My life never stays in one place. This used to be an area that I faced with bitter angst. Even though I look forward to adjustments here & there, I am also a creature of habit & consistent routine.
As my son has grown into college life & the many years of journeying with my daughter through her own growth & overcoming of medical issues, I have found such a peace in the changing of the cycles. (As an addition to the sentence- this peace usually comes after tears, prayers, & a bit of foot stomping. Which is not the point. The point is not how peace comes, but that it comes, yes?).
I would love to say this evolution occurs with the changing of my seasons, locally. But, I live in SW FL where we have summer part 1 & summer part 2. My progression from summer to fall & so on, happens in real life shifts with an absence of lining up with weather patterns.
As I recently prepared for a new time of personal adjustment, aka imitation fall, I really embraced this road I am on today. What it actually means to me & what I am seeking to accomplish by traveling it. As I always do, I turned it over to God & asked, “What would you have me do with this time of my life? Please separate me from the equation & let me hear what your purpose is in the midst of the noise & the shouting world.”
The main point of interest I was handing off was the area of my writing & a bit of self reflection, tied into one. Many years ago I asked God to grow my Spiritual gifts & talents, but in doing so I asked that He always position me to remain loyal to giving Him the glory, so others may know Him through truth & my own personal testimony.
I felt the past several months I got really off track with that mentally, but again I am thankful for prayer & the Word; the discernment provided for me there always parts the fog & reels me back into the place I have been designed to fit. I got caught up in promoting the wrong people, wrong agendas, & this idea that I can be called to walk in radical faith while trying to grow personal friendships with those who don’t even understand it. It is a dangerous lie. Who we witness to is important, but what/who we drag into our personal space needs to be highly protected.
What happened for me in 2015 was my coming forward about writing & my passion for it. I have been writing since my teens. I have enough back logged information to write a book with hundreds of volumes, but as I always say openly, besides rants throughout social media or a few blog posts here & there, I allowed my gift to lie dormant for the majority of my life. God led me to unearth it publicly a year ago & since then there were some areas that moved rather quickly for me; areas I was not prepared in advance to experience. Other areas have moved very slowly & again I was not prepared to experience those either.
As I pressed forward I decided that in order to become a better writer, I needed to smother myself in tons of writing, multiple genres, & pay attention to what was really working for other writers out there, especially since this was new ground for me. What I will tell you honestly, that was/is the worst thing I could have done…. for ME. Educating yourself in the way your abilities should be grown is one thing, but comparing your talents to another person’s walk & expecting to mirror that with the same results is absolute absurdity that will lead to failure & disappointment.
Maybe you’re like me- square peg who doesn’t fit into the round hole or a firefly among a field of butterflies. I am different. In the past I didn’t know what to do with that, so I tried things that seemed to work for everyone else. I have always been set apart differently & at 42 years old I am so excited to finally be in love with how original I really am, but not blending in doesn’t always help if you’re trying to build a network of relationships around your calling (passion).
I sat back & I observed what I was seeing around me. I would assume it’s the same thing that happens behind the scenes with people rising up the ladder in Hollywood. However, this isn’t Hollywood & many ladder climbers are putting themselves in a “Christian” category.
It seemed to me we had/have a colony of ants. Pardon me for pissing someone off, but what I am observing isn’t much originality at all anymore, it’s carbon copying & passing off the same thing to the next person down the line. I cannot hear the voices of originality, passion, & heart anymore because everyone wants to write & reflect those on the best seller list or those touring the country making killer money, rubbing elbows they never imagined rubbing & using their gifts to build profitable careers. Everyone is using their social media to try & be noticed by these people at whatever cost. While weirdos like me actually want advice & mentoring, not promotion.
Look, that’s fine for others, that’s fine for you if you want to be famous, well known, rich & at the top, BUT it isn’t fine for me & it’s not the focus of my writing or the ministry I promised God that I would seek. I think Tina Fey is a hysterical writer, Anne Lamott is ideal, C.S. Lewis is my writing mentor, BUT none of them are named Jada. I am. They may inspire me, but I am not called to go out & mimic their work. I am called to go forward & be myself & fan the flame for others behind me.
“So now what?,” I said. What are you going to do with all of this heart for writing & fire for Bible teaching that have you have in you? If everyone in the world has a blog, identifies as a writer, & floods all avenues trying to get themselves published, how are you going to do you & separate from the pack?
I took a long walk through a very popular Christian bookstore. EVERY single aisle. Top to bottom there were thousands of books. All in categories, many I’d never even heard of. I assume when those authors knew their books were going to be published & sold at a large retailer they praised & felt overjoyed. But, I wonder how they feel today? Just shelved with all the others, looked over & collecting dust. I told myself right then, THIS is not what I want. Only a small portion of authors actually reach the “Superbowl of Writing” known as a best seller list, so if that’s not the Christian author’s intended goal to begin with, are they satisfied with their books lying dormant? Are they happy with the end result because their focus wasn’t fame, it was a fire to write for God at all costs? Even if that cost is what the writing world calls failure, do they keep going?
I don’t have a lot of writer friends who’ve dealt with this journey. The ones that actually have, don’t have time to talk lately, so I’ve had to do the observations on my own, with the help of God through prayer & patience. I’ve sat down a million times to start the book draft I assumed I was to write, only to push out a sentence or two while glaring into space. That just isn’t me. I rarely face writer’s block because I always write from a place of passion & intent & I never write, even if it’s a lengthy Instagram post, without surrendering the content to God, so imagine my frustration when I’ve been coming up to a road that runs itself into a wall.
