Taking my talent elsewhere…

“Writing.”

It was the number one thing my Spiritual Gifts class revealed about how I could best be used by my church.

See, I've been a writer for a very long time!
See, I’ve been a writer for a very long time!

No big surprise there. I’ve been writing since the day I could pick up a pencil. Actually, my very first book, “Harry Carey Likes Cherries,” was written before I could pick up a pencil. I dictated the plot of the book to my mom, who wrote it down. I did the illustrations.

In elementary school I was the girl who won the system-wide writing contest. Every year. I wrote books like, “Never Let a Turkey Do Your Homework,” “Miss Piggy’s Bad Dream,” “A Painter in Ballet Shoes,” and a poem anthology, “Positively Perky Poems that will make you Laugh and Cry.” If I wasn’t me, I would have hated me. Writing came naturally. It’s always been easy.

I went on to receive a degree in Journalism from Indiana University, and the few years I spent as a writer for a newspaper, I won multiple awards.

I love to write. I love words. I love taking words and putting them together to say something great or heartfelt. And to be honest, I think I do it well. You’ll never find me saying I dress well. I don’t believe I am a phenomenal cook or a great decorator. But I can write well. I thank God for that.

So when I attended the Spiritual Gifts class (which also included an in-depth personality study) and was then told that’s how I could best serve my church, I was elated! I was told that there were a few different ways I could use my gift for the church, so I contacted the people who were in charge of blogging and writing.

I heard nothing.

I wrote to the leader of the class and said I hadn’t heard anything. I wondered if maybe they didn’t get my emails. She contacted them to let them know I wanted to help with any writing projects for the church.

It’s been months. I still haven’t heard anything.

This has been eating away at me for some time now. I try not to be bitter about it. It certainly hasn’t stopped me from attending my church. I still love my church. But I can’t figure out why they wouldn’t want to use me to write some great things for the church.

10849890_10152440272986573_1647218886976012536_nSo then I start to feel insecure.

Maybe I’m not a good writer.

Maybe they think I’m too “edgy.”

Maybe it’s because I’m single.

Maybe they just plain don’t like me.

So I dropped it. They know where to find me. They know what I’m capable of. If they want to use my God-given talents to spread the Gospel, they will let me know. If they don’t, then I will do it elsewhere.

I was at peace with my decision to “let it go,” but then last week’s sermon at church totally threw me off. It was all about our resources, our talents, and how if we are loyal followers of Christ, we will use those talents to grow the Kingdom of God. We read the parable of the talents, about the men who did things with their talents (money) and the man who did nothing with his.

“Don’t do nothing with what your Master (God) has given you!” was the basis of it all.

I wanted to jump up and scream, “I WANT to, but apparently they don’t want me here!”

I was back at square one. Upset, hurt, and wondering why my church didn’t want me to write anything for them.

Then I remembered that serving God doesn’t always have to be through the church. I volunteer twice a week at the Rescue Mission, and that’s not through the church. I am a group leader for Bible Study Fellowship, and that’s not through the church. It’s pretty clear that if God’s going to use my writing abilities for His purpose, it will not be through the church.

And that’s OK.

It’s actually given me a little nudge of motivation. I’ve finally found a book idea that I’m really psyched about. Maybe God wants me to focus on that.

In studying Paul, the book of Philippians, and parts of Acts for Bible Study Fellowship, we learned that Paul had ideas of where he should go to spread the Gospel, but God had something different in mind. God said, “No,” before Paul was given a clear signal of what to do and where. Maybe God is doing the same with me.

I want to write. I want people to read it. I’m not waiting for the support of my church or anyone else. God has given me this talent, and I’m going to use it. Even if it’s just me and God facing this journey together.

There’s no one else I’d rather have by my side.

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5 thoughts on “Taking my talent elsewhere…

  1. you are a very talented writer…sometimes it is difficult to know where God wants us to go…just keep praying and you will find a way…in HIS time not ours…hugs from Florida..Marybeth

    From: summitcitysingle To: racle@yahoo.com Sent: Friday, January 16, 2015 11:18 AM Subject: [New post] Taking my talent elsewhere… #yiv9220791144 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv9220791144 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv9220791144 a.yiv9220791144primaryactionlink:link, #yiv9220791144 a.yiv9220791144primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv9220791144 a.yiv9220791144primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv9220791144 a.yiv9220791144primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv9220791144 WordPress.com | natalieatrout posted: ““Writing.”It was the number one thing my Spiritual Gifts class revealed about how I could best be used by my church.No big surprise there. I’ve been writing since the day I could pick up a pencil. Actually, my very first book, “Harry Carey Lik” | |

  2. Natalie: As you may or may not know, I am a writer and have been all my life, just like you. However, I kept doing things as a vocation that had very little to do with writing, but I kept writing on the side.(Ltrs to editors, poems, weekly columns in newspapers in the cities and towns in which I lived over the years, newsletters with monthly advice on how to handle worldly situations through Christian principles, etc., etc.) All along I wanted to write a book, but never did anything about it. Something “More important” always got in the way.

    When I retired and moved to FL with my new wife Judy (my former wife had died) I kept saying I really want to write a book. Finally, Judy said, “Well, why don’t you sit down and write the darned book and stop talking about it?”

    So, at the age of 71 I had my first book published (I hope your mom and dad still have their copy and will let you read it.) It’s title was ‘Homecoming’ – A Story about the Power of Faith and Forgiveness.” The publisher I used took over a year to edit and print the book but I’ve had good results and I know lives have been changed by it from the written kudos and critiques I’ve received.

    I’ve got so much more in me to write but I didn’t want to wait a year for every book I wanted published so I just finished my second book “Growing Old Is Not a Piece of Cake…” which I self-published through Amazon.com’s “Create Space” affiliate. It’s fantastic and soooo easy to do.

    If I were you I would sit down and tell the Lord you want to write whatever He wants you to write and then start writing. He’ll give you the direction as you go. Then get on ‘Create-Space’ and watch it take shape. They have plenty of people who are at your beck and call if you choose to pay them a little to help, but most of the stuff you can do yourself.

    Don’t wait for anyone or anything else to do it for you. Just sit down and start writing. I’ll be happy to help any way I could, i.e., some editing or reviewing or bouncing off ideas.

    Go get ’em and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Don’t wait until you’re 71.

    1. I love this! Thanks for sharing, Tom. I will definitely not let up on my dream to become a published author. I may be hitting you up for some advice! Mom was reading one of your books when I was in Florida, I’ll have to get it from her, I would love to read some of your stuff! 🙂

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