As a writer who’s been slapping words down on paper since I could hold a pencil in my plump little fingers, I have scads and scads of sentences and paragraphs–even whole chapters–written that have no place to call home.
The book I started writing on jealousy and insecurity. The one about in-laws. The ones on Bible prophecy, dandelions, and the messy business of motherhood.
The companion book to mine that I want my husband to write: She Thinks That’s All You Think About.
Then there are all the scribbled quotes and thoughts and crazy notions and flashes of brilliance that I scrawled on scraps of this or that before they disappeared into the Abyss of Fabulous Ideas That You Get at the Most Inopportune Times (like when you’re driving on the interstate or standing in the shower) So Nothing Ever Comes of Them.
I’m not naive enough to think that all of my words are destined for publication someday. Goodness knows I’d be happy if a publisher said yes to just one more book. Period. But I’ve been thinking lately that God might have a plan for a lot of those words I worked so hard to piece together.
I’ve been flipping through old journals and notebooks lately (with bits of scrap paper flying everywhere), and sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised by what I discover. Something I wrote in 1999 that fits perfectly with a talk I’m giving in 2010. Something I recorded in 2002 that I can slip neatly into my current book project.
A few years ago my sister looked through her old journals and copied all the parts where she talked about what she wanted in a husband someday–and gave it to her groom on their honeymoon.
My mom e-mails snippets from her 90 (!!) journals to my girls about their early months and years of life. They love it.
I have hundreds of old letters and some old journals written by precious people in my family (including my Great-Aunt Leona’s Elite Trip Abroad Book from 1949), and I’ve been discovering ways to pass on some of those long-ago penned words to bless various folks.
All that journaling I did for three months while I student taught in Okinawa, Japan? Maybe it wasn’t good enough for a traditional publisher, but my self-published memoir has touched a lot of people over the past 10 years.
My first NaNoWriMo novel? Again, not Barnes & Noble material, but God is helping me use it to raise money for missions.
I’m hoping to carve out a day to myself sometime soon, and I’m going to sift through desk drawers and folders and notebooks and computer files and ask God to show me what He might want to do with some of those million+ words.
God is the consummate recycler, renewer, resurrector. Taking stuff (read: people) that everyone else thinks is worthless and making it like new again, using it for a brand new purpose. Everything He created is good, and He’s not about to let it go to waste.
I know I’m not God, and my words aren’t people. I also know I can’t take every word I’ve ever written and make something fabulous out of it. Some might serve no higher purpose than to show me how far I’ve come in 20 years. Some might show me that I’m still struggling with the same stinking things, darn it. Some I might gently kiss good-bye and toss in the trash (er, recycle bin I mean, Ali, my sweet green friend).
But some of them might find their way to somewhere special where they will somehow, someway, someday bless someone’s life and draw them closer to the God I love. Ooh, I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it!
Do you have any words stuffed away that could be resurrected, recreated, recycled? Any plans to give them new life any time soon?
p.s. I’m guest-posting today over at a very special gal’s blog. I’d go nuts if you’d pop over and say hi to me there! Stay tuned tomorrow for a riveting post on monochromatic books!