"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."--John 1:1 (New Revised Standard Version)
"The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one."--John 1:1 (The Message)
Words are powerful. They have the ability to carry us away to beautiful places. They also have the ability to tear us down but more importantly, build us up. My blog friend Jolene Underwood started a movement called Rise Up Writers. In her words, "This movement is a call for Christ followers to use words well, whether as an entrepreneur, a fiction writer, a blogger or simply as one who engages in the world of social media." This week, in her first link-up, she asks us "What does it mean to rise up with our words?"
Ever since I was little, I have loved words; learning how to spell them, learning what different words mean, how to use them properly, etc. My mom said she often could hand me a pen/pencil and a piece of paper and I was a happy camper. I didn't need my toys I just needed these simple things that would allow me to share my words; my thoughts; my stories.
As I have grown older, I have realized the impact of our words and our stories even more. I am reminded of words from well-known author Brene Brown. Brown states "The bravest thing you'll ever do is share your story." Oh how true those words are. In October of 2014, I participated in my first ever Write 31 Days challenge. My series embodied my families story as I shared Being a Daughter: 31 Days of Mental Illness. I never imagined the ways that writing our story down in words would impact me. I have met some amazing women and started lifelong friendships because I had the courage and bravery to rise up and write down our story. And because I rose up, these individuals were able to rise up and share their stories with me.
Yes, I will admit that there are days that I have wondered if I have anything of value to say. In fact, just last week, my feelings were hurt when I wasn't chosen for a launch team that seemed like everyone around me had been chosen for me. In moments, many of my blog friends reminded me of the power of my words and how I do indeed have something incredibly valuable to say. Sometimes I just need that reminder to be able to "rise up" with my words.
In fact, before Christmas, I felt a nudge from God to write a book. Now I'll admit that ever since I can remember, I have wanted to write a book. But I never imagined that it would be the book that I am currently writing but it is where I believe God is calling me to "rise up" with my words. This book is about "Chasing our Untils." Until I get married; until I am a mom; until (fill in the blank here). This book is a book that I finally began writing because God gave me the strength and courage to rise up with these words; words that will hopefully bless many.
But most of all, I want my words to reflect God and God's love for all God's people. I want my readers to know that the ultimate Word is found in the promises of John 1:1. God was the Word who became flesh and lived among us. This Word is the Word that ultimately enables us all and gives us the power to "rise up" with our own words. It is my hope and prayer that my own words in this space and also in my book always do that.
"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echos are truly endless."--Mother Theresa
Indeed may our words grounded in faith always "rise up" and echo the love, grace and mercy of God's love for all of God's people today and every day!