It’s the seventh day of vacation and I’m resting after six days of creating, like God did in the beginning, only I suspect God wasn’t drinking a beer and reading Stephen King’s Bag of Bones.
But he may have been sitting by the water like I am. Staring at the way it ripples like gold-spun threads and thinking about the way it makes me feel rested and whole, in the same way creating does.
I’m writing books these days and it’s a dream come true except for the fear in it all.
The fear of not doing it well. The fear of being exposed for the mess I am. But it’s relieving as well, kind of like a long run or meditation. It’s relieving in the way that anything good for you is, even when it’s hard.
Because I no longer have to pretend, and this is especially true for my book being released this September. Chasing Silhouettes: How to Help a Loved One Battling an Eating Disorder is a very sobering story about the way I inadvertently damaged my family, and how they inadvertently damaged me, and how we all lived to tell the tale. It’s the story of how a broken family became whole by nothing other than the love of Jesus. A love that slowly healed an anorexic girl and gave her new eyes: for how God made her, not to bear an appearance, but to be a living, pulsing emblem of creativity.
I touch the skin below my right ear, where I have a tattoo. It’s a capitol “S” representing the Divine She or the feminine side of God. When my mum asked me what it meant, and I told her, she said, “But that’s you, Emily. You represent the feminine side of God.”
I am a tattoo of God on the skin of the earth.
I represent his nurturing heart, his mercy and compassion. But more than that. I represent his creative soul. My body split open to bring life into the world, in the same way that God split open the universe to create earth, and my boys are made in the image of me (and my husband) in the same way that my husband and I are made in the image of God.
And so in writing, too, I produce life. Every act of creativity is an act of giving birth, of producing creation, of making something in the image of God, and this is a high calling. But it isn’t just for writers, it’s for everyone. It’s for math teachers and mechanics and janitors and lawyers and maybe it’s more obvious when artists do it. But it’s not more divine. It’s just different. We all have a divine calling to unite with our father and do his work on this earth.
My beer is done but I’m still reading, not because I like Stephen King necessarily (the only other book I’ve read by him is “On Writing”), but I admire how he writes. He can turn a sentence like my husband can flip a pancake. And instead of being jealous of King’s writing skill, I see it instead as him partnering with God in the gift of creating through words, and I ask God to increase my ability too—because he is the giver of all good gifts, writing included.
Sometimes I fear. I fear man’s rejection. I fear not succeeding.
But then I remember a talk Henri Nouwen gave of how we are God’s; we are his beloved. We are written on his hand. And when we find our worth and our identity in him, when we remember who we are in him, we can do anything. Including write books.
Because it’s for him, and through him, that we live and move and have our being.
*in ONE week, i will be celebrating the release of my book, Chasing Silhouettes: How to Help a Loved One Battling an Eating Disorder, with Dr. Gregory Jantz. i would be so honored if you would consider purchasing a copy here for your library, for your church, for the family down the street.
and to thank you, I’m giving away a package of hand-painted cards and a giclee print from my Etsy website. let me know in the comments why you want to purchase it, or why you believe it will help someone you know, or how you plan to help me get the word out. THANK YOU!!*
Purchase Emily Wierenga’s new book Chasing Silhouettes: How to help a loved one battling an eating disorder within the first four weeks after its September 25, 2012 release date and receive a special invitation to watch an online forum on eating disorders with bestselling author Dr. Gregory L. Jantz, FindingBalance CEO Constance Rhodes and author Emily Wierenga. Readers must email a scanned receipt, a picture of them with the book or tell us when and where they purchased the book to firstname.lastname@example.org, and they will be logged in to receive a special invitation to watch the event. They may also submit questions for the panel to answer, some of which will be selected and answered during the forum.
[photo: Rolling Okie, Creative Commons]