Just a Draft

// October 5 //

In my Intro to Creative Writing class today I had an interesting thought. As the first part of the semester is coming to a close, we are finishing up the poetry section of class. To do so, we are each required to write a poem and workshop it with the whole class. This means, reading it out loud and then accepting feedback from other students and the professor.

In other words, this would be the first draft. The goal is to get enough feedback to edit it and put it in a writing portfolio at the end of the semester. So, today we learned about revisions and editing. We talked about certain techniques that we could use to make our work of art the best it can be and bring it to perfect completion.

I immediately thought of all the other papers I had drafts of. In middle school I remember having 1-2 drafts of small papers that we had to turn in. Last semester I had a first draft of a 15-20 page paper to turn in.  Without the feedback from those I had read the first draft, I never would have concluded with the final product. I cannot recall the grades I got on the papers in middle school, but I can tell you that I had a 97% on the 15-20 page paper that I read at least 3 times myself, let alone what I asked others to read.

I also write for our school’s newspaper. Each week I am assigned a topic and interview several students on the topic. By Friday at 5PM I am to have sent my first draft to the copy editor who then makes corrections and sends it along to be published. He has to read the first draft and correct mistakes before it can actually be published.

As I was sitting in class and pondering the idea of drafts, I thought of this: maybe we are all just drafts that God is continuing to edit throughout our lives. Each day, God works at creating us to be more like Him. He makes revisions and eventually, our final product will be perfect.

One thing we talked about was how difficult it is to make revisions on a poem or short story. That is because we may have spent hours upon hours of writing it to begin with and think it is already perfect in its first form. However, once we go through the editing process, the work of art is so beautiful in the end that we forget about the pain of revising.

This is how I imagine it to be when we are in Heaven. If we, as humans, can never achieve perfection, but God is constantly working on us, making us whole and complete in HIS image, then one day, we too shall be perfect with Him in Heaven.

It is painful to undergo some of these changes and revisions, but in the end, we will see that it is well worth it!

James reminds us of this in chapter one verse four of his letter: “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Walking in Your Own Shoes

Do you remember as a kid when you would try on your mom or dad’s shoes? Maybe mom had a pair of heels or dad had a pair of work boots that just intrigued you because you wanted to be just like mom and dad. Sometimes, I would try to put them on my dog too. He deserved to be just as fashionable as the rest of us. We wanted to be like our parents because of how awesome they were to us.

My mom and I share this song called “Watching You” by Rodney Atkins. The lyrics go:

I’ve been watching you, dad, ain’t that cool? I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you And eat all my food, and grow as tall as you are We got cowboy boots and camo pants Yeah, we’re just alike, hey, ain’t we dad? I wanna do everything you do So I’ve been watching you.

Except, I always change the word “dad” to “mom”… and I’ve accepted that I’ll never be taller than 5’2 1/2.

I always wanted to be like Mom. When I was a kid I used to go with her to work. It made me want to be a nurse too. I wanted to help people just like Mom did. However, as I got older, I realized that maybe the nursing profession wasn’t for me. Maybe the reason I can’t stand the sight of blood is because I am not supposed to be a nurse.

As God worked in my life and in my heart I learned that I had my own calling. I learned that I am my own person. I read in scripture that God has plans for my future, to prosper me, according to Jeremiah 29.11. It’s not that I didn’t want to be like my mom anymore, it’s that God had a single plan JUST for my life, as He did for my mom too.

God has called each of us to something greater within this fallen world. For my mom, she was called to be a nurse. For me, I am called to the field of social work. You may be called to be a firefighter, policemen, teacher, bus driver, mailman, or stay-at-home mom. All of these occupations are worthy of the Kingdom.

Beyond the idea of a career, however, God has a single plan, a story, for each and every one of us. The problem with my thinking growing up was that my story was going to look just like my mom’s. But truth be told, no one’s story is going to be the same. We may share experiences, but God has a set of shoes for each of us to wear. I am not created to wear your shoes and walk your journey just as you are not created to wear and walk mine.

God prepares us for these journeys. He gives us gifts and talents to help us along the way as well. Have you ever seen a gifting in someone and just thought, “man, I wish I could do that!”. Most of the photos you see on this blog are taken by the best photographer I know (including the one for this post). I wish I had that gifting. A close friend of mine has the gift of prayer. I wish I was anointed in that way to lead others in prayer. But God has gifted me elsewhere. God has anointed me in another area.

Do you ever find yourself getting jealous of a friend’s gifting? Or maybe you find yourself getting upset because you see how successful they are becoming and that the Lord is working such great things in their lives, yet you are just sitting there, practically begging God to move in your life, and the same old, what seems like status quo continues… We have all been there at one point in our lives.

I want to share a vision with you that God gave me almost a year ago. In this vision, everyone is playing an instrument in an orchestra. Jesus is conducting. He points to a certain section and motions for them to play louder while using the other hand to quiet the other sections. Sometimes everyone is motioned to play quietly, and other times everyone is playing forte. Occasionally, someone will have a solo and everyone else will be quiet.

You see, when Jesus is conducting the orchestra of life, sometimes one person is going to have a solo where you have a rest. Other times we are all going to be playing loudly together. It is not a matter of them being more faithful to God, but rather God orchestrating HIS plans into our lives, creating the most beautiful story and harmony during HIS timing.

