I love to sing. And, I do so, often. Sometimes I sing in public at church or in nursing homes. Sometimes I sing in private in the car along with my iPod or while putting John Paul to sleep. And sometimes, I even sing while falling asleep at night. The words are quiet, barely more audible than my breath, but still, I sing. Sometimes I sing songs I wrote, and sometimes I sing songs others have courageously written. And sometimes, I even sing nonsense “songs,” which are really just words strung together at a moments notice to entertain John Paul.
When someone asks me if I’m a singer, I immediately say “Yes!” But the thing is, I don’t sing for money or for my career. No one pays me to sing in concert, or pays to buy my albums. I’ll never be known as Allison like Mariah or Celine. And I’ll never know what it’s like to open my mouth and hear a completely perfect sound come out.
But I still open my mouth and pour out melodic words, because I have to. Because I can’t imagine not doing so. And so, I am a singer.
I am scared to call myself a writer. I’m willing to call many other people writers, whether they write books or blog posts or articles or pages and pages of words that no one else ever reads. But I fear calling myself a writer. I don’t feel worthy of the title.
And yet, I’ve always written. When I was six, I wrote journal entries of my first major trip, a ski trip to Colorado. My journal entries weren’t much more than detailed lists of every move I made each day, but I still wrote. When I was eleven, I wrote stories about pretty twin girls who time traveled from Wisconsin of the 1990’s to Wisconsin of the Victorian Era. My stories included no dialogue and I had never heard that in writing one should “show” and not “tell,” but I still wrote. When I was in high school, I wrote pages and pages of poetry after my first real heartbreak. My poems were overly emotive and full of overused, unoriginal metaphors such as “tears fall like raindrops,” but I still wrote. When I was a house-wife for the last few months Mike and I lived in Colorado, I filled much of my time by writing songs. Musically, my songs often sounded alike, and the lyrics often bordered on extreme cheesiness, but I still wrote.
Despite all of my flaws as a write, I still put pen to paper, and pour out the words of my heart (see that cheesiness? I have a real gift for it, I tell you!). Because I have to. Because I can’t imagine not doing so. And so, I am a writer.
For months, I have been considering writing down the story of the last two years of my life: living in Colorado and growing in my faith like never before, living in pain and struggling in my faith like never before, and living in a cancer-ridden body and rejoicing in my faith like never before. In my time of need, so many incredible and amazing things happened, and I feel called to share my story.
But I am scared. I think to myself, “Allison, you’re not a writer!” And I wonder how I can even consider that the words I have in my heart and in my head might mean anything to someone else, that they might be worthy of being put on paper. But I am beginning to write my story because I have to. Because I can’t imagine not doing so.
Even if no one ever reads my words except for me, and even if no one ever finds my story remarkable, I am writing. Even if no one ever heard my voice, and even if no one ever found my song remarkable, I would still sing. For, in writing my story and in singing my song, I pour myself out. I pour out all of me, even the ugly, the shameful, and the weak parts. I pour out myself in thanksgiving, for all who love me, for all the beauty in the world, and for a God who created me and delights in me. And I’m learning that it’s only when I live in a state of thankfulness, when I notice the small gifts of everyday, that I can ever be truly at peace, and truly happy.
My prayer for you today is that you face your fear of sharing all of yourself, whether through words or actions. Become what you want to be by taking the first step and doing it. Ask God for the wisdom to know where your gifts would be best used to grow the Kingdom of God here on Earth, and for the strength to put your dreams into action.
My question for you today is this: if you were being truly honest and speaking without fear, what in your heart do you know you have to do, because you can’t imagine not doing it? If you would be so kind as to share, I would so love to hear your answers in the comments below!
Thank you for joining me on my 31 day challenge!
Day 1: Be Not Afraid
Day 2: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Day 3 Keeping a Faithful Heart in Light of Suffering
Day 4: Facing Fears with Laughter
Day 5: Listening to My Heart
Day 6: Daring to Love Myself in Order to Love Others
Day 7: Opening Up My Idea of a Remarkable Life
Day 8: Giving Voice to My Fears
Day 9: Being a Bearer of Joy
Day 10 & 11: Give Everything
Day 12: Switching My Focus
Day 13: Reaching Out
Day 14 & 15: Letting Go
Day 16: Giving Voice to My Dreams
Day 17: Putting Fear into Action
Day 18: Clear Eyes, Full Heart
Day 19: Strength, Wisdom, Courage, and Clarity
Day 20-22: Facing the End of Things
Day 23: Showing Delight in Others
Day 24: Embracing the Dawn
Day 25: Saying No and Letting Go of the Guilt
Day 26: Find Love, then Give it All Away