Here in this place redwoods grow taller than skyscrapers. Here in this place words swirl around us like the wind. Here in this place I remember why I am a writer.
I think back to a time before I knew about contracts, sales figures, and publishing deals. I picture a little girl learning her letters as if unlocking a key to the universe. I recall a young woman staring out at the ocean, notebook in hand, listening not to the waves but to the whisper of God within her.
For me, the phrase “becoming a writer” has always sounded a bit odd. There was never a moment when I made a decision. It was more like a spark within me that has slowly and steadily grown into a flame. To say “I became a writer” is like saying “I became a woman.”
But it has become more complicated through the years. There are times when I stare at the face of the publishing world and wonder if it will swallow me whole. Will I lose my innocence? Will I forget my mission? Will I remember Who brought me here?
I ask myself questions like this as I stare up at the ceiling in the night. It’s hard to describe how this gift, this amazing gift, also feels like a tremendous responsibility. It’s as if the king has asked me to guard a bit of his gold. While I’m honored, I also worry it will be lost, stolen, or taken away.
Most of all, I worry that one day I will want it for myself. I fear forgetting that the words entrusted to me are not mine—they are on loan only long enough for me to get them on a page so they can fulfill God’s purposes.
It is like that with all we truly treasure, isn’t it? Children, spouses, dreams, homes—in the end they all belong to God. Yet we are capable of clinging to them, even worshiping them.
I remember going to summer camp in sixth grade. It felt much like this—trees, water, and enough silence to hear God speak. He had recently given me a blessing (I don’t even recall what it was now). I stared up at the sky and I sensed Him gently whispering, “Remember to love the Giver more than the gift.”
I hear those words again now.
Yes, in this moment, I know once more I’m still His little girl—the one who writes for love. I release what has never belonged to me. I open my hands, open my heart.
May it be so with all we hold tightly, Lord.