I was a bit of a wild child in high school. I spent my last year of junior high and my first year of high school partying, and rarely saw a day inside a classroom.
When I decided I better get my high school diploma and attend classes, I was forced to take a creative writing course as part of the general education curriculum. I revolted against the class in the beginning, huffing and puffing, being sarcastic and rude. But a funny thing happened a few weeks into the class: I started listening and doing the work. I was actually having fun writing.
My teacher approached me one day after class and suggested that I try to publish my poetry. I literally laughed in his face. Upon graduation, he set up a private meeting in his classroom after school one day. He sat me down and presented me with a brochure for a writing program at Columbia College in Chicago. Again, I laughed in his face. However, he was serious. He was determined to convince me that I was…a writer.
Throughout my life that story stuck with me. I eventually did attend UW Parkside and Columbia College Chicago as a Writing major. Every teacher I had was incredibly impressed with my writing and often suggested that I pursue it with gusto.
Over the last two decades, I have proven myself to be…a writer. Freelancing, writing for national companies, publishing a novel, writing for music magazines, ghost writing for Christian ministries. And yet, here I am. Spinning my wheels some thirty-odd years later, no closer to being a writer than I was the day my teacher sat me down in that empty classroom. I remember what I told him that day, “That’s for other people. Not people like me.” And I was right.
I have been writing this blog for over two years now, and while I’ve done everything I know how to get my name out there, hooking up with affiliates, signing contracts with blogging businesses, joining every social network imaginable, nothing has happened. The fruit is not there. I have spent the last thirteen years sending submissions for novels, devotionals, articles, you name it…and I have nothing to show for it.
I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m doing what I’m feeling led to do by the Holy Spirit. For the past year something has not been right for me with this blog. I tried changing the format over and over and over in hopes of increasing readership, seeing people get saved, or opening the eyes of those who are so blind by their own ideas of what Truth means. While there are a select few who have remained utterly faithful to this blog, the numbers don’t lie. As blogs about cooking and Mormonism and crafting see benefits beyond my imagination, my site is not making it. It’s not even coming remotely close.
I won’t lie. I’ve felt resentful at times. I’ve felt betrayed by God often, wondering why He gave me this gift if He won’t bless it and use it and allow me to earn income from it. But I need to get past that hurt and face the reality of my situation. There is no fruit here. This tree is dead. Withered up. Shriveled to pieces.
What this all means for me and my future, I don’t know, because since that fateful day in my creative writing class I have always considered myself…a writer. Maybe God never intended me to be a writer. I don’t know. But I keep hearing God tell me, “Be still. Know that I Am God. Wait.” So I’m doing just that. I need to be still and wait. For the first time in my entire life I am surrendering EVERYTHING I thought I knew about myself, and all that I thought I was to God, and trusting Him fully. It’s all I can do now.
This is Tristine Fleming signing off…
Don’t forget: Jesus DOES love you! Every single one of you!