A few of my childhood friends

An only child, such as myself, is known for entertaining imaginary friends. With them we clinked tea cups, whispered at bedtime and played out back in the summertime. It was only recently, however, that I realized another trusted friend had hitched a ride to my adulthood. 

“Writing is a friend whose shoulder we can cry on. Writing is a confidant who listens and lets us sort things out. Writing is a comrade, marching with us through the steep days of sorrow and despair.” -Julia Cameron, The Right to Write 

Writing has been a friend, a constant companion throughout my life. One letter in the above picture was handwritten to my grandfather when I was a young girl, maybe 8, asking if he loved me (using the reliable ✔ the box method, of course.) Another letter was to my cousin, Lisa, during a typing (yes, typing!) class in middle school. In high school I kept a daily diary and I’ve journaled my prayers for over twenty years. Over the past several years, God has also awakened a desire to write in ways I never imagined. 

Like any true friendship, love is to be reciprocated. Here are four ways I try to show the love:

  • Listen to the promptings within. Don’t ignore them. Jot them down! I carry a tiny Moleskin wherever I go. My scribbling rarely lets me down. How I wish I could say the same for my memory.
  • Respond to those ideas. Pray over them, drink coffee, write a terrible first draft, drink more coffee. If you’re not quite ready to explore the ideas further, that’s okay. Keep them close by, ready for action. 
  • Feed the friendship. No one wants to take a friend for granted. If God has called us to write, it’s our responsibility to hone our God-inspired skills to the best of our ability. We notice intricate details, the dialogue of a couple eating ice cream behind us, along with a host of other quirks. Let’s return the love by reading, writing, and thanking God often. 
  • Rest. We wouldn’t exhaust our friends by keeping them on the go for days on end, would we? Our writing deserves the same benefit. I’ve failed miserably in the past but now I’m taking a break from writing on Sundays. No getting-ahead-on-my-blog-schedule kind of writing for me. I refuse to give up the truth that if God can rest one day from creating, so can I.

Imagine. Long before I knew or appreciated it, God decided to tuck a friend in my pocket that would help see me through a myriad of situations in my life.

How about you? Whether you consider yourself a writer or not, how can you look back and see your God-inspired skills used in unexpected ways? 

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways. 
Psalm 139:1-4