God was very clear with me the last time this occurred a few months ago. I keep finding absence in “book” writing because I am not positioned in the place I was prompted to go in obedience, initially. Just because everyone else feels motivated to follow suit & write memoirs seeing how it catapulted so & so, or because this quirky book about Jesus or this one that’s a Christian lifestyle motivator, or a devotional & prayer book made it the top of the charts, may mean they’re inspired to try & follow along, but it doesn’t mean I am prepared or called to do what everyone is doing in these areas…. not right now at least.
3 years ago God spoke very clearly about what the end result of my writing was to be & that’s now the new road I am on. Obedience has always been the most difficult for me, but it’s also been the place where the miracles & blessings spring forward. I had to identify myself first. I am a Christian Teacher & Writer. That’s it. I may bring humor (which has ALWAYS been a natural part of who I am) to my writing occasionally, but at the core of my identity I am a Christian Teacher who writes. I may love to speak, but I am then a Christian Teacher who speaks. Whatever I do pressing forward, I will continue to call myself that. So what are my “goals” in pursuing this?
I’ve started at the bottom. I am actually still at the bottom. Blogging, writing for websites, being published a few times, & farming out writing content anytime a website or publication takes open submissions, has been my life the past year, but it’s practice & it’s my starting point. You have to start low to ever appreciate anything else.
Every time I write I do so like it’s going to be seen by millions of people, but the one is always the most important to me. I write from a place that’s transparent so if you meet me, you would meet the same person face to face as you do through writing. But, most importantly I write so that other people will be aware there is a God that thinks they are amazing & loved & if He can redeem my mess of a past, He can work wonders for anyone.
I am a Bible Teacher of the direct Word & I am so blessed to share a holy piece of Earth every week with an amazing group of seekers. I have been called to write from that standpoint 1st; life application & personal messages last. Now that I have freedom in the identity of my gifts I can be specific & bold about where I submit my writing, who I surround myself with, & what I desire the end result will be.
My prayer is that God would grow & place my teaching of the Word into curriculum. Affordable or free curriculum that tells the story of who God really is in character & what His plan is for every single person out there. Whether they identify as lost, found, or neutral. I want everything I write, say, & do to take the spotlight off of me & turn it back to God. I don’t want to call myself one thing & represent God differently. I am so sick of seeing this & watching so many people goofing off on the platform. Especially women who have a chance to show how God uses our minds & strengths through His Spirit. When you blow that chance to impact through great teaching to instead spend the majority of your time telling emotional stories only, firing up some girl power & cracking jokes, it’s a big reason society still doesn’t take women teachers of the Word seriously. Because the teaching is absent. Women are powerful minded beings, but over the years many have accepted being told how to think, instead of being taught how to study & think for themselves. Many conferences have become a social fellowship instead of a place to be taught & fed.
Men aren’t crying through Bible study, they use that time to study the Bible. We should too. It’s what I employ every single week. We can cry after class or hug it out during a fellowship event, but let’s use the time & freedom we have to study God’s word to train each other up & become educated as free thinkers who are Spirit minded.
Whether I make $15 or $5 million that is not my focus. I am tired of seeing women & men held outside the gates because they cannot afford the high price tag to study, grow, take classes & be taught God’s truths. I am not a one issue woman where the Kingdom is concerned. I believe there is one step & one method of education through the power of the Holy Spirit that covers every cause & hardship that exists, but it takes action on the part of the believer. But, who can believe & who can know without instructors who commit their lives to teaching & leading them? Who walks every day remembering James 3:1 & using it as the foundation of their craft?
So that’s who I am- I am a Christian Teacher who writes for you in the hopes that every single time you comb across the sentences, you’ll be touched, educated, inspired, understood, loved & grown- in & through Christ. That I will share stories & scriptural truths that make sense & never go over the top of your head like God is something out of reach & impersonal or the bigger the words I use it’ll show you how much I know & how sound I am doctrinally.
I pray that I will have time for you if you have questions & never be too busy for those who support my ministry, no matter how small or large it will be. And that I will ALWAYS keep the main thing, the main thing & that’s God as the head & never the tail. I pray to never water down the Word or throw the word Christian love around so loosely that it confuses others as to who I serve & what my “platform” is set to accomplish. I don’t crave a Hollywood mentality journey to the cross. I came in this world with nothing, but I hope to leave it wearing the title, “Good & Faithful Servant.”
Even as you read these very words, you’ve already been prayed over in advance. You always are & will be. Whether you agree with me or you don’t, I will pray for you regardless. That’s one area of my life, besides the Bible, where I am absolutely confident. I’ve watched the super nature of God show out too many times to believe the contrary. You may not believe me, but I hope you will always respect me in the way I do you- and in spite of our differences.
Going forward I wanted you, the reader(s) to know my intent. When it’s out there it causes me to be accountable. It lets others know how to pray for me & pray for those who really need bolted doors opened. But, most of all it allows you to know that often my writing is tough, it isn’t flowery & poetic, you may not feel like you received a warm hug afterwards, but I do love you all & I type as the Spirit leads, not as I lead. I am not a writer like “her or him.” I am a teacher, writer & woman like me. That’s where I honor God in how He created me- differences & all.
Thank you to all who support me & who’ve had a front row seat these past year(s) to watch God unwrap this. 42 years old seems like just as great a time as any to get going. Besides, I wasn’t this wise & seasoned 10 years ago. I can only imagine what the next 10 will bring.
Look forward to sharing whatever He has planned & trusting those prayers & visions in my secret place will be fulfilled, as I work very hard in faith from the trenches. I hope you out there that are also figuring out your development of gifts will remember if your goal is God you won’t care if your mopping floors for Him or headlining a conference. He will use you specifically in the place you are to be, when you are satisfied to be grown in His will.
I ask you today: Who Are You? If you cannot answer that question in freedom & assurance, would you seek to know who & whose you truly are? You won’t be disappointed in the answer when it arrives.