Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Your Story More Than My Glory by Marie Wells Coutu

Marie Wells Coutu
I need music like I need air.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not musical. Although I took piano lessons for several years and sang in the church youth choir all during high school, I can barely play Chopsticks and, as my daddy used to say, I “can’t carry a tune in a bucket.”


But music speaks to me, especially Christian music. Whether it’s traditional hymns whose words I know from childhood, choruses from my youth, gospel, or CCM, I love listening and I have to sing along. I find myself humming a tune or singing the words to a favorite song many times a day—if not aloud, then in my head. (Just so you know how bad my singing is, my daughter used to tell me, “Mommy, don’t sing!”)


As a writer, I often find that a current Christian song mirrors the story I’m working on. Or at the very least, the lyrics reflect the struggles I’m going through.


This morning, I heard (again) Matthew West’s Broken Things, which follows the theme of my Mended Vessels series of novels based on biblical women with difficult pasts (http://www.klove.com/music/artists/matthew-west/songs/broken-things-lyrics.aspx). The song talks about how God uses broken people, weak people, imperfect people.


It occurs to me that those are the people God calls to be writers. It’s our pasts, our scars and broken pieces, which enable us to write stories readers can relate to. And because we have been mended by the perfect potter, we can show redemption and hope in our stories. So we sing along, offering our own brokenness to be used by Him.


I write Christian fiction because I want to share the hope and truth of God’s love. My tagline is “Blessing Lives through Stories,” and my continual prayer is that God will use my stories to restore others to Him.


However, I also feel the tug of fame and fortune (hah!) that the world promises to writers—at least, those who succeed in penning a best-seller. My flesh rears up and tells me I need to do more: more publicity, more promotion, more social media, more sales, more striving.


God has to constantly call me back to the simple fact that my writing is for Him, not for myself. If only one person is blessed by one of my stories, that should be enough. My deepest desire is to hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”


That’s why Natalie Grant’s recent release, More Than Anything, speaks to me (http://www.klove.com/music/artists/natalie-grant/songs/more-than-anything-lyrics.aspx).


This song reminds me that my success is not found in awards or best-seller lists, but in being faithful to write redemptive stories. So here’s my author’s adaptation, my prayer for today—and every day:


"Help me want (to write) Your Story more than my glory.”


What songs speak to your writer's heart? We'd love to hear from you.

About the Author
The Secret Heart
by Marie Wells Coutu
Marie Wells Coutu began making up stories soon after she began talking. Her most recent title, The Secret Heart, and its prequel, an e-book novelette titled The Divided Heart, are published by Write Integrity Press, along with the award-winning For Such a Moment and Thirsting for More. She and her husband divide their time between Iowa, near their two children and four grandchildren, and Florida, where it’s warm all winter. Marie is working on a historical novel set in western Kentucky, her home state.

Marie is a regular contributor to Seriously WriteFor more posts by Marie, click here.

10 comments:

  1. Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing this truth.

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  2. And thank you for Matthew West’s song. I needed it this morning!

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    1. God is so good to give us what we need when we need it, isn't he, Laurie? Thanks for letting me know.

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  3. Francesca Battistelli's Giants Fall has been on repeat in my car for days now. It's speaking to me. Love this post!

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    1. Yes, Sally, that's another great one! Thanks.

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  4. Marie, I'm like you. I love music and lyrics, but I was not blessed with the gift of singing. I say it's God's way of keeping me humble. :) My go-to song right now is Lauren Daigle's "Trust in You." I'm taking my mom to her final doctor appointment Thursday before we start hospice. :(

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    1. Katen, trusting is so hard in the dark times, isn't it? Music helps so much! I guess that's why David wrote so many Psalms. Praying with you for your mom. (PS, I love your comment about God's way to keep you humble!)

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  5. MercyMe's Flawless had more than 22 million hits tallied at YouTube when I looked this morning, and with good reason. Who doesn't need a reminder that, no matter how badly we've failed, Jesus can restore us and make us flawless in God's eyes?

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    1. Absolutely, Carol! That's another song that resonates with me (and with the characters I write). 8-)

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