I don’t want to think about how old I was at the time, because it was a very, very long time ago. And I don’t want to admit that it was Sister Act II that stirred me (even though I still have the soundtrack and love it), because I like to think I’m somehow impermeable to the shallow–to anything that swims at depths that require no more than a snorkel. It is what it is, though; it was what it was. When Whoopi Goldberg told her talented music student that what she woke up thinking about in the morning was that thing she was made to do, I knew that I had–I would die if I wasn’t–I had to write and to be a real writer.
Somewhere inside me is someone so much better (and I mean more talented) than I have the time and energy–the focus, maybe, to be. She speaks to me in those early morning hours when I’m too tired to reach for a pen. Apparently, she requires much less sleep than I do. She preaches violently if not eloquently as I shower, but the revelation leaves about the time I stop dripping. I’m dry. When I wrote my first book, I wrote it quickly–rapidly–do or die. I wrote late at night and through the wee small hours of the morning. I edited while Dora the Explorer babysat loudly in the foreground of my 800 square foot mobile home. Dora, Dora, Dora… I was broken; yet, as I wept, even the oldest scars reopened and then truly healed. I had to share, and I didn’t want to forget it all before I had written it down. So I wrote, and when it was finished, I hit “publish”. And then I mourned it. I allowed Satan to torment me over it. I had published my first book, and I still didn’t feel like a writer.
If you’ve read 31 Days to Lovely:A Journey of Forgiveness, I hope you’ve received it as truth. It’s just the Bible alongside my meek and simple life. It’s not flowery or overtly pretty. Truthfully, it’s not what I’ve spent the last fifteen plus years hoping my first book would be. It doesn’t showcase me–it’s not about me at all. Still, maybe I wanted it to be about me. I still want to be a writer.
Today, my book received it’s first bad–pot-shot filled review on Amazon. The words that everyone feels sure I can brush off captured the depth of my secret self-loathing. It’s from there the melancholia is flowing. You see, Satan won’t knock on those doors that are barred and guarded. He slips through the open ones. He knows all about my writer’s envy, it comes from him, and how I have a hard time loving Ann Voskamp (I’m kidding, how could anyone not love Ann?!). But so what if my book lacks the polish I might have found through more time and maybe a little more solitude? What does it matter if my words are simply words and not prose? The message, if received, will change lives. I truly believe that. After all, it changed mine. That’s why He asked me to write it.
I’m writing this post to break my silence–to speak to yours. I’m writing to every musician who has slaved over a song and then flipped on the radio to hear something better. I’m writing on behalf of every mom who has baked and decorated a two a.m. cake only to discover Pinterest later that same day. I’m writing for every athlete who has given her all only to be beaten by superior talent. I’m writing to every ex-beauty queen who has manually lifted her aging face as she’s leaned a little too close to the mirror. Someone will always be smarter, better, prettier. And that’s OK, sisters, because we are not our gifts. We are daughters of the Most High God! What people think about us cannot touch that. What we believe about ourselves cannot touch that. But what we think about ourselves will effect that we do and in what ways we serve His Kingdom.
I feel silly, like I usually do, admitting tears because one of you doesn’t like me. Maybe, I hope, my silliness will help to heal yours.