The before and after.
I was writing a novel before choosing Jesus (I hate saying “became a Christian.” It just sounds like I filled out some sort of information card and put fifty cents into a jar. It was more like seventy-five so whatevs…).
This novel was a small child I carried in my brain, and I did everything I could to write it into submission and “Christianize” it so to speak, but as all writers understand, you can’t make your characters do anything other than make you go crazy.
(There were an awful amount of curse words in it now that I’m thinking about it. But these things happen. Maybe not to other people but definitely to me.)
So I stopped writing. I started blogging and even toyed with the notion of writing a non-fiction book about my faith journey.
But I figured I should probably read the Bible first so scratch that.
So then I submitted a brilliant poetry manuscript to a poetry contest and guess who didn’t win first place and a one thousand dollar grand prize?
Me. It was me.
I started to get frustrated, but then I realized whenever things get frustrating, it’s God saying, “Ericka, for the love of tripe, quit freaking out. We all know you’re terribly good at it, but nobody is giving away awards to thirty-four-year-old homeschooling mothers who just got coffee on their sweatshirts and are trying to clean their kitchen floors with their tears.”
But can you imagine? I’d absolutely toast the competition.
God speaks to us in a million different ways. My favorite is when I’m quiet and turn down the surrounding noise and my journey starts to click in place again without me even trying.
Right now? That’s writing a blog where I share my thoughts and the heart I have for a savior who never stops saving me.
And it’s also writing a collection of short stories I’m keeping close to my soul, the “after” Jesus piece that’s sparked by His will for my life and my passion for following the curving line that leads from one person’s life to another.
I don’t have to be the old me.
I can just be the better one.