If you feel that you are being left behind by all of those around you, jealous that they are succeeding, or that the Lord is silent, let me tell you, brother or sister, God is surely working! He is preparing you and equipping you with what you need for your next big solo. He wants you to be prepared. He wants you to be ready. God does not set us up for failure, so He is taking the time to shape you and mold you into what you need to be to take on the next big step of life.

Do you know the greater thing God has called you to? What work is Jesus asking you to participate in?

When I am trying to find what God is calling me to do, I often look at what those around me are doing. And then I try to do that too. Unfortunately, when I get into it, I find myself frustrated that I am not as successful. Sooner or later, I realize that God actually has something else in store for me. It is something the Lord crafted for me, and only intended for me.

It is not always easy to see what God has before us, but if we fix our eyes on Him and continue to be obedient, the calling will come. And when it does, we need to continue to be obedient and recognize that because God is calling us to do it, we are adequate for the job!

I urge you, dear Child of God, continue to press in. Pursue HIM. Ask Jesus to show you His next step for your life. Ask Him to prepare you for what is to come.

God has a story for you. God has a plan. He has crafted a pair of shoes that fit your feetimage better then any man-made shoe. Walk in them, my friend, walk in them!

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

– Ephesians 2.10


In His Grip,



I’ve been feeling rejection. 

Why do you call me a friend, but it seems like it’s just pretend? I ask if you want to hang, but it seems as if I’m just too lame for your style that I’ll cramp. I’m just trying to be a light, God’s lamp. I put on a smile and fake it. I act like I understand but I really don’t, I’ll admit. This rejection I feel, you don’t seem to get. But deep in my heart is where it is set.

I’m in the desert and it’s the hardest time to find peace. The hardest time to just let things be. My world has been shaken and stirred and the voice of the Lord is not being heard. My pain is numb and the rest of my emotions are non-existent- including the joy that was once persistent. I now understand the reference of marriage to Jesus. It’s like we have been fighting and now we have to rebuild this.

Remodel what wasn’t working before; try new things, open a new door. Spend more time together, become tight again just like leather. It’s like we are that couple that drives to  church and is silent the whole way, but once we get there, we act like everything is okay. I have never felt more intimate with my Beloved.

But maybe I feel the way I do with my earthly relationships because it’s a mere reflection of my relationship with the Heavenly One. The One that calls me Beloved. The One that feels the pain of rejection that I feel here on earth. Because I’m rejecting Him and the promise He gave me. I’m rejecting the life that He so freely wants me to live. I’m rejecting the love that He desires to live.

And what happened to my faith that brought me here? To this point of desperation and drowning in my tears. What shook me so hard to question all that I believe in? What will it take to strengthen my faith again? I guess I recognize that I am in the wrong. HIS word tells me He will never forsake me or leave me alone. So why so I believe the devil’s lies? Why did I let him unfix my eyes?

Father, I ask that you’ll come steal my gaze. Pour out your Spirit and renew me with grace. Your kindness leads me to repentance; I just want to glorify you with every sentence. Bring me new life; it is only you that satisfies. Bring me to my knees; Father here’s my heart, here’s the keys. I’m stepping down from this position of pride, it’s time for me to enjoy the ride.

You’ve softened my heart and broken the chain of all the things I’ve done in vain. You’ve built me up and set me free and who the Son sets free is free indeed. Send me your presence, send me your Spirit; Fill me with joy; Your voice, I long to hear it. Speak to me now, O Father of Love. Here I am, I am Your Beloved.

Have you ever felt rejection? Loneliness even when surrounded by a million people? Like you give so much but you soon run out of things to give? Or you don’t feel like your “friends” return the love that you give to them?

This is something that is actually very popular in our culture today. Many hide it or like we all say “fake it ’til you make it”. Well, if you keep pushing back this pain that you have and try to ignore it, are you really getting better? To the point of “making it”?

Where does this source of rejection come from? This pit of doom that we all seem to fall into at one point in our lives? This mind-consuming disease that never seems to leave? It’s like a trap that we fall into but we are so busy just carrying out our lives and even enjoying them, that the trap sneaks up out of no where on our journey.

This is a concept that I’ve seen more and more in our culture, especially among college students. And you know what’s dangerous about it? That fact that it makes us question what is wrong with ourselves.

What did I do wrong?

What is wrong with me?

Is it my weight? My hair color? Something I said or did? 

But that question is controversial. How can we, God’s creation with HIS image planted in us question that? How can we question our beauty? How can we question our worth? Our self-image?

We all represent God.

His likeness is in us.

His image is what we were created in.

The question shouldn’t be about us and what we did wrong. The question should be why the enemy thinks he can attack us in this way.

Do not ask yourself what is wrong with you. You are loved more than you know! God did not create you and put you on this earth to let the enemy come in and try to steal your worth! Jesus thought you were worthy enough to die for, so why do we question what God has in store?

You are beautiful. 

You were created in the image of the CREATOR. 

Stand tall and stand srtong. 

You are worthy. 

Don’t listen to the lies that the enemy is throwing at you. Press forward and remember the truth! Jesus has your name written on the palm of HIS hands. Say to yourself: There is nothing wrong with me. Jesus loves me just the way I am and this is all that matters, the world just may not understand.