Last Year I declared “I am a writer.” This year. . .

writer hands charaBy Chara Donahue

Last February, I was certain God had prompted me to join Twitter and start a blog. These are weird things God, I prayed, but whatever you say.

It is a habit of mine to ask God at the end of any conference, “What step of obedience should I take in response to what I have heard?” Normally, it is something a bit more understandable, like remove this thing from your life, help this person, or serve in this area.

Starting the blog fell under service, but in a way that was quite unfamiliar to me. Could my writing hobby really be used to bring glory to my Savior? I have learned to give what He is asking even when the submission falls into curious realms. I would rather be where God is moving, than to reason away what I do not understand. For it is in that space that marvel and wonder abound.

Grabbing a $5 blogger template from Etsy and shortly after joining Twitter, I took those first steps of faith that are often the hardest.

I began following a smattering of people on Twitter, and saw that Kari Patterson, a writer who had been gracious enough to give me some tips, was going to be speaking at the Faith & Culture Writer’s Conference. For Christmas my husband had gifted me a weekend away to work on my creative endeavors, and this appeared to be the perfect opportunity to cash in on his generosity.At this point, I had published a couple of posts and had rejoiced about my first freelance piece being accepted.

I realized, if I was going to go and sit amongst those who spread beauty by putting words to page, it was time to admit I was one of them.

Acknowledging this simple truth freed me to see a new reality; what qualified me to be a writer – is that I write. No lofty author had to bestow the title upon me; I didn’t need to have a book published, and there wasn’t some foreboding checklist taunting with what I must do next.

Writers, write. It isn’t about numbers or publications, but living out a God-ordained purpose for which I was created. I had to ask myself: was I willing to trust?

This venture has eclipsed all expectations, and dwarfed even my wildest anticipations. I have seen God use my words. I have been privileged to meet other writers and read what God has given them to say. I am a regular contributor on four different websites and have guest posted all over the place. A year ago I wasn’t dreaming of this, but God was leading me to it. All I had to do was give Him my yes.

As this new year begins – I am dreaming, setting goals, meeting regularly with others in the Faith and Culture circles, and lifting it all up with open hands in prayer. Whatever is to come, I want to maintain the simplicity of I will trust and obey. Whether it is more freelance work or less, the completion of a book proposal or a manuscript, or a time of rest and inspiration, I want to live in the divine tension of everything God wants for me, and from me, and will settle for nothing less.

The whispers of doubt have not fallen completely silent; I still wonder if God really cares about which social media platforms I choose to utilize. Does He really care if I keep my words to myself, or If I allow others to see them? Does He really care about this expanding facet of my life?

He does.

He wants to be in it all, at all times. And this hobby, He has chosen to make it more. He imparts the gifts we are called to use for blessing others. He helps others find hope in words delivered through my pen by His spirit.

For long before I chose to call myself a writer my God fashioned me a scribe. Would I dare tell the God of the universe, “You can have my hands but not my pen?”

“Writer” Chara Donahue’s work can be found at:  Chara Donahue