Friday, March 11, 2005

How I Became A Christian Writer

It was only last year that I stole a copy of Today's Christian Woman from the waiting room at the University of Michigan Hospital. I remember taking the magazine home. I read every article, ad, and book review. Finally, I ending up clutching it near my heart, filled with such an aching longing, and praying, "Lord, I want to write for you."

I didn't think it were possible. Not only did I steal a magazine, (I repented and replaced it) I didn't fit the profile. Those smiling women on the cover, perfect virtuous wives of pastors of the little church on the hill, were worlds apart from me. I couldn't imagine their struggles to be mine. I am messy. I am hurting. I am black. I am poor.

I sat in my bedroom one day, and said, forget it. I'm going to write for Jesus anyway. I didn't want to try to be something that I'm not. I'd come honest and empty, and hopefully someone out there would hear, and they'd come honest and empty, until we were all filled in those gaping places with the Kingdom of God.

I started Ragamuffin Diva right after that. It was anonymous, so I couldn't get any fame from it. It didn't pay any money, and I had no editor to help me polish my "pieces" and encourage me to be a good girl, and don't say bad words or talk about things that will make people uncomfortable.

My little blog ended up creating opportunities for me that went beyond my wildest dreams. Last night, one of the ungrateful raga spawns I call my kids had the nerve to suggest that I get a job. Ken immediately defended my honor by saying, "she has a job."

We all grew silent, especially me, trying to figure out what he was talking about. Then it dawned on me. He means writing. He means my job is as a writer. I couldn't believe it, how did that happen?

But it's true. I don't have any money, but I did earn 10 bucks for a poem lately. I've gotten free books--and I love books, just for coming here. And I've made friends. Thank you, Jesus.

Recently, I've been under consideration at some major houses, and even got blessed with a sweet teddy bear of a man who is my agent. All in less than a year.

I've been really anxious about committees and ladies with alligator purses, but some friends of mine have reminded me how far I've come. When I was finishing my bachelors degree--the only person in my family to do so, I was so obsessed with how I would get my masters that I forgot to take the time to enjoy what I'd just accomplished.

So I am breathing. I am saying, "Lord, thank you." He's made me a Christian writer in spite of myself, and I think I'll take a minute to enjoy the journey.

Isn't it grand to look up and find you've gotten your heart's desire?

Feeling grateful,


Jules Quincy Stephens said...

Raga: Wow, I had no idea. It seems to me the Lord has blessed you tremendously. Write, and He'll take care of the rest. That's sounds simplistic, but isn't the best faith simple, like a child?

markwashere said...

hey rags... will u invite me to be in the audience when you get on Oprah?

Paula said...

Hey Sistie, my friend!How wonderful this post is. And how much the Lord has done in one short year. . . and how thrilled I am to watch and live this journey with you. You go girl! (And good answer, Ken!!)

Heather Diane Tipton said...

Isn't God so good? I'm so glad you have gotten your heart's desire, I get to benefit from it.

Aola said...

I'm glad you are writing and I'm glad I found you.

Thank you.

MicahGirl said...

Rock on, Ragamuffin Diva.

Micah Girl

Burnt Stick said...

I was gonna comment on another post but I got intimidated. Now I gotta! I love your mind. I wish I owned a big Christian magazine. I'd fight for you. You are quality. D

So I Go said...

very inspiring.. this has been the cry of my heart for a few months as well. you just never know where God will lead.. kudos to you as you continue on this journey.