As I walked, I remembered - not for the first time in the past several months - how I believed God impressed upon my heart, many, many months ago, to walk with Him and to take my pen and paper with me. Many times I've walked since then, and while my pen and paper are in my bag most times, I usually walk with my camera leading the way.
So, I started to rethink it: If I walk with God, I will need a pen and paper... I thought about it again. IF I WALK WITH GOD... IF I walk with God... If I WALK WITH GOD...I will need a pen and paper... IF I WALK WITH GOD, I will need -- TO WRITE! :) If I walk with God, in heart, in my life, in faith, trusting Him, trusting His lead, heart and Spirit, I would be given revelations that I need to write down; my writing ability would be used; I would write...
(So I don't need to buy new hiking shoes, then...? Sweet! ;) )
This spoke so clearly to my soul, as lately I've been contemplating 'writing? photography? neither...?' This confirmed, not for the first time, that writing is where He's lead me to.
Years ago, when I used pen and paper to scribble clothing and house designs, just for fun, I had a dream where an angel came to me and said, "I am with you always, but this is the only time I am permitted to talk to you... Do not be frightened of going to the other side; it's beautiful on the other side..." (The 'other side' I would come to know as the other side of faith; my walk with God.) To which I asked, "Can I take my pen and paper with me?" To which the angel responded, "No, but there is a typewriter waiting for you..." Over 20 years later, I've found my heart asking God the same question, however, these are the days of digital technology, where I now ask, "Camera or pen and paper?" with pen and paper no longer meaning 'for drawing' but 'for writing'...
Photography or writing? That's what was on my heart. And writing - once known as 'a typewriter' in a world that knew what that was ;) - is again presented to me.
There are other times God has encouraged me to write...but I always find myself in a place, sooner or later - and usually when my writing seems to be going nowhere and helping no one, or when I've gone off in the wilderness without God, yet again - where I again wonder what God desires of me.
(CONFESSION: Photography is very peaceful for me; writing I can totally screw-up with. :) With photography, it's just an image easily discarded and can be recaptured; with writing it comes from my heart, and I could totally mislead or get it wrong in some way. The latter scares me. Photography would be easier for me... I think perhaps I was hoping God would relieve me of what I felt was the weightier responsibility; He didn't. lol)
At this present time in my life - after entering upon the 'Finding Our Identity' journey, I've found myself more than willing to lay down camera, pen, paper, 'typewriter' and everything else I've held in my hands - including "love". I've seen that to base my worth on these things is to build for myself an unstable identity, that will stumble and fall as soon as these things are removed from my life. I've laid them down, knowing I need to build my worth and my identity on God, on His heart, on His love for me, and if that meant removing my talents then so be it.
But, alas, the writing returns... No matter how many times I lay it back at God's feet, no matter how much I do not trust myself with it, He always moves to give it back to me.
But you know what - and this is the reason I write this blog - I misunderstood something God spoke to my heart many, many months ago. As I said, I love symbolism. It thrills me stupid, to be honest. :) And, yet, even though I took it literally - that I should go walking with God (you know, on a path, by the lake, through the bush and so on) and take my pen and paper - I never found myself doing it constantly or with my whole heart, and when I did, there was rarely a word from Him worth recording or sharing, and I felt a little disappointed, to be honest - until today...and I didn't even have a pen on me today. ;) But in not doing what I thought He meant, I took on guilt over it. And guilt, as I've come to see more clearly over the past few months, has a way of placing a wall between us and God. Which is why He wants it removed from us, I'm sure.
The thing is, when we take on the guilt, the wall that gets built between us and God is not God's doing. It's ours. We think ourselves unworthy of God's presence. We stop praying as much...or for ourselves. We pull back from God. We doubt His grace, His mercy, His love for us... and we build that wall. Even though He has promised nothing will ever snatch us from His hand, and that nothing will ever separate us from His love, we allow guilt to separate us from His presence; from Him...and off we wander without Him...
I built a wall with the whole 'walking with pen and paper' thing, and, until today, I hadn't found the will to knock it down. I heard the voice of accusation, I felt the guilt, and I bowed to it, walking away from the area I felt I had got it wrong and couldn't get it right - and that without pen and paper - and I totally missed Him, in more ways than one. But, today, I knocked the guilt down before God prompted the 'literal' revelation to take root in my heart. Chances are He's been trying to tell me that for months, but I wouldn't listen, because I was too busy listening to the voice of guilt. But not anymore. I silenced it with, "Ok, fine; I'm guilty. But, God, I'm sorry; can we move on...?" while my heart was open to His love, mercy and grace, and being closed off to guilt.
What I'm saying, I guess is, if there is something in your life that is linked to guilt, or a sense of guilt, repent if you need to, but then let God's mercy and grace have its way. Stop using guilt as a closed door. Push it aside. Open the door. Hear what the Father is saying in His ever so gentle, soft voice.
God loves you, and His word will set you free...but it's up to you to open the door so you can hear what it is He's saying.
"Father, thank You for Your patience and love. Thank You for standing by the door I closed, waiting for me to open it to You, without giving up on me, without moving on without me, and without closing Your heart to me. THANK YOU for using Your truth to set me free... and thank You for the love You constantly seek to pass on to Your children, no matter how much we miss it... :) Thank You, Father... I love You..."