Creativity is furious with me.
Maybe it’s the way I barely sing above a whisper in church, but when I’m alone in the car I belt it out as if I’m on center stage. Or maybe he remembers my teenage cheerleading days when I whipped out bubble letters on spirit signs freehand, but now refuse to draw more than a stick figure. Maybe he’s mad because I say things like, “I’m not the creative type. I’m an accountant.”
Whatever I did to finally push him over the edge, Creativity is fed up. And I imagine God saying, “Well, she’s not getting it on her own, so go ahead and unleash your fury.”
His first attack has been with words, built up in a cage in my mind. They stole my ability to eat, sleep, and function in my everyday number-crunching world. Furious, impatient words pushing against the cage bars until they finally burst free into a flurry of blog posts, poems, and book chapters.
I initially had no idea where the urge came from, but for the first time in my life, I know what I’m supposed to be doing – writing.
I first felt the nudge of my calling when I found myself spending a lot of time re-wording my emails. I wanted to get my point across and help the reader understand the concept without having to follow up. I expected those emails to be kept for future reference.
That’s a lot of pressure for an email to live up to!
But then my colleagues started asking for memos, process documentation, and presentations. I was spending less time on accounting, and more time on grammar, sentence structure, and vocabulary.
And I was hooked.
Creativity saw his opportunity, a tiny crack in the way things were “supposed” to be, and pounced. Soon it wasn’t enough for me to write about business. I think the flicker of change sparked by writing was one of the triggers to a lifestyle overhaul. God used Creativity to grab my attention, wrestled my plan for life from my white-knuckle grip, and gave me His plan for my life instead. THAT is way more interesting than writing about accounting processes and tax rules. THAT made me want to use writing to change lives.
I wish I could tell you I completely threw caution to the wind, quit my job, and ran away to a cottage in the woods to crank out Christian best-sellers while my husband ran the household and my children happily played in the yard. But it was not to be so. Not exactly. Yet!
I did trade my stressful career for a more laid-back and less time-consuming job. I now use my lunch hours and spare energy to cultivate my new-found passion through a blog (you can check it out at www.thepath2eternity.com). I also re-prioritized my life to focus on God. Now this new calling doesn’t feel like one more thing on my to-do list. Instead it feels like a reason to eagerly get up in the morning. I cleared my life of distracting clutter, which cleared my mind for what God wants to say through me.
Are there struggles? Definitely. There are days when I stop in my tracks and wonder what the heck I am doing. I have no official training. No college degree in this area. No book deals to speak of. Yet!
But Creativity doesn’t care about my “logical” arguments. He knows writing brings me joy. It relieves stress by releasing thoughts to live on a page instead of caged in my mind. So in hopes that he’ll forgive me for ignoring him so long, I push on.
I admit, the words that Creativity gathered to mutiny against me are on a bit of a rampage. They were caged up for so long that freedom has gone to their heads. They desperately want to be expertly configured into a top-rated blog – right now. The words dance around me, begging to be imaginatively arranged into a best-selling book – right now. They are screaming about poetry, and vlogs, and several of them even had the nerve to mention the idea of a sermon. (Seriously?!)
And so we make compromises on a daily basis.
I promise to practice a little every day, if the words promise to let me get some sleep.
I promise to take writing classes, if they promise not to attack me while I’m driving. (When they don’t hold up their end of that bargain, my voice memo app is my best friend!)
I promise to participate in a critique group, if they promise to let me focus on my day job just long enough to get the bills paid.
I promise to share their story even when it’s scary, if they promise to come back even when I fail.
We have good days and bad. There are a lot more of them than there are of me. But honestly, it’s kind of fun to let the words run wild, so maybe I’m being too lenient. We’ll get more structured one of these days. Maybe.
I’m finally figuring out that when God lets Creativity attack you, surrender. I can’t see the bigger picture that He has planned for this calling, or how long He will allow Creativity to drive this crazy train. But I can be confident that He has prepared me for this step. I can put one word in front of the other, watching the miracle unfold, waiting for His next instructions.
I know one thing for sure. It’s worth it, even if no one reads my work besides my family, because He’s speaking to me – changing me – through Creativity. Even if I put it out there and only one person is brought closer to Him, that is reason enough. Even if the words become secrets only shared between me and Him – especially if they do – every word is worth it.
Go ahead and attack, Creativity. I surrender.
Missy Funderburk is an aspiring writer exploring what it means to be a “real” Christian. She documents her journey on www.thepath2eternity.com. Missy does accounting for a living, but sometimes poems and blog posts interrupt tax returns. She recently transplanted from the Midwest to Florida with her family, where she enjoys biking, kayaking, and beach walks – none of which involve ice or snow.
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