Thursday, April 10, 2008

Is it me or God?

Something happened to me in my writing recently that made me stop and take notice. I was working on the re-write of my latest novel trying to insert a scene that changed a few things for my character. But it just wasn't working. I wasn't sure why. It felt like pulling teeth as I tried to write the scene.

So after awhile I decided to try something else and insert this scene much earlier in the story. It just felt right. And that's when things gelled. Instantly I knew I'd hit upon the answer and everything flowed from there.

As I got to thinking later about this phenomenon, I realized something. It wasn't "me" who found the right answer. God was trying to nudge me in the right direction all along but I didn't know it. Now I'm a Christian, and that overflows into everything I do (hopefully!). But often I'll try to do stuff on my own, including writing, before I'll seek out God's guidance. I don't want it to be that way.

A big question we ask ourselves sometimes is, "Was that leading I felt me, or was it God?" Sometimes we just give our little brains too much credit! Of course it was God. He speaks to us through our spirits, so that's why it sounds like us, but it was still God. Those gut hunches, little nudges, and all around intuition on what to do is how the Holy Spirit leads us. If it's something positive and good, chances are it was from God. We need to recognize that as writers.

God doesn't usually lead by shouts from the clouds. His still small voice is often all we'll hear. So the next time you're sitting down at your keyboard, or even trying to decide how to best plan your day, take a second and listen. Really listen. That little nudge to switch your schedule or swap out scenes if you're a writer, could very well be God speaking to you.


Mike Dellosso said...

CJ, I think you've hit on something here. I wish more of us writers would let the Holy Spirit lead us, let Him develop and unfold our stories. And when we get it right, stop taking credit for it! :)

Thanks for this post. I needed it.

Nicole said...


Linda Harris said...

Amazing! God has been teaching me this very lesson this week.

On Tuesday, I came across this quotation from Catherine Marshall in A Closer Walk. She was struggling with writing her novel, Julie. These are the words God spoke to her: ""I am glad you have asked Me to be your editor. Turn to Me each time you begin writing for specific directions. If you want real creativity, follow My inner directives."

Ed J. Horton said...

Beautiful post! God-moments aren't few and far between, they're in our lives everday. Sometimes in many small and wonderful ways.

I needed the reminder to see Him in those moments.

Rel said...

Guess what? Even non-writers can be encouraged by these words!!! Thanks, CJ :)

C.J. Darlington said...

Mike, Nicole & Ed--Thanks for your kinds words and for stopping by. I appreciate it!

Linda--what a great quote! I'll have to remember that one.

Rel--I often wonder if my blog is too writer focused, so I'm really glad you've enjoyed some posts, too!

Anonymous said...

"often I'll try to do stuff on my own, including writing, before I'll seek out God's guidance"

This might sound really dumb to all of the seasoned Christian writers reading this, but all of my life I've taken a secular approach to writing (because that's all I've known), and it is only this year that I've even thought about seeking God's guidance as I write.

It is awkward most of the time because I feel completely clueless, and I never know if I am on the 'write' track. :) So thank you for sharing your insightful and encouraging thoughts about God's voice. I really appreciate it.

Thanks also to Linda H. for posting that wonderful quote!

Best regards from:
~just call me a "Newbie" :)

C.J. Darlington said...

Hey, Newbie. I think that's why we're all resonating with these thoughts---we've all been there. No need to be ashamed of it. It's recognizing we need to change that's the first step toward getting to a better place spiritually. :) Thanks for commenting!

carlaspathways said...

Thanks for participating in the Carnival of Christian Writers!
Great article!

Deborah said...

Amen! Great reminder to listen to that still small voice in every facet of lfe.

carla stewart said...

Terrific post! And don't just love when that happens? How it all fits together when you let God fit the pieces.

kc said...

I don't listen to Him nearly enough. And that's a fact.
I appreciate you, CJ. :)

a woman found said...

Great point...I try to figure things out too much rather than just trusting that God is working through me!

I found your blog through the Heart of Wisdom blog!