As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. -- Isaiah 55:10-11

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hard Questions Part 2

Hard Questions Part 1

"I've closed my Facebook accounts, and I'm pulling down my blogs. I don't think it is a good idea for me to write anymore."

She knew it wasn't a retreat or a step back or a temporary attempt to destress.

Writing isn't what I do. It's who I am. It's the core of me. It's breathing for my soul.

I wasn't walking out on writing. I was walking out on me.

She wanted to know why.

And I didn't want to tell her.

For as long as I can remember, I've been a writer. Before I could actually write letters, I took a pen, scribbled lines across a page, and "read" them into stories. I've written to work through my own trauma, to reveal others' trauma, to try to understand. I've written to offer truth...and find it for myself. I've written to release all I think and feel...and to hide in a world not this one because this world's thoughts were too dark and its feelings too painful...And I have desired, prayed...even begged...that my writing would offer hope, a way through...a view of God to people who desperately need to see Him.

I thought I knew what that meant...what it looked like...

I thought I knew what it meant being a "Christian writer", and that is what I have tried to be. I have tried to write with excellence--using the perfect starting sentence, checking it a dozen times to make sure the phraseology was just write, getting it within the acceptable word count. I have tried to use the right words, not be offensive, and let everyone feel good when they were done reading.

The problem is I don't write for perfection. I write out of Presence. I am not acceptable. I use the wrong topics, get too honest, and use the wrong words, and several Christians have made it a point to tell me how I offend them. Can't say I feel bad, though. Honestly, I find some Christians to be offensive, and I hope I knock their comfort zones sideways. Someone needs to, and no, that is not judgment. It is fact, and before anyone starts throwing rocks, read about Jesus' thoughts on white washed stones sometimes or religious rulers who were high on laws and lacking in love.

The fact is when it became obvious that marital separation was inevitable, I was sure I knew what it meant to be a Christian, and I really wanted a good relationship with God. After a year in hell, I can honestly say I have a solid relationship with God. It's the whole church defined "Christian" thing I am doubting.

What does a "Christian writer" do when she is no longer sure she can write "as a Christian"? When she is no longer sure what "being a Christian" is? When she no longer knows who she is?

Or maybe she does know, and she knows what it'll cost...

And she has to decide...does she walk away from who she is...or walk toward all she has asked to be...

Even if it leaves people not understanding and a lot of people asking why...


Michael J Brown said...

Jerri Kelley! Any "Christian" who is offended by a single word you've written has no business giving themselves that label. More importantly, they are not seeing the REAL you, or they would never find a reason to criticize. Do not even think about walking away from this! You know where I am, and I wouldn't have even written the first word if you hadn't inspired me. Or, I should more aptly say, if God hadn't used you to inspire me. You just said to me: Satan will do anything to stop you, so don't let him.

Jerri Kelley said...

Michael, I almost called you and asked if you had time for coffee. Next time I will. :-)

Thank you.

Karen B. King said...

I agree, Jerri. You are writing as a Christ-follower and not the world's definition of Christian. There is a difference and you are it. Please don't stop!!

Karen B. King said...

And I had time for coffee..over the phone!!! LOL!!!! Change that "Christian writer" to "Christ-follower writer" and you are set. Jerri, if no one ever disagrees with you, you must not be speaking TRUTH. Truth can hurt but it is TRUTH. I get so much from your writings that I send other and even baby Christians to it. They need to know that it is okay to question. They need to know what real pain is like and the journey it may take us through. Jesus ALWAYS had critics and He always will until He comes to reign over us. We need writers of truth, sweet Jerri. Truth...with hope...truth when some days you feel like giving up. Truth..when it carries you like nothing else can or will. And we need friends like you...a covenant help point out that truth. Please hang in there unless God is without a doubt telling you to stop. I KNOW you are busy. I KNOW you have a heavy load yourself. Pull out if this is too much but don't pull out because of criticism! I love you!

Jerri Kelley said...

Karen, "There is a difference and you are it...Change that 'Christian writer' to 'Christ-follower writer' and you are set."

I am printing this out and putting it on my wall.

You bless me deep, my beloved friend. You bless me deep.

mizzbrizz said...

So glad I had time to read this today. Your words spoke to me from a very hurt place...yours to mine. I am so thankful that you write and that you have this blog and share your writing on other blogs. You never know when you'll have just the right words for someone and that is what really matters. We are sent into the world to be God's hands and feet. It's not about laws, it's about love. And you love deep just like Daddy taught you :) Love you, Jerri!

Jerri Kelley said...

MizzBrizz, thank you, precious friend. You bless me so deep.

Love you!!!