The question I get asked most about my writing is why my style has changed and moved in a different direction. People comment that my recent stories don’t contain as many biblical scriptures as my early writings did. Why is that, they ask? This honest question has led me to ponder on this for several months now. I mean, when I’m writing I still listen to the same Hillsong, Jenn Johnson, and Bethel music.
Hold on a minute, let me take a break and listen to “Broken Vessel” by Hillsong, one of my favorite writing songs. It takes me to a place of brokenness and gives me beautiful thoughts of His amazing grace. I always listen to music as I write. This surrounds me with the deepest escape possible from this earth and brings a story that is forged out of a love emotion. We call it amazing grace. As writers, we all have triggers that take us to a place where we discover the most amazing stories and transform extraordinary visions into words.
So, what has changed in my writing style and why I don’t surround the story with Bible verses and encompass it that way? I have asked a few of my closest friends and even explained this in therapy. What I have discovered in searching this out is that my early stories were ghosted around certain Bible verses to give a direction to the truth and take the story that was so full of pain, my pain, and redirect it to a place of solace. In other words, I wrote out of whatever pain I was experiencing at that time. The Word set me free in so many ways. It was His life in me that was being written about. The pain was too unbearable to deal with, so I ghosted the story of great pain and deepest depressions with His word, hoping that He would just take it all or even take me. I had often asked God in these early stories, “Why do I have to live out every story of people that I meet?” It was hard for me to walk down the street and not see the pain of people. My favorite question in writing was, “So, what’s your story?” I was like a sponge, absorbing every emotion, suffering, and destruction of every human I met. It was so painful; I would live their suffering and heartaches.
Now would be a great time to ease into Hillsong, “With Everything,” live in Israel. That’s another one of my greatest writing songs. Lift your hands and give Him praise! Got to take a break and listen to Taya Smith vocals kill this song of praise. I’m back now.
So, with that said, what’s the difference between my early writings and now? Writers are always developing our styles and our developmental content. This is not a simple question to answer as a writer. After much thought, I came up with this conclusion with help from my sweet Lisa. I wrote my early stories with the hope of relief from the pain I was experiencing and used the Word of God to cancel my pain. That worked for me, but that ended up not being enough. The plan was always to focus on the Word and not me and what I was experiencing. I wanted to show that our God was able to take away everything. We have to be willing to give up that part of our humanity, the emotions and the pain, and give it all to Him!
Years later, love would enter into the mix. Pain and love really don’t mix that well. So, what was I to do? Love would win! So today I write from the emotion of love and not pain. I would love to bring the Word into every story, but the reality is that love is the Word—the creation, the love, the everything. That’s the difference. My early stories were written from so much pain and now my stories are written in His love. Love Him with everything! It’s a beautiful exchange!