Way back in 1969 I was in the eleventh grade. Let me share an experience I had with the school counselor.
“Why can’t I be a writer or author?” Those were words I spoke as I mustered all the manhood I had as an eleventh grader to keep from crying as my high school guidance counselor told me that becoming a writer or author wasn’t an acceptable vocational option for a man.
The school counselor answers, “Jimmie, you’re a guy. You’ll need a trade or college degree in engineering, accounting, or teaching to support your future wife and children. You need to forget that silly notion that a man could ever support a family writing. It’s okay to have writing as a hobby, but you’ll never earn a living doing it. You’ll need a real job.”
The words broke my heart. My parents had raised me to believe I could do anything. My Sunday school teacher and youth pastor had taught me God had an amazing plan for my life. Up to this point, I believed it. After the counselor’s words, I wasn’t so sure.
Several years later, I was a seminary student. One day in chapel, I heard a sermon about a man with an unusual name, Mephibosheth. He was lame in both feet. He had a disability, an affliction. I learned he faced many challenges, sorrows, and problems. In spite of this, he didn’t know the king of Israel was about to bless his life. The most powerful man in all of Israel, King David went out of his way to bless someone others viewed as unworthy. Our King of kings, our great Lord Almighty desires to do the same for us.
Have you been told your dream of writing is just that a dream? Maybe you’ve been told you haven’t experienced life enough to write, that you’re too young to write, or that the competition is too great? You may be dealing with feelings of doubt, think if only you had a MFA or if your family or spouse supported you more, or maybe you think it’s too late – you’re just too old. If only … Let’s face it, at times we all face challenges and difficulties in our lives that make us feel unworthy to serve the Lord. As Christian writers, we serve the Lord with our writing.
We may feel there is no way God could use us. We dwell on negative thoughts. We focus on why we can’t. We feel it’s too hard or the chances of getting published are stacked against us. I want you to stop those I cannot do it thoughts. Think about the things you and God can do.
Remember, God doesn’t look at our exteriors, our limitations, or our failures. He looks at His flawless creation – that’s you! God says, “I can use you; I want to use you.”
We should live in this truth. Don’t let anyone or anything including self-doubt stand in your way of serving our great King of Kings and Lord of Lords! If he has called you to write, He will provide the platform, publisher and audience/readers. He’s also a big enough God to take care of your financial and emotional needs.
My name is not a household name as a writer. I do not support myself writing. Thirty years ago last month my first magazine article was published. I was paid 2½ cents a word. Since I sold the first article in 1981, I have had many articles and poems published. You can see a partial listing of my work at http://jimmiekepler.com/publications-and-poems/. I have have hundreds rejected. I have had a nonfiction book initially accepted and then killed when an editor changed. I have a historical fiction book that’s been rejected a couple of times and yet I keep on submitting while writing the next book. I am a regular contributing book reviewer for a national magazine.
What can I say? I love to write and read. I writing is your thing, ignore the negative thinkers, and trust God and write!