This morning I took my monthly drive to the East Metro Atlanta Christian Writers group in Newton County, GA. I was pretty tired from being out on an assignment with a group from church last night, but I just knew I had to be there. April had been set aside as a poetry forum. I haven’t written anything poetic since my aunt died a few years ago. At that time I was inspired to draft a tribute to her and was given the opportunity to recite the poem at her funeral. But I still felt the need to be there. It wasn’t long before I realized just how blessed I was to find a supportive group of like-minded people.
When I arrived, the president of the group, Colleen Capes Jackson, greeted me at the door with the biggest hug and her warmest, “We’re so glad you came today, Patricia.” Next to her, another friend, Lisa, was standing, waiting to add her equally nurturing embrace.
After a brief conversation and a quick stop, I ventured down the hallway to the meeting place where two more writer friends greeted me at the sign-in table and reminded me to pick up my ticket for a drawing for books by Cecil Murphey, a nationally renowned author, and Joyce Fincher, one of our very own members and author of He’ll Lead You Through Your Seas. It didn’t take much after that to convince me I’d made the right decision to press through my fatigue to get to the meeting.
After an inspiring devotional, each attendee was asked to share what was happening with his or her writing and any prayer request. I was reminded that our writing journeys, while unique, are often similar in nature. We’re all facing challenges, but we’re all seeking God’s will in writing poems, articles, novels, and memoirs which inspire others.
I was particularly impressed by the participants in the poetry contest today. Each person passionately read or recited poems. What was most evident was the support the audience, as well as participants, had for one another. In the end, we had to vote, and Heather, a first-time visitor, was declared the winner. Her husband, a regular at our meetings, had encouraged her to go in his place today. She was the poet in the family and left with a beautiful plaque in recognition of her accomplishment.
God gave me this gift of writing and then supplied the means to help my gift to grow. So far, He’s provided readers, teachers, mentors, a laptop, friends, a publishing company, and a husband who is my number one supporter. He gave me the courage to step outside my comfort zone to find a group of Christian writers who encourage me monthly. He’s also taken me to a another church where I am blessed to hear sound Word weekly.
My baby is growing. I’ve had to reach inside my diaper bag and give my baby everything needed. It’s not over yet. More growth is coming if I keep doing my part to bring the gift to maturity.
What has God been saying to you? Is He calling you to step outside your comfort zone? How’s your baby doing? Is it weak and deformed or strong and healthy? When was the last well baby check up? Are you feeding your baby? Your gift must be nurtured. It’s a matter of life and death. You are the answer to somebody’s need. We’re not in this thing alone. In fact, the gift comes with a promise:
“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19 NKJV).