Friday, June 1

I don't choose my purpose. I'm given freedom.

Yesterday I held a newborn baby. A tiny person. She is beautiful and precious. Impossibly real. A new heart not yet ready to explore far, but filled with so much potential already that it makes one want to sing. I didn't see her for long, and I held her for less than that (she was hungry, after all, and I haven't got food in me). I'm terribly excited for her and her parents, and I have confidence that they will be just fine. I left as unobtrusively as I could manage to let this beautiful, little, and growing family have peace and time. And on the way home, I cried.

You see, despite my fears of babies (mostly because they're so small, I'm not and tend toward clumsiness, and I don't want to break them or hurt them in any way), there are times I desperately want a child (or more than one) of my own.

I want a small, young, new person to hold and comfort, cuddle and feed, encourage and teach. Someone to whom, down the road, I can say, "Sure, try that slightly dangerous or new and uncertain thing. It'll probably turn out all right." Someone who I can try to help have more courage than I do. And a whole long list of reasons and things I look forward to, should they be granted to me.

And preceding that, I would love to be married. Seriously. There's another list longer than my arm of things I want and hope for wrapped in that.

And these are good things to want, certainly. I'm not likely to stop any second. But I'm also not likely to get married "any day now". And because of that (and a thousand other things, including I've never been career-oriented) I've been down in my heart about my usefulness and my purpose. If I want to raise a person, how is fiction going to help? If I want to marry and partner myself with a man, what use is the obscurity of holing up and pouring my energy into false realms into which no one can truly travel? And if marriage and children are not for me, what is the point of wanting them so deeply? And what is the benefit of my desired and chosen profession anyway?

Those questions are hard to write now, because, for the moment, it's so easy to see how silly they are. But for a couple or so weeks I wrestled with the challenges they brought to mind. The "glut" of fiction and stories haunted me. The longing to do something great and to be a crucial piece in a grand plan that worked for the good of thousands of people made my heart despair that "I could never".

Because, after all, what can one lonely little writer do? Certainly nothing on such a grand and important scale.

But even as I doubted, I knew my doubts were...well, not exactly wrong, but ill-founded. I know that God can do nationally, even globally-scaled works through small people. So, of course my writing could turn out to be something desperately needed. It could turn out that way and I'd never know, or it could turn out that way and I'd be giving my autograph until I wished I'd never become a writer for different reasons.

But that's not even the heart issue. I know God can do huge things with one person if He chooses. I also know He can do "small" yet still highly important things with one person. The fact is, there's not a single person on this earth who doesn't have and fulfill a purpose.

I was struggling with wanting to choose my own purpose, when in reality, it's not my choice. I can choose the purpose of the fictional people I create, but I cannot choose my own. It's not my right. I didn't design myself, nor the people I'm around, nor the world I interact within. No, none of it. Everything I do in a fiction story I did none of for my own life.

It's not mine to question. Oh, sure, I can ask as long as I ask respectfully (how odd would it be if one of my characters were to demand of me that I change him from being a tailor to a taxi driver?), but once asked it's not mine to demand an answer. It is mine to simply accept that God is working and using me in His story as He sees fit. I don't have to know how all the intricacies work. Sure I'd like to. But I'm not my own author. Whoops. I merely play my part, which has importance though I may never know exactly what. I should stay open to the possibility of changes--or growth--of my role at the moment. But that doesn't make who I am, what I love, and what I do now flabbergastingly useless.

I didn't create it, but I have purpose, and really, I can't escape fulfilling a purpose. For God's glory and the good of those who love Him. Which, to put a finger on it, is what I really want.

That doesn't mean I can't choose to do other things, but I'm still unique me no matter what I do and will remain designed for what this unique me is needed. God gave me not only a love of others' stories but also of creating and sharing my own, and though I may sometimes try, I can't run from that. It will always be a part of me. I can grow as a person (please, no taller), expand my skills and knowledge, meet new people, try new things, and generally live life. Actually, I hope to do this. And that will only work to further my God-given purpose. Whether He chooses to reveal it to me at the time, later, or not at all is His call. But I can trust Him to use me for grand things.

It's a mystery. And yet it makes sense.

For now, I think I'll keep writing in re-remembered freedom.


  1. "I can grow as a person (please, no taller)..."

    Thinking of God as Author and people as characters has been a really important metaphor for me in the last year or so. As you said, it would be ridiculous for, say, Severus Snape to ask JK Rowling why, oh why, does he have to be a bad guy? Or even for the readers to ask why, actually. It makes the story good and the way she wants it.

    1. I like it when you laugh. :)

      Well put. I've been using the metaphor for a few years, but I'm glad that this aspect of it has come to mind, of all times, right when I needed it. Of course.

  2. I would like to just a more mature woman (in years, although I can still do silly really well!) marriage and children do not need to exclude your love of writting, your being a well published author, or even many other pursuits that will (or have) captured your attention. They may eclipse all else for some years (true love and babies will do that to a girl) but God is amazing and in his time, I have complete faith that he will gift to you that singular person he made just to match you, and a home and life full of love, children, books and purpose enough to make you pray for a nap! The person you are will be a blessing to your spouse and children and your personality (and by extention your love for writting) will as well. Anne McCaffery comes to the top of my mind, a very popular and prolific writter and a beloved mother. Imagine the gift of a mom, with mad writting/english skills and imagination too? Yes please! Be encouraged many blessed days stretch before you and they are sufficient unto our needs and even sometimes our desires!

    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement, Josie. I hope for the blend of writing, marriage, and children that you describe so, so desperately that sometimes I forget it's okay to be writing (the one I have some control over right now). One of my mentors in college juggled an amazing number of things regarding students, writing, and family, and there are many ways in which I want to be like him. But of course naps are good too. And I will *never* stop being silly; silly is a good thing. :) Thanks for sharing your heart.