Trying to Add to the Beauty


Why do I write?

I’m not sure I know the answer to that question.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer.

As a child, I wrote stories to explain things no one had an answer for.

I remember a story I wrote, How Trinidad Got It’s Name. I remember my parents said they liked it, and that it was about two people who fell in love and lived in Trinidad Valley–named after them, but I don’t remember much else.

And I remember my Ninang (godmother) Grace…

She always gave me journals. They weren’t as popular back then, but she became my favorite ninang because of this. I remember one journal she gave me. Oh delight! The paper was handmade, the pages bound together by hemp. I loved the rough texture and the ridges. I also remember filling it to the last page.

Looking back, I don’t think I ever said no to any opportunity to write. It was just something worth doing, something worth investing in. And through the years the desire to keep writing snowballed. And so here I am now.

Until recently, I would wake up at night all panicky. Thoughts of my eventual death and the fear of never writing a bestseller would keep me up into the wee hours of the morning. They would plunge me to the deepest pit. They could make even a sunny day with nothing on the schedule seem depressing. For what is there, I argued with myself, for a writer like me to aim for than to walk into a big library and do a search of my name and to see it come up with several titles under it.

It wasn’t until I started listening to Sara Groves’ music that things finally clicked for me. See, even though I did write about my faith and my God, I still felt like the world should sit as judge on whether I was really a good writer or not. (Oh but the things we keep from Him, even when we sing, “I surrender all…”).

So several years back, I started listening to Sara Groves. Her music, if you are familiar with it, is several levels above what gets played on Christian radio.

Consider this:

“When I stand before the Lord, I’ll be standing alone
This journey is my own
Still I want man’s advice, and I need man’s approval
This journey is my own

Why would I want to live for man, and pay the highest price
What does it mean to gain a whole world, only to lose my life

So much of what I do is to make a good impression
This journey is my own
And so much of what I say is to make myself look better
But this journey is my own”

-This Journey is My Own, Sara Groves

and this:

“And I feel you here
And you’re picking up the pieces
Forever faithful
It seemed out of my hands, a bad situation
But you are able
And in your hands the pain and hurt
Look less like scars and more like

Less like a prison, more like my room
It’s less like a casket, more like a womb
Less like dying, more like transcending
Less like fear, less like an ending”

-Less Like Scars, Sara Groves

and another:

“We come with beautiful secrets
We come with purposes written on our hearts, written on our souls
We come to every new morning
With possibilities only we can hold, that only we can hold”

– Add to the Beauty, Sara Groves

Perhaps you’re beginning to figure out where I’m going. My talent, nay my gift, has a purpose to it. My job is to figure out that purpose and then fulfill it. My only clue: it’s tied to who gets the glory. If I write to impress, I’m off. If I write to inspire, I’m closer.

So I still want to be a bestseller. But the desire no longer interrupts my sleep. I’ve learned to simply write. How many people will read this post? Does it matter? If it’s just you, but you start thinking about what you can do with what you have, and how you can make a difference in someone else’s day, then it should be enough.


With Sara, during the Art.Music.Justice conference. I’ve no excuse, I need to lose weight. lol


3 responses »

  1. Amen sister! I too hope I can use my writing for a greater purpose. I am still struggling to come to terms if accepting if I have a “gift”….I struggle with a guilt in feeling that writing is selfish and not a “real” job. Siggh…But thank you for this post!

    • Hey! Thanks for stopping by.

      I totally understand because I’ve always struggled with that too. Because I enjoy writing so much, and also because it’s such a personal thing for me–I enter my own world when I’m writing–I feel like I’m neglecting my other responsibilities.

      Still, I believe it’s worth doing. And judging from your posts, I think you’ve got it too! =D

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