Recently I picked up an old journal of mine--one that I finished just before I met my husband. It's a journal that represents one of the most tumultuous periods of my life.
As I reflect on the contents of that journal and the period it represents, the power of my own words takes my breath away. My life then, which could so easily be hidden or forgotten now, is recorded by my own hand. Because I took time to speak the words of my heart in those many pages, my experience from that time is memorialized forever.
I remember a homily that a Benedictine priest gave once that began, "Words, words, words!"
"I'm so sick of words!" Eliza Doolittle declared.
Occasionally I wonder if others tire of my words, but tiring though they may be, I write them. And I write them. And I write more of them. Because in my words dwell the power of the Spirit. I am Spirit's instrument when I do this very thing, tap-tap-tapping at my computer or huddling over a journal with one of my precious pens.
When I am alone, when I am fearful, when I am angry, when I am frustrated, or when I am elated, when I am ecstatic, when I am grateful, when I am joyful: I write. Writing is the meeting place between my voice and God's, and if I were ever asked to stop--well, I wouldn't stop, regardless of the cost. I cannot be other than the person I am called by God to be. And I am called to be a writer, among many other things.
As I discern the fullness of my vocation, especially with regard to the possibility of becoming a Benedictine Episcopal priest, I reflect on my writing vocation. How was it planted? How was it nurtured? What was it like when I turned from it? When did I figure out that writing was not just a thing I sometimes did, but rather an identity-creating activity without which I cannot be wholly myself?