Saturday, May 5, 2007

(Be Still and Know) Writing and illness

“Sometimes we get so busy listening to so many other voices, that we can’t hear the voice of God,” a wise man once told me.

This is what happened to me. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was in second grade. It wasn’t until I was a young mother, full-time bookkeeper and church youth leader -- thinking I didn’t have time to write -- that I began to sense God calling me to a writing ministry. Then it took chronic illness -- an autoimmune disease -- to make me listen to God‘s voice.

Lying in bed during recuperation from my first major flare, I kept a pad and pencil under my pillow where I wrote prayers and thoughts from God. As soon as I was able to be up, I began writing stories and poems with a borrowed typewriter, then sending them out to editors. Before long, I was seeing my work in print. Then my ministry moved out into other areas.

Talking with other chronically ill persons, I’ve found that many of them had similar experiences. Some with writing. Some with other ministries, new relationships or new jobs. Many with a new or renewed relationship with God.

It was also a chronic health condition that forced my sister Janice to leave work with the public, and brought her back to her love of writing.

My friend Nita doesn’t want to write, but she loves to read Christian books. Reading about other people’s walk with the Lord, inspires and strengthens her in her walk. But a few years ago she found herself so busy that she never had time to read. “I was working two jobs and doing a lot of things at the church,“ she recalls. “I was always rushing to go someplace or do something so I would rush through my Bible reading and prayer time. I longed for a closer relationship with the Lord, but never seemed to have time to just be alone with Him.”

Then Nita came down with an illness that put her to bed for several weeks. “Now I had plenty time to read, listen to Christian tapes, talk to the Lord and listen to him talk to me,” she says. “And it was so good.”

This time alone with God helped Nita sort out some things in her busy life, and after she was better, she gave up the two jobs. Instead, she began working in the church office where she could still minister to people as well as earn a little money toward family expenses.

"Be still and know that I am God...," The Lord said through the Psalmist (46:10). "...commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still" (4:4)

Sometimes it takes putting us upon our beds before He can get our attention so we will listen to Him.

1 comment:

Janice said...

Looking forward to viewing postings of others who have had similar experiences to yours and mine...good can come from all things to those who love and serve Him.