Warning: I think this will be a long post, but I’m really hoping that it will be worth your time to journey with me.
At some point during this fantastic friend and family filled weekend, I was sharing a teeny, tiny bit of my story and I noted that I was a Marketing major before Africa. And more importantly, that Africa totally wrecked my life, and now, that’s definitely not what I want to do or be.
If Africa changed everything, what do I want to do, who do I want to be, NOW?
A writer. Oh, how I do want to be a writer.
Later, as we were driving to Orlando to be with family, I told John about how strange that felt.
How it seems like maybe after Africa I should want to be a nurse or a teacher, or a missionary permanently.
And maybe that’s what people expect to hear when I tell that bit of my story.
Even though I considered those things, I know I want to be a writer. Why?
We talked about some books that we’ve been wanting to read, and John pointed out that the one he’s reading now on parenting is great, but he thinks he would have come to the same conclusions given the resources he already has (the Bible, and various other books that he’s already read).
I told him that I look forward to reading the book, because although I may have come to the same conclusions, I imagine something in the book will help me get there faster, or something will click that simply didn’t before.
I’ve learned something from every book I’ve ever read.. and so, I’ve loved something about every book I’ve ever read.
BUT… I’ll forget where I read that line that made everything click. I’ll forget the author’s name.
I’ll possibly even forget that someone else led me to that conclusion rather than my own thoughts getting me there.
When I read stories where I resonate with a character in such a way that it grips my heart, it matters, so much.
I’ll remember a character who challenged my thinking for the rest of my life. I’ll remember the book, I’ll remember the story. I’ll remember why it challenged my thinking, and how that changed my life. I’ll retell that story a hundred times. I’ll tell my friends to read it. I’ll buy the book, I’ll lend it to friends. I’ll never, ever, forget a character that resonated with my soul.
(I have ample examples of this.)
There’s something about presenting humanity in truth, and challenging to change, that at least in my little world, has the power to change everything.
That’s why I want to tell stories.
Because if I tell the story of the little girl in Africa with AIDS who completely changed forever the way I have and do look at life and humanity and joy… Maybe, just maybe, if I tell it well, you’ll look at life and humanity and joy differently. Maybe that will lead you to adopt a child from Africa.
And that, if it’s all I ever do, has changed the world more than I could ever have imagined I would.
That’s why I want to write.
That’s why it matters, so much.
That’s why it makes sense in the journey of my life.
And that’s why I’m in America.
I don’t want to be, and I haven’t wanted to be here since I got back. But it’s the best place for me to hone my skills, to learn how to improve, to practice, to understand how to write in a way that it resonates with the soul of the reader.
(I also hope to adopt, hope to be hands-on with missions work that’s mercy & compassion focused.
But what I know I must be, is on this journey of telling stories that I hope change the way you think about the world.)