Mama had an old typewriter. Sleek and black. A real treasure. You know, one of the ancient ones that clicked and clacked with every magical touch of the fingertips. It was our favorite writing instrument back then, and my sister and I would spend hours click-clacking away at the keys.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was walking near my mother’s desk when I noticed a stack of typewritten pages. With slight reservation, I picked up the stack. I knew better than to go digging around on Mama’s desk, but the allure was strong, and my resolve was weak. As my eyes cautiously scanned the pages, I was immediately sucked into what appeared to be a dystopian novel.
There I was… about six pages into her post-apocalyptic narrative, when Mama walked in from outside.
I dropped the pages back onto her desk immediately.
Caught red-handed, I looked up at her. I expected her to call me a “Nosy-Rosy” and remind me of my manners for the gazillionth time. Instead of a scolding, however, she gave me a sly smile.
“Well, don’t just stand there. Tell me what you think.” She leaned up against the desk beside me and whispered, “I’m working on a novel.”
A novel. My mom was talented. She was imaginative and clever. And she was writing a novel. I was inspired. My hobby of writing short stories, poetry, and plays for the neighborhood kids to perform was quickly replaced with a grand dream.
I decided to write a novel.
I started writing my first “novel” on a yellow legal pad that Mama gave me. It was a YA romance, of course. I was a shy, awkward seventh grader, and that yellow legal pad held on its pages all of the secret crushes and first date wishes I’d only shared with my best friend.
One day in English class, while I was supposed to be conjugating verbs, I just had to write. Covertly, I placed my writing pad inside my textbook and got lost in my story. Deep into the plot, I didn’t see my teacher, Mrs. Manuel, walk over. When she asked to see what I was working on, I just knew I was in major trouble.
She took the legal pad from me and walked over to her desk. She sat there for awhile, thumbing through the pages.
I was terrified. Not of getting a zero. Not even detention or going to the principal’s office scared me. That was survivable. (Although facing the wrath of Mama might not have been.)
No. I what I feared most was that she would take my novel away and never give it back. After a few minutes of thumbing through it, she called me over to her desk.
I was mortified.
I thought for sure she was about to hand out punishment, which I probably deserved. Instead, she gave me some advice on revisions and asked to read the next chapter. That year, she worked with me to cultivate my skills and read every single chapter with a smile. Years later, when I graduated from high school, Mrs. Manuel sent me a graduation card that said, “When you publish your first novel, please send me a copy.”
It was that card, along with a deep spiritual calling, that led me to become a teacher. Isn’t it funny how God’s calling on our lives starts subtly? It’s like a whisper that gets louder and more decipherable as we grow closer to Him. I’m awestruck as I look back. What was once muddled is now perfectly clear.
Our perspective comes with hindsight, but His plan was made with foresight. While we only see a piece, He’s seen the entire picture. When He formed me in my mother’s womb, He knitted within my heart a passion for writing and an imagination to fuel it.
I’m so grateful for His plan in my life. Each step I’ve taken, each faint whisper, each encounter– whether it be painful or pleasing, was all a part of the plan God orchestrated for me. And at times, when I have deserved punishment, He (like Mrs. Manuel and Mama) has given me insight instead.
Because of His great love, He equips each of us for the unique journey He has planned.
And when you wonder what God’s plan for your life is, just remember. He made you with specific talents and gifts. Seek His guidance, and listen for that still-small whisper. You never know. You may even hear it in the click-clack of a typewriter or in the words of a loving teacher.