Teri Lee Valluy: Why I write
'It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.' (Philippians 2:13)
I've wanted to be a writer since I was six years old. Before that, I considered being either a writer or the president of the United States, but I noticed how people talked about him at the dinner table and decided I didn't want people talking about me like that, so, a writer I would be.
But why? Why do I feel the need to write? Why do some of us feel the need to paint, sing, lead, preach or teach? I firmly believe that God has given us all gifts, some of which are the same, like salvation and the fruit of the Spirit, and some of which are different, like being good with numbers, computers, kids, or, in my case, words. I also firmly believe that if I let Him, God will work in and through me. My hope is that I can use this gift of words to better serve Him. And so, I write.
My mother-in-law once knit me a rainbow-colored sweater. It looked a lot like what Punky Brewster wore, so much in fact that a friend actually borrowed the sweater to be Punky for Halloween. I wore this sherbert-sweater once and once only―in front of my mother-in-law to show my appreciation. And I do appreciate it, at least the sentiment behind it. My mother-in-law knitted me this sweater from the kindness of her heart; she could have done a thousand other things with her time and yarn, but she chose to do this for me. However, despite recognizing the love behind the gift, the gift itself has stayed on my shelf. I'm sure that was not her intention, but it is what I've chosen to do.
I have other gifts that I sometimes choose to leave on shelves too. Just typing that sentence sounds conceited, prideful and spoiled, but nevertheless, it is true. My husband once gave me a Louis Vuitton bag, something far out of our normal price range, and I was embarrassed to use it, thinking it looked extravagant, especially for a mom who spends most of her days in jeans and tennis shoes. But the gift came from his heart; he went out of his way to gift me with something he considered extra special. When I look at it that way, it seems a bit selfish of me to leave the bag on the shelf.
God, too, has given me gifts, gifts I sometimes choose to shelve. However, He did not give me those gifts to let them gather dust anymore than my mother-in-law or husband did. I mean, if she had known I wouldn't wear that sweater, she likely would not have knitted it in the first place. If my husband had realized I might be uncomfortable with such an expensive bag, he'd probably have spent the money elsewhere. Along the same lines, God did not gift me with words so that I could turn around and not use them.
God gives us gifts so that we can turn around and gift others. I do not know what you, reading this, think of my writing, but my prayer is that despite my human frailties, God will work through me to help you see Him and better use your gift for His service.
'There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works in all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.' (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)