I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl. Looking back, I realize it was the first time I “just knew” something. Standing under my grandma’s painting of the last supper in her kitchen, I suddenly had that feeling of realizing deep in my bones that I was meant to be a writer. The knowing came on suddenly and has both haunted and guided me all of my life.
I say haunted because my calling to write has always been a puzzle to me. It wouldn’t go away, but would never tell me exactly what to do with it. My calling has simmered in the background of my life, followed me like a stranger. It’s kept me humble, open me to possibilities and challenged me to live by faith.
Even though I have expressed myself through writing in many ways over the years and even been published and made somewhat of an impact with my words, my writing life has never really fleshed out the way I imagined it should since the inner directive was so strong. That same knowing tells me there’s something more to my calling as a writer that I need to discover.
When I sent my youngest son off to kindergarten, I finally found the time and energy to dig deep into expressing myself through words. I found myself writing spiritual poetry and sharing it here on Unite in Prayer, gaining clarity on how I can share faith in a unifying way that promotes inner healing and my passion for social justice.
It was a joy and delight to express what had been simmering in my heart for so long as I cultivated a deeply spiritual approach to life over the years. It was also a challenge to surrender into the creative process not knowing where it would lead me. I was uncomfortable writing poetry because I didn’t think it was very practical and wondered anyone would ever read it, but that feeling I’d learned to associate as an internal directive from God was so strong! I took courage from my faith and continued following my calling to write through the uncertainty, considering my work “contemplative prayer on paper” and justifying all prayer as being constructive in and of itself, whether or not anyone cares what I have to say.
Then, I had another baby!
To be clear: Celia was no accident. If there is one thing I have learned in my life is to follow that calling, that nudge, those angel whispers even when they don’t make any sense. God speaks in the stillness of our hearts. In that place of prayerful interior connection with Spirit, I swear I could sense my daughter calling, me from the other side, so we decided to stay open in case another child was meant to enter our family even though we were getting older and by worldly standards “should” be moving into a different phase of life.
Three weeks after turning 40, I lost much of the time I had set aside to write and gained something so much more precious … a daughter to cherish and love forever. As I dive back into a sea of diapers and sleep deprivation, while also parenting three school-aged boys, I am busier than ever and unsure of how my calling to write will progress.
Sometimes I wonder why am I not more frustrated by this – shouldn’t I want to go full throttle into my next phase of life creating business as a writer, coach and advocate for refugees like I planned? Shouldn’t I feel ‘held back’ from my goals by all the time and energy I pour into my family? The truth is, I am squeezing writing and social justice work into nap-times and cracks in our busy schedule like I always have, and I feel a deep sense of peace with that being enough.
Like they have so many times in my life, a mystical poet had the answers for me that affirmed what God is speaking deep into my heart and soul about where I’m at in life. I came across this poem by Emily Dickinson and had ah aha moment. THIS! IS what I’m feeling:
My calling to write has never been about following a linear path of writing for a career, though sometimes I’ve pressured myself into thinking it should. Like my calling to motherhood, my calling to write has always been about love and openness to the infinite possibilities of faith and connection with the Spirit, which mysteriously filled my heart with that calling in the first place. God’s mystical presence is the “fairer house than prose” that Emily talks about, the vast infinite realm of possibilities beyond my physical senses that is always calling me into a deeper relationship with the living Spirit, which animates all of life.
In writing, I feel connected to the vast paradise of unlimited potential that is my Heavenly Creator’s presence.
In motherhood, I do too.
Through both offerings of love, faith and hard work, I trust that doing my best is enough because God is capable of turning my tiny offering into infinitely more than I can ask for or imagine to bless the world.
So where am I at right now in my spiritual journey?
I am concretely present as a mom to all four of my kids, enjoying the good times with them and praying through the crazy-making times.
In the spaces between motherhood and when I can find some help with the baby, I am concretely moving forward on some family-friendly plans to raise money for refugees through Pennies for Refugees and sharing my love of prayer through Contemplative Prayer Circle.
I am grateful that all of the work that I am doing can flow naturally from my faith, the love in my own heart and my intention to share that love with others.
I am in a state of surrender, totally free from attachments to outcome. I know my worth is not based on my success as a writer, how much money I raise or even the worldly merits of my children because my worth is based entirely by the fact of being a beloved daughter of God, cherished for who I am and accepted in spite of my shortcomings.
I am praying that God can multiply my efforts to bless those that I love and draw as many people as possible closer to His loving, healing presence. Ultimately I know this is His work, not mine.
I am open to possibilities! I live in a state of total openness to Christ’s miraculous power, which I have experienced in so many ways through life. I trust that He can make miracles to spread His light through my writing and family in whatever way He thinks is best. I trust that I can be at peace even if I don’t see the results of my efforts in a concrete way.
I am confident that I am doing exactly what the Lord wants me to be doing right now and that’s enough.
Where are YOU at on your spiritual journey? How are you following God’s calling for your life? Comment below and I’ll be delighted to provide encouragement and keep you in my prayers.
Heavenly Father, take these offerings from my heart … my words, my faith, my love for my family, my desire to follow You and my small acts of service, and multiply them by the power of Your love, for Your glory. Use my work to draw others closer to You, so they can know Your miraculous transformational healing power in even more marvelous ways that I do. Thank you for speaking so clearly into my heart and giving me the grace to follow you even though I’m unclear on exactly what I’m doing most of the time, as I put one step in front of the other on this spiritual journey You lay out for me. Please take this life of mine and do something beautiful with it to draw others into your warm, loving adventurous embrace, and guide us to live the life you have planned for us. Help us to live in surrender to Your Divine and Perfect will. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Written by Nicky Gant for www.uniteinprayer.org 7/6/2019