“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”
― Elbert Hubbard
Two Saturdays ago was one of the best days in my writing life. Beng Alba, my author-friend, invited me to the Project Author Workshop by Mr. Ardy Roberto. It was also about the same time that I saw an Instagram post of Ardy about the said event. When I realized it was a book writing/publishing workshop, I hesitated. Me? Write a book? Seriously? But I still went.
First of all, I didn’t really know what I was doing there and second I had no plans of writing a book. So, introducing myself to the group was a bit awkward. Being in a room with Christian and award-winning writers like Ms. Grace Chong, Ardy Roberto, and Nelson Dy, was overwhelming. I had to come up with an intro really fast.
I stood up and introduced myself as a blogger who wants to transition to offline writing. What? Did I really say that? Transitioning to offline (book) writing? Lord, was that you? Hmm. A few minutes after Ardy’s talk, I realized that morning was not about me. It was about the Lord’s message to the world and how he will use writing as my platform to share that message.
Christians are called to share God’s message of love, hope, and redemption. Christians are called to evangelize. We are to share the truth about Jesus to everyone we meet. That command is also true for Christian writers. We have the power to impact people with God’s message. We have our own platform to share not only the gift of writing but to share the salvation message of Christ.
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. John 20:31
The talk given that morning by Ardy and Ms. Grace confirmed why God called me to write. My mission is to let people know that there is hope in the midst of trials and difficulties, that there is a Savior who loves us and wants to have an intimate relationship with us. And that Jesus is relentlessly pursuing us.
That evening, still hyped from my back to back writing workshop, I shared some insights with my Mom. As we were chatting, I opened up to her about a writing dream that the Lord has put in my heart that day. Of course, my Mom was so eager to read whatever it is I’m planning to write. Then our conversation took us back to my early college days. She mentioned that I was already a freshman at the College of Arts and Letters in UST but I didn’t pursue writing. I cited some of the reasons why I didn’t and she typed in the words, “That was your mistake.”
My mom was not accusing me nor was she blaming me. In the past, when I would tell my writing story, I would always say that I made a mistake of not following what I really wanted to do. It was a mistake not to get advice from other people etc.
Now, by the grace of God, I couldn’t utter the words, “It was a mistake,” anymore. My choice to obey my Mom at 16 years old, to pursue another course, was not a mistake. The choice to trust her because she knew what was best for me at that time was not a mistake. I realized too that the Lord did not program my mind (that time) to take any course related to writing.
When I recall why I started writing again, it was when I had our first child. Writing has become an escape from the unknown and scary world of motherhood. Each word written was heartfelt. The experiences of being a mom and my journey with God allowed me to embrace writing all the more. Blogging was and will always be my online journal. If not for the joys and trials I faced together with my family, I don’t think I have anything sensible to write.
If didn’t make that “mistake” in college and pursued writing, I would have probably been very good at it but without the heart. I would have mastered correct punctuation and grammar but would have been a very self-righteous and arrogant journalist.
In hindsight, God used that mistake to break me and create something new in me. He created a different me that I hardly recognize sometimes. And that is something worth praising God for.
It took a lot of courage too to embrace the word “writer”. I was insecure because I did not have any credentials or diploma to back my claim. But this insecurity was also redirected by Ms. Grace Chong who said, “The gift is the passion for writing. Skills can be learned.”
Slowly, the Lord has been reminding me that the writing comes from him. I am only his instrument. I’d like to borrow the wise words of Mr. Ardy Roberto that memorable Saturday morning who said, “Never doubt what God has already planted in your heart.”