This past month at our church retreat I learned something about myself. Have you ever thought you were depending on God, but then realized you were trying to handle life on your own terms? I suppose in my mind I expected God to see how awesome my ideas were and endorse them.
The retreat topic wasn’t about feelings or writing, but the lesson I walked away with was life-changing.
For years a piece of advice I’ve received about writing was to take the emotion deeper. I’m not talking about crying and or words used to describe the emotion. I’m talking about going deeper into how my character feels and why.
I’m an emotional person so this advice didn’t make a big impression on me. I mean I cry, get angry, laugh and in general express lots of emotions every day. I don’t think I really understood until Sunday. I can’t even tell you what I was thinking about at the moment, but I recognized the Holy Spirit’s voice immediately. (Not in an audible way, just want to clarify that part!)
I have prayed for a year that God will give me the words to write this story His way. I know the words come from God, I’m simply His pen (or typist in this case). So when I heard the Holy Spirit I lost my ability to breath for a moment.
He said, “Ask me how I feel.” I was confused for a brief moment. I knew it was God speaking to me through the Holy Spirit, but I didn’t understand the message.
“About what?” I replied, sitting still and listening. I sensed an immediate reply.
“Your story.” The sweet voice replied, “ask me how I feel about your story. I will give you my emotions.” I was paralyzed for a moment by the sound of angels singing Hallelujah. (Not really, but I’m pretty sure angels were rejoicing with me.)
How often have I sat down frustrated that I couldn’t grasp the characters’ emotions? I wrote the best I could, but it wasn’t the very best because I never asked God to help me.
This new story is the most challenging yet. I know God is passionate about those caught in Human Trafficking. His heart must break watching this evil invade our society and while I feel horror what God is feeling much be a thousand times worse. Why have I never sought His emotion?
I’m not sure how this will look in my story, but I know it’s going to be better than it was because when God is involved life is always better.
What is God waiting for you to ask Him? Is there something in your life that seems to be a struggle and you are tired of fighting the battle? Have you asked God that burning question that’s brewing in your spirit? There’s not a “right” question, because it’s based on your feelings. Still quietly for a moment, close your eyes, and tell God you are listening. I can’t even begin to imagine how pleased He will be when our hearts and minds are fully open to Him.
Walk boldly today, my friend. God is with you every step.