The exercise demanded that we think deeply about when we started to write, why we started to write, who were our audience(s), where our writing took us and what we actually wrote about. Each of us was given a sheet of paper, colouring pencils and post-it notes and were invited to provide key markers on our journey.
At first, I thought that the exercise was rather pointless. I had paid 'good' money to attend this course and also had been taken half a day out of my freelance life each week, therefore losing more money. I didn't really appreciate what I considered was a 'juvenile' activity. But because I had paid for the course and taken the time out, I reluctantly decided to participate.
And I'm so glad I did, In that two hour session, I discovered that my writing journey firmly centred around my faith. I had started writing at the age of seven, after my mother removed the television from our house. At the age of twelve, I won a school poetry competition and at two years later, I came first in a regional writing competition run by the Rotary Club in the country. Each time, I had based my writing on some spiritual dimension, even if it was loose.
I continued writing during my teens, but concentrated on my studies, resuming my writing after my A'Levels. During my undergrad studies, I wrote a piece about Christiana Rosetti's, Goblin Market, and it was full of religious references and imagery and although questioned somewhat by my professor, couldn't be disputed for its solid arguments.
All those stop pits prepared me for what I thought was the ultimate destination as Regional Director for Communication for my denomination. It was position that I loved and enjoyed for four years. During that time, I did what I enjoyed most - writing about God. This included reports from local, regional and national events, writing articles, being an international columnist for my denomination writing a monthly article and scripting videos, pieces for radio as well as being the editor of a quarterly journal and coordinating a variety of communication activities.
While enjoying the view from the Father's table, He instructed me that it was time to 'leave His house', and venture back out on my journey. I hesitated. I stumbled. I gulped. I held on for as long as He allowed and then I packed my bags and like Abraham 'went, as the Lord had told him' (Genesis 12:4, NIV). It was extremely hard but I obeyed.
Seven years later, I still haven't given 'birth' to the promise from the Father. I have continued to write for the God at every opportunity and still freelance for my denomination and others. I had the privilege to write and publish my first book last year, Too Proud to Beg, Too Dumb to Steal: Bible Stories for Grownups but I somewhere feel that the journey is far from over yet and that's the Father is taking me on even further adventures.
There are days when I missed the ability to write everyday and be paid for it. Sometimes, I actually find myself slipping into mild depression because I am not doing what I love. And there are times when I look back and wish that God had asked me to do something easier.
What I am finding is that when I do write, or teach creative writing, or give seminars on writing, I have a deeper appreciation for it than previously. Over the past two years, I have developed a daily devotional blog on Facebook and God has allowed me to encourage others through this form of writing, something that I had not considered previously.
Abraham 'obeyed God's call to go to another place God promised to give him. He left his own country, not knowing where he was to go. It was by faith...' (Hebrews 11:8,9, NCV). I feel just like Abraham and like him, I'm not travelling in style, but walking by faith on my writing journey.