Here's what I'm trying to do

Over eleven years ago, I began seeking the answer to a pretty arrogant question. It wasn’t a spoken-out-loud kind of question, probably not even a coherent thought, and I’m not really sure just how actively I sought its answer. Yet I remember the time and place in which I first allowed myself to wonder about it. The wondering called out from my heart, and the literal translation of it is this: “God, why do you love me?”

I liken it to the question we see over and over in the Bible when God chooses some random fellow to do his work. “Why me?” they ask. “I’m nobody,” they claim. Of course, I’m no Moses. I’m not even a Jeremiah; but does that mean I can’t ask the question? And just because he’s not adding to Scripture, does that mean God won’t answer me?
Something in my heart hoped the situation wasn’t so limited. My heart was tired of being bound. For more than twenty years I’d heard, and for seventeen of those years, I’d believed: I'm part of this world that God so loves. But that’s how he feels about everyone, I thought. Is there anything special about me? I wondered.

It sounds so self-centered now that I see it here in black and white, and there are many out there who might have told me I ought to be satisfied with the fact God sent his son to die for me. That’s how he showed his love and that’s all the evidence I should ever need. It sounds like the kind of thing a good Christian is supposed to say, right?

Thankfully, I never asked any good Christian my question. Thankfully, I never had to because Jesus answered me first. In fact, he had begun to answer me before I even understood just what it was that I was asking. I didn't realize he was speaking to me until many years after the fact, but I did finally learn. God speaks to me, and to all of us, in a distinct language with many more words than the red letters in our Bibles. 

And that's why I want to write a memoir, you see. I want to share all the episodes that tell this story: how I learned that God, my maker and the creator of all that is, does know exactly who I am. That personal relationship is not just a phrase dreamed up by preachers trying to get more converts, it can be a reality. Oh, I still have a ways to go in learning this new language, but I hope these life-bytes I’m stringing together will remind me that the work is worth it, and at the same time encourage other people to ask their own questions of God. 

Although it won’t really be a book about motherhood, that’s the common link many of the essays will share. Motherhood is what started me on this particular journey with Christ, and to this day, it continues to be the most influencing facet of our relationship. But I also have a lot to say about growing up as a PK in the southern (little “s”) Baptist, Christian world, and I want to tell the story of one who’s kept to faith her whole life, rather than discovering it as an adult. Yep, it’s rather a large task I’m taking on, and telling you about it here definitely tempts me to reconsider.

I have never written a book before, and though I’ve been mulling over the idea for about two years, I have only just begun to do some real writing toward its end. It feels good to finally have the vision nailed down though, and I’m hopeful that my goal of writing 500 words each day from now until January will help me to finally get there. Or maybe it will only be halfway, but it’ll still be more than what I have today.

So, how about you? What have you been working on lately, and why? If you don’t have a project currently in the works, what do you dream of doing someday, and how can you make that dream happen?


FraSha said...

Janna ~ I have an imaginary book (memoir) called "Life Lessons from a Slow Learner." I've written a few vignettes toward it, but I'm pretty much at a standstill right now. I was in a writer's group, but the group is on a hiatus, and I don't have the accountability of our monthly meetings and the helpful critiques. But reading about your project has stirred me to think about starting again. Thanks again for your encouragement.

FraSha said...

I forgot to sign my name to that last comment.

Sharon Frazier

Rhonda said...

I look forward to reading every word. Your question is one that I still grapple with every day. I'm doing a Beth Moore study right now...Beloved Disciple. I'm hoping to fully grasp the depth of God's unshakable love for me. Keep writing...you have so many beautiful things to say.

julie silander said...

Yay! Well worth the time and effort - both for you and for readers. Thank you for being willing. And to answer your question, right now, I'm in baby phase of writing... Of making a discipline of paying attention to life around me, in my home, and in the lives of those I love - and looking for the ways that God shows up. And I love that He often "does his thing" in a way that doesn't fit the "good Christian" box. Grateful for that!