I chose a God and it wasn’t Jesus.

It’s MAJOR confession time, dears.

The verse in Luke 10 that says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind…” is terribly convicting to me.

I’ve heard so many times that whatever a person devotes their life to is what they worship.  It’s their god.  And as I examined my life this morning, following a really incredible church service, I realized that as much as I love Jesus, He is not the focus of my life.

Jesus is not first in my heart.

I am the first to admit that I’m a sinful wretch who deserves nothing but hell and damnation, but this confession isn’t necessarily easy.  I don’t really like being vulnerable, which is probably because I’m so insecure about myself.  But here’s the naked truth, dear readers: I made writing my god when I started thinking of it first thing in the morning, the last thing as I fall asleep, and at just about every free moment thought out the day.  Plotting my stories, planning my characters- writing occupies more of my thoughts than anything else.  I’ll always choose writing over  any alternative.  I’d like to think I could be better than I am one day, but in the meantime I just love creating and imagining.  I also think my love for it is probably a gift from God.

But God’s gifts aren’t not supposed to take the place of Him in my heart.  And that’s what has happened.

So I’m ashamed, dear readers.  I’m ashamed that something that was a gift from above could make me forget so much- like the fact that I should use my passion to glorify God in some way.  And the fact that nothing I could ever accomplish or create will a) last into eternity, and b) come close to meaning as much as the truth that Jesus Christ died for my sin and I owe Him my whole being.

So I’ve made a hard decision: for the month of January (at least), I’m fasting from writing.  I’ll jot down whatever ideas I get, but nothing more.  I’m giving up my stories. Because as much as I want to be a writer, I want to be a child of God more, and I cannot “serve two masters”.  So here’s to what might be a really rough month for me.

“Oh, to grace, how great a debtor, daily ‘m constrained to be-

Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wand’ring heart to thee.

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it; prone to leave the God I love.

Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it- seal it for thy courts above.”

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  • Lydia, you are such an inspiration. I’ve definiely had those phases too. I’m so proud of you for doing this even though it does sound like torture. Who knows; maybe God will give you a splendid new story idea during that time. 🙂
    I’m always so amazed at you pure, sweet heart for God. 🙂 Love you!!!

  • Aww Rach, thank you. Your encouragement means the world to me. I am always so in awe of you, and wish I was more like you when I see your walk with the Lord and how it shapes your whole life. We’ll see- this is gonna be a weird month. 😉 Thanks so much darlin’.

  • Sara-Anne L.

    Wow, thank you for your vulnerability! It’s an encouragement and a conviction, as I usually keep my struggles strictly to myself.
    I’ll pray for you this month!

  • Thanks Sarah-Anne!! I really, really appreciate the prayers! I usually keep my struggles to myself as well- at least the serious ones. I’m generally a very private person, but the more open I force myself to become, the more accountability I find I have. So thank you so much dear! 🙂

  • Courtney Bledsoe

    Lydia! You have always been such an inspiration to me! Thank you for this post, it is exactly what I needed today! 🙂

  • Abby

    I’m really glad you didn’t harden your heart to God and that you were willing to submit to Him. Allow me to cheer you on for making the right decision! =D

  • Tiffany (J.A.)

    Hey Lydia! Thank you for the wall post of explanation 🙂 By the way, I don’t think you should beat yourself up for your mistakes (in reference to this blog post). You’re still a great person! Just figuring out what really matters to you is huge evidence. I wish you good luck on doing what you’ve planned for yourself this month! Even though you won’t be writing, I hope January turns out to be a great month for you. 🙂

  • Thanks dears!! You’re all so encouraging to me. I love you girls so very much and I am blessed to have you along this journey with me!! 🙂

  • Lydia, what you’re doing is so amazing. You are truly an inspiration (albeit a convicting one :P) I can see that you really love the Lord your God with all your heart, and I am so happy for you.

    Thank you for your truthfulness. Honestly, I don’t think I could let myself become this vulnerable on my blog, so I really respect you and your humbleness.

    Remember, He will always be there for you, even if you let Him down. He will always raise you back up.

  • Thank you love!! Ahhh I’m so infinitely grateful that God has brought dear friends like you to me through writing- I think that’s the best thing that has happened through Figment- obviously my confidence has been boosted by posting my work, but the friends I’ve made are amazing and such a blessing. Thanks for spurring me on as a writer and as a fellow Christian darlin’!!

  • Linda D

    Lydia,

    I applaud you in your decision in stepping back and seeing how best to serve God in all things, including your writing. God has given you a great gift. How you use that gift is up to you. To glorify Him with it (which in your morals that are permeated in your stories you have done). But even gifts that bring us joy, as writing does for you (and me also) they need to be tempered and do them in balance in our life so as not to inordinately become a distraction away from God. (an obsession). SO again, It is good to step back, reflect, pray, and put into perspective the God-given talent of writing that He has bestowed upon you.

    I will be praying for God to give you a clear answer.

  • Linda

    Lydia, just some food for thought on getting a novel published. For me this means cutting about 30K of my story -tears up. Nooooo!

    ADULT NOVELS: COMMERCIAL & LITERARY

    Between 80,000 and 89,999 words is a good range you should be aiming for. This is a 100% safe range for literary, romance, mystery, suspense, thriller and horror. Anything in this word count won’t scare off any agent anywhere.

    Now, speaking broadly, you can have as few as 71,000 words and as many as 109,000 words. That is the total range. When it dips below 80K, it might be perceived as too short—not giving the reader enough. It seems as though going over 100K is all right, but not by much. I suggest stopping at 109K because just the mental hurdle to jump concerning 110K is just another thing you don’t want going against you. And, as agent Rachelle Gardner pointed out when discussing word count, over 110K is defined as “epic or saga.” Chances are your cozy mystery or literary novel is not an epic. Rachelle also mentions that passing 100K in word count means it’s a more expensive book to produce—hence agents’ and editors’ aversion to such lengths.

    In short:
    80,000 – 89,999: Totally cool
    90,000 – 99,999: Generally safe
    70,000 – 79,999: Might be too short; probably all right
    100,000 – 109,999: Might be too long; probably all right
    Below 70,000: Too short
    110,000 or above Too long

    Chick lit falls into this realm, but chick lit books tend to be a bit shorter and faster. 70-75K is not bad at all.

  • Ahhh Linda, you’re a God-send. 😉 Thank you sooo so much. I’m working on cutting down Esmeralda and deciding on some changes I really have to make, because of course one day I’d love for it to be publishable. This is so very helpful! Thanks a million. 🙂

  • Phil

    Thank you for sharing Lydia. I haven’t put God first in my life also. This was a good message for me! I also need to take a fast and start putting God first in my life.