The nudge in my spirit was sudden & unexpected.
Almost audibly, I heard, “Encourage authors. Encourage writers.” In response, I mentally argued with God. Because that always works well.
“And how am I supposed to do that? I don’t know any. What would I have to say? Why would they want to hear from me?” But my words fell into silence as the initial message reverberated.
Encourage authors. Encourage writers.
“Okay,” I replied, “now what?”
I’ve asked God that question a few times before; like when we ran a library, started a non-profit or moved to foster multiple children on a ranch. When I sense a nudge to do something bigger than me it seems scary and comes across vague. I think I need to know all the answers up front to make sure I’m hearing correctly. Because, surely, God provides road-mapped details when starting a new journey. Doesn’t He?
Yeah, not so much. I’ve learned that the best thing to do is take one step forward while incessantly praying. Faith requires putting trust in an unseen, yet sovereign, God. Putting faith in action means moving ahead in unseen territory. I don’t like not knowing, but I’m learning to trust the God who knows.
After a few minutes of reflection, I realized God was already leading me towards this new call. It began without pretense, through a misunderstanding and a misreading. While skimming through Facebook, which sometimes blends words and ideas together, I saw something that wasn’t there. A prompt to write on Christians and platform. I knew I needed to write with only a vague idea why. As I began, the thoughts flooded in. Maybe that was God telling me to get off my tushy and start.
God revealed insights and vision while igniting a passion to do just what I believe he asked me to do.
Encourage authors. Encourage writers.
I don’t like not knowing, but I’m learning to trust the God who knows.
The process began with a name, Rise Up Writers, and then a whole lot of work which is not (yet) seen by others. Potential blog posts. A possible eBook. Research for a growing number of ideas.
Last spring, I felt another nudge telling me to just get started. Start with a newsletter.
Again, in perplexity I said OK and followed through by putting out the call on Facebook. The response was quick and confirming. There was a need and God was asking me to fulfill it in some way which was as yet unclear. I would need a lot of help from Him.
Without a specific vision and mission, I needed to trust His leading.
Over the last few months I’ve continued to take small steps of obedience, in faith, trusting that God would provide. But, y’all just need to know; going slow & trusting each step does not come naturally to me. At all. My tendency is to plunge forward and pick up the fallen pieces later if I need to. I get worn out with decision-making and so I fore go any attempt to decide and move ahead. Often, ahead of God.
This is different. The Holy Spirit calms my heart to a steadier beat. I’m continually urged to trust. Do what I’m asked to do, day by day.
Today, Rise Up Writers has begun via a bi-weekly newsletter, a Facebook group and videos of encouragement and inspiration. It is Spirit-led and I invite each member to seek the Holy Spirit in their own faith journey as it directly impacts their writing.
Members include writers and speakers of all genres and ages. Some have blogs, some don’t. Some are published authors and some haven’t published a post. If you use words and would like to be encouraged to use them well, I invite you to join this wonderful, eclectic group.
Rise Up Writers is a movement of believers boldly rising up as a collective voice to advance the kingdom of God. We continue to know Christ more and rest in being known so that we are equipped and empowered to make Christ and his truths known.
We seek God’s transforming work in our hearts and lives so that we reflect Him well wherever, whenever and however he leads.
Our words become a powerful unified voice when we see each other as co-collaborators for the kingdom of God and not as competition. We are better as a body of believers when we link arms & encourage one another.
What’s ahead for #RiseUpWriters? Possibly discussions on how to deal with the tension of building a platform as a follower of Christ as well as other pertinent topics. Probably, more encouragement and challenging questions designed to spur growth. Most likely, a continued unfolding of God’s plan as we advance.
I’d be honored to facilitate and link arms with you along the way.
Your fellow sojourner,
For more information, click here.
Sign Up for #RiseUpWriters Newsletter.
Join the #RiseUpWriters Facebook comunity.
View the videos on my YouTube channel.
SoundCloud version of #RiseUpWriters vision & mission. A rally call to Know ~ Be Known ~ Make Known.
Jolene Underwood passionately pursues a life filled with grace & freedom. She writes about real life in need of real faith by inspiring an authentic pursuit of hope beyond the challenges of life. She is a lifter heads and a facilitator of encouragement. Jolene founded the Acts 15 Team which links arms with those serving in the front lines of ministry through words & art. She also founded the Rise Up Writers uplifting newsletter & community. When she’s not writing at her blog, for Rise Up Writers , or as a contributor for the Grace Table, you’ll find her enjoying time with friends, gardening, or obsessing over colored glass & mason jars. Join her conversations of encouragement & faith via Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest as @faith_eyes.