Because I Love It

I love writing. She says, sitting there in that dorm room. They’re fourteen strong, returning students, new students mixed, and I’ve come mostly for the popcorn, the Oreos, but they’re talking about themselves, getting to know each other, and I stay where I am, there in the doorway.

They go around the circle, playing an introduction game, and I listen, absently pick the half-popped kernels out of the salty popcorn bowl. They’re sweet girls, all of them, but I’m distracted by those first words, that self-proclaimed love of writing, and soon, introductions are over, and I grab another Oreo, slip out the door, down the hall.

I write, I know. You know that, too. You experience my writing, most days. I’ve written more than the words found here, too. On slips of paper and in the backs of notebooks and on lists and in journals, books, my Bible. Of course I write. But she’s said she loves it, and I’m suddenly wondering if I do, too.

Certainly I do, some might say. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it.

But maybe I would. Maybe I would still write. Not as a demonstration, an outpouring, of my passion for recording and memorializing, but as an obligation, as a task, as a check-mark I’ll not receive, an imaginary mark of honor that I’ll pass up, should I not compose those words, mark down those letters. Maybe I don’t love writing at all. Maybe it’s an assignment I’ve inflicted upon myself, a pen-and-paper, blog-typing burden that I’ve not yet escaped.

But I don’t think that’s the case.

I look forward to writing. I think about writing throughout the day, mentally- subconsciously, almost- taking note of images, ideas, questions, conversations, memories, stories that I want to preserve, record, explore through writing.

I understand myself through writing. It’s true that many of the ideas and lessons that I tell you about here are things that I’ve talked through, thought through, lived through with those around me, but not everything. Some of the words and memories that I write here for you have never before slipped out of my heart, my mind, my eyes, and into written form. And in that writing- sometimes there in the moment, and sometimes later, in the rereading- there is understanding, too.

I talk to myself through writing. Maybe that sounds odd, maybe even egocentric. But it’s not; it’s a confession. You might have already figured this out, of course, but I fall desperately short of having all the answers. In fact, I barely have any of the answers. I don’t know what God has planned for me, or for anyone else. I don’t understand why most things occur the way that they do, and yes, that was me you heard stomping around Mary’s room, yelling about every way that things would be different, if I had my wish.

I most certainly am not in control of this life.

But I know who is. And when I write about a God who is sovereign, or a Lord who is love, or a life that is confusing and that hurts and that I sometimes wish would just freeze so that I could get a grip on things before they all change again, I am talking to myself. I am reminding myself of the way in which life spins so fast, and yet so under His reign. I am leaving memorials of His faithfulness and His mercy and His grace, because I know at some point, probably sooner than later, I’ll forget and I’ll fall and I’ll fight. And I want to be able to come back and see the truth, and be reminded.

So I write. Because I look forward to it. Because through writing I understand myself, understand the world, understand the lessons I’m learning, better. Because I’m speaking to myself, reminding myself of what is good and what is right and what is true.

But most of all, I write because I love it.



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