To make my joy complete

For a couple of weeks now, I yearned to write a blog post, yet I was afraid that it wouldn’t be as elegant as I envisioned, that my writing was somehow lacking in my sabbatical.  Oh, the messy scribbles in my journal were good enough for God and still I wanted to present something “better,” more polished to my blog readers.

There was something faulty in my thinking.  I thought, “God always invites me to come to Him as I am, but shouldn’t I present my very best to the Creator of all things?”  And then it struck me—those messy scribbles are my truest words, for they are the yearnings of my soul, a heart crying out to the living God.  Perhaps my journals contain my most precious writings. 

Therefore, what I write for you, dear readers, is what is leftover.  Since these “leftovers” come from the outpouring of my heart, they are not sloppy seconds, rather the first fruits of a heart yielded in obedience to God.  I believe that even at the inception of Backseat Writer I failed you by giving you only what was left of me, by not filling up with God’s Word, by not trusting the Holy Spirit to guide my words.  Simply put, I was running on empty, putting on airs to impress you with my garbled speech, and trying to prove to the world and myself that I was a decent writer.  Thankfully, God in His mercy used my words anyway. 

“[i] write this to make my joy complete.’ 1 john 1:4

While tiptoeing through the New Testament, I found a verse in I John that defined my true desire as a writer.  John says, “[I] write this to make my joy complete.” (I John 1:4)  When I read that my soul leapt, for I had found my purpose, a life verse of sorts, for the thing I love to do most.  I will not write to please people or publicists or musicians or anyone else.  Instead, I choose to write to make my joy complete, and that joy, of course, comes from God. 

Like the tear-stained scribbles in my journal, I hope my joyful ramblings will edify you as well.  Even if my words are foolishness to the world, I suppose that is all right, for I want to find my wholeness in God, not in man.  Of course, this is not something I have yet achieved because I still look at myself in the mirror with a critical eye and I not-so secretly wonder if this post will make a difference in anyone’s life. 

As humans, I think we all long to connect with others, to know that our words can and do make a difference.  My problem has been that I wrote chiefly for the accolades (not always, but often) and not to make my joy complete, not primarily for the glory of God.  I failed to realize that writing FOR the glory of God is how I can make my joy complete.  So, above all, I choose God and I choose joy and I write to make my joy complete in God.

{I caught downhere’s show with Jason Gray and Aaron Shust this past weekend.  Their song “Let Me Rediscover You” from On the Altar of Love hit me straight in the heart, so I thought I’d post the video.}

Coming up: Even though I do write to make my joy complete, I’d like to share my joy with y’all, so I thought I’d give you some tasty tidbits of what’s coming up here at Backseat Writer. 

*My thoughts on Elisabeth Eliot’s book, The Path of Loneliness, which is an excellent book that rubbed my soul raw. (Psst!  There will be a giveaway!)

*A very lengthy and thorough review of A Way to See in the Dark, the latest album from singer/songwriter Jason Gray.  As I’ve mentioned before, this album has been a soothing balm for me.  I had the opportunity to meet Jason at the show.  I may have purchased an autographed copy of A Way to See in the Dark to give away to one lucky reader.  I guess we’ll just see. (I’m terrible at keeping secrets!  I bought two CDs, which Jason graciously autographed—one for me and one to give away!  I’m trying to figure out what I didn’t buy the special edition for myself. Duh!)

*Why “Choose Joy” is my new mantra and the woman who inspired the slogan…and why I didn’t read her blog earlier.  (Hint: It has something to do with my anxiety disorder!)

*A guest post by Wes Pickering on his new song, “Open My Heart,” complete with music video and lyrics!

*Whatever else crosses my mind…possibly a “Friday Faves” is on the horizon?  Photo essay?  We’ll see.

Dear, dear friends, what is going on in your world?  What are you reading, watching, listening to?  Dish it in the comments sections!

5 thoughts on “To make my joy complete

  1. All I can say is… welcome back! I’ve really enjoyed out chats the past couple days, and I am SO excited for what God has for you and Backseat Writer in the future! Can’t wait to read these upcoming posts of yours. =)

  2. I love the idea of writing to complete my joy. Whenever I get down about the state of publishing or market trends or whatever, my husband says something like, “Is that why you write?” “No,” I begrudgingly admit. “Then do it because you love it,” he says. And I grouch and grump around because he’s right. And you’re right, too.

  3. Found your blog through WordPress….LOVE IT! Your post today were the words that I have been echoing inside my mind as well! Thank you so much for your inspiration and helping me see that I write to make my Joy Complete in Christ! You are a gifted writer but I can also see that you are passionate about Jesus! May God continue to use your blog to minister to so many! I will be posting this post to my FB page today to encourage someone else!

  4. Writing to make my joy complete… I love that thought! I love your words and the way you express them. Thank you for sharing!

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