Why Me? A Writing Encouragement ~ Joy DeKok
Before writing a sentence in this series of posts, I asked myself, “What is my reason, my purpose for these words?” My answer came immediately: To encourage people who believe in Jesus and want to write, are writing, or who want to write again.
Then came prayers, resistance, and rebellion.
In my twenties, I started taking personality “tests,” hoping to discover the definition of me. One strength, with these synonyms, made its presence known at the top of all the lists: Encourager. Advocate. Champion of others. One who infuses others with courage.
At first, combining my spiritual gift with my love of writing sounded like the perfect fit. What could be easier?
Well, there was that one thing . . .
I’m not famous or successful by any of the normal definitions. Yeah. That.
And there’s this other thing – my stage 4 breast cancer is back for the 3rd time. Yes, this.
These might cause you to ask me, “What right do you have to advise anyone about writing?” Or you might wonder, “You consider yourself an authority on this subject?” Or perhaps, “Don’t you have anything better to do in your limited number of days?”
And now we’ve reached the root of my hesitation. Fear. The kind that does its best to scare me away from writing and sharing these posts. The kind that accuses and belittles.
My answer comes to you in a whisper. “Because I am writing and have written and have readers. And one of the desires of my heart is to give you a touch of hope and invite you to please join me in putting your words on the pages.
So far, after writing this piece and editing it more times than I’m going to admit here, I’m back.
The yearning to write these posts does not go away no matter how hard I shove it into a dark cellar where the sound of rats scurry, and loud nasally squeaks celebrate and gnaw on the root of my fear.
While they chew, I reason to myself, “All fear (other than reverence) is a warning from God that I should listen to and avoid and protect myself.
Never mind the number of times God’s Word says, “Fear not . . .”
Eventually, even as I scold (silent, internal yelling) and try to shame these posts away, something deep inside me kicks the rats out like tiny ninjas (the size of dragonflies).
I suggest to myself, “Perhaps if I write them, they will leave me alone.” I hear giggling from where the little warriors peek at me, their little lights glowing the darkness away.
Yes, this is the way my mind works.
Over and over, I’ve prayed and asked God to remove this deep wanting from me. Finally, I turn again to Romans 12:8 (NLT): “If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging.”
It’s hard to argue this verse that feels like a command and not a kindly suggestion.
Only you can decide if my posts are the right fit for you. The best part is, we all win because God will lead you to the right encourager, and some of you will come here. Our God is in the details. How cool is that?
Until Next Time,
- S. Another reason I’ve been waiting to post this . . . as some of you know, on Tuesday (June 15, 2021), I had a Mayo Clinic day. The results were not what I’d hoped. For those who don’t know, I have stage 4 breast cancer and am experiencing my 3rd recurrence. I thought maybe if the results were negative, this want to would go away. Instead, it grew. I may have mumbled, “Uffdah!” before whispering, “Okay, Lord.”
Here’s more on my cancer journey. https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/joydekok#journal-anchor
“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” Steven Pressfield, The War of Art https://www.amazon.com/War-Art-Steven-Pressfield-ebook/dp/B007A4SDCG