorrow, God is there and there are some very cool passages about God’s love, even when his people are unfaithful to him.

    And some fiction books:

    -Currently I’m reading The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett and it’s really cool. I love it 😀

    -LOTR, though I think Wordsmith suggested that already. It’s also awesome.

    -Have you ever tried any Dickens? I really enjoy all his writings and he has some good books.

    -Do you like classics? I have a lot of classic suggestions if you’d like to hear them.

    Anyway, thanks for reaching out! I hope I didn’t ramble on too much. I’ll be praying for you 😀

     

     

    Mahalo keia huiʻana

    #47844
    Jane Maree
    @jane-maree

    @h-jones I didn’t read over what everyone else has already said, so sorry if I’m repeating anything. 😉 I can’t say a definite yes or no to this issue, but here’s some of my thoughts.

    There’s a sin in your past that’s connected to writing and art, and you’re struggling because you can’t free yourself from it/forget it. But the thing is…You shouldn’t forget it. If you forget a big sin, you forget the lessons it can teach you, and if you don’t remember the serious ‘ickyness’ of it you stumble one step closer to doing it all over again.

    Don’t try to forget your sin. Try to forgive yourself.

    God has given you wings to fly like an eagle, but the sin is holding you back, holding you down. Forgetting isn’t the key to flying. Flying means being free despite everything else.

    I’ve had that icky feeling about a past sin before (though not related to writing) and I tried to forget it for months and years but it never worked. But I eventually came to a realisation that forgetting isn’t what I needed to do. I wasn’t forgiving myself for that sin.

    Jesus is about forgiveness. He died to forgive us. And if we hold our own sin over our head and don’t forgive ourselves, we’re doing no less than demeaning the cross and saying that Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t enough.

     

    I don’t know if you think you’ve forgiven yourself or not, but I encourage you to evaluate your heart. Think about that sin. Pour your pain out to Jesus. Speaking from personal experience–It’s hard to forgive yourself, but it’s worth it. He will give you an amazing peace if you truly give it over to him.

     

    As for some fiction recommendations, I strongly recommend Nadine Brandes’ books (A Time to Die, A Time to Speak, and A Time to Rise) because they were so powerful in my Christian walk and so encouraging. Her more recent release Fawkes was also amazing and has a great, powerful theme and message. Definitely recommend those ones.

     

    And finally, I’ll be praying for you, Heather. May God bless you greatly. ❤

     


    @Josiah
    might have some thoughts on this too.

    Writing Heroes ♦ Writing Hope // janemareeauthor.com.au

    #47856
    Grace
    @h-jones

    @wordsmith @seekjustice @jane-maree All of you, thank you so much. Honestly, I am extremely touched that you would invest your time and energy into giving me encouragement and suggestions to help me with this. What each of you have said have served as amazing reminders, suggestions, and even some eye-openers to who I am in Jesus. I really felt God’s hand on me through your words! <3

    Anyway, ugh. I’ve been sitting at the computer for about thirty minutes and was trying to respond to you each in turn, but for some reason it skipped to another webpage and all my stuff was lost… I promise that I do extremely value what each of you said, but all the genius stuff I was going to say is now gone and all my mental energy was fried coming up with it. But I will say a little something about each of your responses…

    Wordsmith, the points you made (God is with me, the Bible should bring joy) were wonderful and I definitely needed to hear them. The Bible isn’t here to condemn me! It brings a tale of salvation through Jesus Christ! <3 Yes. Perfect. Thanks for that reminder.

    SeekJustice, I was extremely encouraged by your honesty in admitting you’ve struggled with the same thing, and it gave me hope to see someone who is actively combating it with God’s help. And your practical steps you recommended were great!

    Jane, what you said was a huge eye-opener for me. I don’t need to forget – I need to forgive. I need to ask for forgiveness. I need to let myself be forgiven. Forgetting won’t accomplish anything, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do for years. Thank you for this! I think this is really something I needed to understand.

    Wow. Oh my word. I feel like this has been a small step towards figuring this thing out. Like I said, I am so thankful for each of you and what you’ve said! May God bless you immensely. <3 And thank you for your prayers.

    Secretly Hedgehog Jones. Don’t tell anyone.

    #47857
    Buddy J.
    @wordsmith

    @h-jones

    I think I can speak for all of us in saying that we couldn’t pass up this chance to encourage a fellow sibling! 🙂 The struggle is real and we all feel it.

    (Ugh… I hate it when I lose all my typing!)

     

    Published author, reader of many books, Student in writing, and Lumenite!

    #47864
    Katherine Baker
    @kb-writer

    @h-jones

    I’m so glad all our brothers and sisters in Christ have helped you! Sorry that I’m a little late to respond.

    One of my all-time favorite books of the Bible is Romans. It’s such a beautiful reminder of Man’s sinfulness and God’s infinite love for us through the work of his Son. Another favorite that gets me excited and inspired is Acts. Their passion for God sets me on fire every time!

    A few helpful things I’ve done before when it comes to reading more of the Bible:

    1. Audio Bible. It’s a great thing to do on car trips. What else are you doing during that time? I drive long distances several times a week and have a bible-app on my phones specifically for listening while driving so I can pick right up where I left off. Super fun!

    2. Theme-hunting. One of the truly encouraging things I’ve done before is had a theme or question in my mind as I read certain books of the Bible. I circle/write down/memorize any verses addressed it. I love God’s love and forgiveness (something that I’ve struggled to grasp for years), so generally, that’s what I look for. It’s so amazing to see God answer our thoughts and speak love to us through his word, and it forces me to listen to what he has to say.

    I hope these little things helped any bit. Still praying for you and hoping God gives you clarity and peace about your decision.

    God bless!

    Always remember you're unique...
    ...Just like everyone else

    #48049
    Grace
    @h-jones

    @wordsmith And it was greatly appreciated! That’s one of the (many, many) things I love about God and His people. We’re all just one big family! Makes me really happy to think about it.


    @kb-writer
    No, not at all! This is the sort of thing that will take a bit to resolve completely, I think, so anything you have to say at any point is hugely appreciated. All you suggested is wonderful and totally awesome! I’ll have to re-read Romans, and theme-hunting sounds like an AMAZING idea. Thanks a million!


    @SeekJustice
    , hey, you wouldn’t be looking for an accountability partner/know of someone who is looking for one, would you? I think that’s a really good idea and I am definitely in need of one. ^^’ This is for if I actually end up stepping back into the writing world, however, which I’m honestly still unsure of at this point.

    Speaking to everyone, I definitely need to pray about it more, but I feel like God actually might be leading me back to writing! How crazy is that!? This has all helped so much! Thanks again!

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by Grace.

    Secretly Hedgehog Jones. Don’t tell anyone.

    #48052
    Buddy J.
    @wordsmith

    @h-jones

    🙂 We will keep you in our prayers.

    Published author, reader of many books, Student in writing, and Lumenite!

    #48053
    Buddy J.
    @wordsmith

    @h-jones

    Oh, and by the way… This counts as being about writing. 😉

    Published author, reader of many books, Student in writing, and Lumenite!

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