“I don’t see why writing fiction is really important. It’s just secular entertainment.”
I didn’t respond to my friend’s words but inside I felt guilty. Maybe he was right. Maybe I should be more focused on winning people for Christ and less focused on writing fiction. Would my stories mean anything in the eternal scheme of things anyway? Was I just wasting my time?
Several years ago this was me. In my early twenties I became friends with a group of people who viewed my writing, at best, as a cute hobby and at its worst, as a distraction from more important things. In an effort to fit in, I stopped being myself. I stopped talking about and doing the things I loved and pretended they didn’t matter to me. I tried to fit the mold of what I thought others wanted because, after all, didn’t I want to be godly?
My family noticed the inconsistencies and the struggle I was going through. They were the first to see I wasn’t being myself anymore. I was the girl who’d grown up on Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings, the girl who’d always known she wanted to be a writer. But can’t you see that it’s not important? Can’t you see that I can’t be godly and write fiction? These weren’t my exact words but it’s definitely where my thinking was headed at the time. I was at war with myself and I was miserable. During the next couple of years God graciously worked in my life. He removed some of those who were having the negative influence and replaced them with people who came alongside me and strengthened me in my walk with the Lord, while still encouraging me in the gifts God had given me.
Slowly I began to realize that I didn’t throw God away by pursuing my writing. He was just as much a part of my life as breathing and it didn’t matter if I was witnessing to someone or writing fantasy fiction, he’d be there. As it turned out, he was the one who’d gifted me with writing in the first place. I no longer felt ashamed of my writing. I no longer hid the fact that I’d been to see the latest Marvel movie or, gasp, read The Hunger Games. My writing picked up again and I realized that truths about the Lord were flowing out onto the page.
One of the biggest impacts on my teenage years was reading Tolkien and Lewis. Their books made me look at the world around me and sigh. Is this really it?
C.S. Lewis said: “If I find in myself something that nothing in this world can satisfy then it is probable that I was made for another world.”
Their books made me long for another world and ultimately made me long for Christ. That’s the sort of longing I want to inspire in my readers. That is why I write.
I may love the geeky stuff and believe me, I do, but that doesn’t mean I’m not sharing Christ through my life and on the page. I’m so grateful God allowed me to go through that rough patch. I grew closer to him through it and my love for writing was rekindled, plus some.
Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong or like your calling was something to be ashamed of? Why not talk to God about it and ask him to reveal his truth to you?