Welcome, welcome! We’ve been revisiting some of our favorite guest bloggers from the past for several weeks now.
This week, we continue with Michelle Stimpson! Enjoy!
| Original Post Date: April 24, 2014 |
Michelle Stimpson is a creator. She’s an innovator really. This stunningly gifted woman crafts stories and characters that cause her audiences’ souls to become attached – connected in a deep, internal way.
I’ve admired her from afar, watching as she churns out book after delicious book – including the highly acclaimed Boaz Brown, Divas of Damascus Road (National Bestseller), and Falling Into Grace. She has also published several short stories for high school students through her educational publishing company, Right Track Academic Support Services.
Her educational publishing company . . .
That’s what I like most about Michelle – her interest in others. She pours her time and energy into mentoring the next generation, teaching them how they, too, can put pen to paper and publish their works. And then, she serves whole heartedly in the women’s ministry at her local church (which happens to also be the same as mine). Our women are the better for it.
So glad that she’s stopping by our virtual living room today. Enjoy meeting Michelle.
And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Hebrews 10:17, KJV
I started keeping a diary when I was twelve, shortly after my mother had a car accident. I look back on those rough years now and realize that journaling was a blessing. Aside from being therapeutic, journaling got me into the habit of writing almost daily and taught me how to tell a story using only my version of the truth.
As time went on, I would revisit those journals under duress. When angry with my husband, I’d flip to the parts about my ex-boyfriend who was sooooo sweet. Should I have married that guy instead? When overwhelmed as a new mom, I re-read my high school volumes, reminded of was carefree and had my whole life ahead of me. What if I could get a do-over? I re-visited the college years when I felt discouraged. What if I’d picked a different major?
A few years ago, the Lord began to nudge me toward letting those pre-Jesus-in-my-life-for-real journals go. I balked, “Go?! Go where?” He couldn’t be serious.
I told a friend about this weird throwing-away-journals business God had mentioned. She agreed with Him. I decided not to listen to either one of them.
God graciously reiterated Himself in various ways over the next months. Finally, I began to hypothesize that . . . just maybe . . . His thoughts about my journals were higher than mine (Isaiah 55:8-9 rings a bell). And so, with a heart open to His interpretation, I revisited those older journals to discern God’s viewpoint.
This time, it was as though someone had given me a new pair of glasses through which to read. My word! It was a hot mess! DeAnna and I were setting up Natalie for a confrontation with Rochelle. My volleyball coach was bias. My sorority sisters couldn’t dance. Anyone with a brain could see that the ex-boyfriend I was obsessed with wasn’t really into me (duh!) and there was so much complaining about the people who loved me most.
Still. These were my journals. Furthermore, I knew lots of other Christians who got to keep their diaries. So, I flat out asked God, “Why do you want me to get rid of my journals?”
Inside, He whispered: They are a record of your sin and foolishness.
He had a point.
Yet, I reasoned on, “But doesn’t everybody have a record?”
Again, He answered me in love: I don’t remember your sin anymore. Why do you want to remember it?
End of conversation.
Y’all, I boo-hooed all the way to Office Max at the revelation of His love. I had those folders and books shredded. I literally gave them over to be tossed into oblivion.
They’re gone forever. Just like my sin and yours.