Thursday, March 19, 2020

You Can’t Run from Your Calling By Leslie L. McKee

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
- Proverbs 3:5-6

Growing up, I wanted to be a writer, among other things. I wrote a few short stories, but I mostly wrote poetry. I’d carry a notebook with me everywhere I went. I entered contests, and I was even a finalist three years in a row for a prestigious summer program for high school writers. I considered a career in journalism. I continued to write on a regular basis until I hit college. There, it slowed a bit as I pursued other interests, but I would write something for special occasions or class projects. Writing, as a career, however, was pushed to the side.

I thought I knew where I was going with my career path, but things took a turn in 1994. That’s when I was hit by a car, and my journey with chronic pain and chronic illness began. I found some solace in journaling, but I never saw it as a career.

Over the next few years, my love of reading led me into reviewing for publications. I was writing again. Almost without even realizing it, I had come full circle … back to my love of writing. And yet, I still didn’t expect it to go anywhere.

People told me I should share my story of chronic pain and illness, but I’ve never been one to open up to anyone … especially strangers. So, I continued to be content with writing reviews and editing (a career that came out of my publishing connections). I had a job where I could read, and I loved it!

One day, I received an email that I would later recognize as a nudge from God. An editing connection sent me information on entering a contest to have devotions published by Ellie Claire/Worthy Publishing. The topic was one that I’d been toying with writing about for years, yet I never pursued it. I wrote back saying I was definitely interested. After I pushed send, it suddenly hit me: I had never written a devotion in my life! Sure, I’d read a lot of them, but I’d only written reviews or poetry. However, I had committed to submitting a sample, and so I did.

I never expected to hear back from them. So imagine my surprise when I was offered a contract to write ten devotions to be included in a 365-day compilation. It was at that moment that I realized God had done it again 😊

Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” That is exactly what happened to me when I hit “send” on that email.

The Lord knew that desire had never truly left my heart. He’d placed it there, after all! It just took a bit of a “nudge” (by way of a car accident and a friend) to remind me of the calling that had been placed on me decades earlier.

God has a calling for each of us, and I fought mine for years. Perhaps you have, as well. Reread Proverbs 3:5-6. Consider memorizing it. Go to the Lord in prayer. Ask Him for guidance in every aspect of your life, including your writing. Then trust Him. He knows what He’s doing!

Leslie is an editor, reviewer, and author. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and The Christian PEN. Her devotionals have been published in compilations by Ellie Claire: Just Breathe, Refresh Your Soul, and Breathe: Devotions to Quiet the Soul. She has had flash fiction stories published, as well. Leslie is currently working on her first book, a devotional for women battling chronic pain and illness.

In her spare time, Leslie enjoys reading, crocheting, spending time with family and friends (and her turtle!), and rooting for the NY Giants.

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   (@leslielmckee for all social media sites)



18 comments:

  1. You can't escape your calling;
    I know that this is true.
    No matter how appalling,
    God says, "THIS, bud, 's for you!"
    I thought poetic writers
    were little men with bad bow ties
    who could not stand the brighter
    lights, because of their week eyes.
    I scoffed at the very thought
    of a poetic football hooligan,
    but I did not credit as I ought,
    and God has me fooled again;
    three thousand sonnets in the year,
    and if my mates find out, oh dear!

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  2. Leslie, thank you for being so courageous in sharing your personal story about your writing journey. Your journey has inspired me. I am sure you will inspire others who are still struggling to realize their own dreams.

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    1. Thanks so much, Christina. Trust me, sharing is definitely outside my comfort zone! Glad you were inspired. I hope others are, as well. As long as we're still breathing, it's not to late to realize those dreams. :)

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  3. Very important to be alert for those nudges from God. :-)

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    1. Yes, it sure is, Melissa. I've had a few that were more of a "push" than a "nudge." :) Thankfully, I've gotten a bit better at noticing them.

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  4. What an encouraging post. Puts everything in perspective.

    I'm curious about the turtle. Does it react (get excited) to see you? Like does it comes out of it's shell when it knows your there?

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    1. Thanks, Connie!

      Yes! Our turtle is named Speedy. When we first got him over fifteen years ago, he'd hide when he heard the door opening. Now, however, he comes out to see it. He would truly follow us around the house if his tank would allow him to do so :) And, like me, he also loves minions!

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  5. Thank you for such an inspiring post, Leslie. Appreciate you sharing your story. Wishing you all the best with your book!

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  6. Leslie, I thoroughly enjoyed your post. There have been times I wanted to give up, but those God nudges kept me going. Actually it’s like I can’t quit.

    I’m so sorry you have to deal with chronic pain. My mom did and I know it takes a toll on you. I always admired her for the grace she showed in dealing with it.

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    1. Thanks, Terri. I was honored to be here.

      Yes, it does take a toll, for sure. That's a big reason why I'm writing my book. Sorry your mom had to deal with it, as well. Sadly, far too many women do :( I"m sure your support meant a lot to her.

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  7. So appreciate your sharing the story, one God used to nudge you to use his gift of writing. Nothing in our circumstances is wasted, is it? :)

    If I should start to edge toward doubt or insecurity, this truth yanks me back: "His gifts and his call are irrevocable." Romans 11:29

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    1. Thanks, Mary. Yes, nothing is wasted or a coincidence :)

      That's a great verse to remember. I'll have to jot it down. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Thank you for sharing, Leslie, and for heeding God’s call.

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    1. You're welcome, Chloe. Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. Thank you for sharing, Leslie. I'm sure you are an inspiration to many.
    I'm so sorry you live with chronic pain---I know that's so difficult (speaking from experience, sadly).
    I love that you have a turtle named Speedy---that's so cute!
    Thanks again for sharing your story.
    Blessings, Patti Jo

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    1. Thanks so much, Patti Jo.

      I'm sorry that you deal with chronic pain, as well. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

      We found Speedy to be a pretty appropriate name for him, as he always seems to be on the go (generally trying to follow us!)

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