The more I get to know each of you, the more I've come to realize that I'm not the only one with a love/hate relationship with writing. Your honesty encourages me and keeps me writing. For me, when the writing flows, it is pure joy. But then there are days, weeks and months when writing is pure struggle. In those times, it is good for me to ponder the answers to the following two questions:
1. When did you realize you were romanced by words, language and writing?
However, I was still romanced by the nuances of words and the uniqueness of languages, even the whys and hows of English grammar fascinated me. Long story short, it was this God-instilled passion that led me to study linguistics and then join Wycliffe Bible Translators. I cannot count how many languages I've had the opportunity to "taste," whether for an assignment or for survival, and I have never tired of the uniqueness of each one. I just get to keep falling in love with words and language over and over again. (The photo below shows the Shatikha language of Myanmar.)
Here's a poem I recently wrote about this God-instilled passion:
LOGOLEPSY--by Connie Inglis
I'm calling it a day
with this terminal
I lie in bed--defining
conjugating Thai language. "Hello" verbs and nouns, unable to
"Call it a day," I whisper
my mind refuses
My partner linguist says enjoy
2. How does Jesus the Bridegroom romance you with His words to you?
The answer to this question brings me back to how I returned to writing. As a young mom, I started to journal but found little time to do it faithfully which was often more of a frustration than a joy. Mostly I wrote because it helped me process life.
Then there was a time when I even stopped journaling. It was when we first moved to Thailand. Our daughter, who was only ten, went through a time of intense spiritual attack. She could physically see a demon in her bedroom at night, laughing malevolently at her. No matter how much we prayed, nothing seemed to get rid of it. I won't go into more detail than that (that story is for another time) except to say that it did end. However, it was a dark time for me spiritually. I was angry at God and I questioned what He was doing.
Then, when that same daughter was in grade 12, I joined a Bible study with a group of moms that all had children in grade 12. We studied the book, Age of Opportunity, by Paul David Tripp. It was through this book and this wonderful group of ladies that Jesus wooed me back to Himself. He was gentle and tender and loving and kind to me when I was bedraggled and closed-off. I was a slow learner but He was patient. He reminded me of His relentless love for me over and over again, often through vivid word pictures. And as I learned to trust in His love, I learned to write again.
With each step I took closer to Him, I discovered other authors that took me deeper: John Eldredge, Brennan Manning, Francis Chan, Ann Voskamp. Worship music as well took on a whole new meaning. It's been an amazing and beautiful ride. I have found such a freedom in His love--freedom to write songs and poetry and stories. Even freedom to paint again (that too is another story).
One of the verses that He gave me along the way is Song of Solomon 7:10--"I am my Beloved's and His desire is for me." (ESV) The Bridegroom is so in love with His Bride that His sole desire is for her. That word picture can bring me to tears because He's talking about His love for ME!
I am so thankful that He has never given up on me--that my relationship with Him is a romance. I realize too that His relationship with the world is a romance and that it is this romance that He calls me, calls all of us, to write about.