Yesterday, I met one of my friends from college at a coffee shop and talked about writing. Talking with her has been such a privilege because for years now, I have considered her one of the most talented writers I know. Throughout my graduate work, she was this ever-shining beacon of faith amidst the cynicism that often accompanies a secular university. We don't even know each other that well, but I have always looked up to her.
Recently, after taking several years away from writing, she's felt God calling her back to the craft in a new way. I sat there listening as she explained what a cool thing it's been to watch God use her education training in a direction she never would've expected. She's been coming up with all these article ideas left and right, and the more she writes, the more that comes to her mind.
As she continued to tell me about her journey, I felt myself getting excited, because I can see what's ahead of her. I can imagine and envision things she's yet to even imagine or dream.
I often feel this way about Angie Dicken, my critique partner. You may think I'm biased because I adore her, but I promise I'm being fair! She really is as great of a writer as I make her sound. Side note, you can find here blog here if you're interested: http://www.supamomthoughts.blogspot.com/ . So Angie writes historical romance, and she has this ability to intricately weave cultures. She also is mind-boggling good at constructing the story world so that you as the reader just want to jump right in to the setting alongside the characters. Because she writes something more unique, she hasn't had as easy of a sell as some others who fit the formula mold. But the thing is, I see God's hand all over her writing, and mark my words, she is going to make it BIG someday because her skills and voice are unmatched. When I'm reading Angie's writing, even her first drafts, I am always floored by how beautiful her prose is, and I wish she could see how truly talented she really is.
Do any of you subscribe to Bible Gateway's verse of the day? Well, the verse today was 1 Thessalonians 5:11. It says, "So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing."
Aren't the effects of community and encouragement amazing? I look at my own writing, and how far a little bit of encouragement or kindness has taken me, especially when spoken from someone I look up to. And then it dawned on me--what if I have the power, the ability, to uplift other people in the same way?
What if I can see a vision in other people's lives that they can't see in themselves? And if that's the case, what am I going to do about it?
So as you go about your day today, I pray you feel the encouragement of others who God has put alongside you in this journey. Maybe you see amazing fruit coming out of someone's life. Speak words of vision into them, because chances are they don't see the same thing in themselves.
Do you have any people in your life who this applies to? How have you been affected and encouraged by community? What can we do to foster an environment of encouragement?