“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart”-Psalm 37:4
I got my first diary for Christmas when I was in elementary school. Its cover was pink with “My Diary” in cursive and of course, it had a delicate lock and key. I would sit and write my heart’s desire into the pages, then lock it up, returning it to its secret hiding place.
In college, my diary turned into entries scribbled in spiral notebooks. Ultimately I switched to hard backed journals. Some were leather and others had Audrey Hepburn or a pithy inspirational saying on the front if they came from the sale table.
Pens for this writing have always been meticulously selected. Mostly gel blue medium points, smooth to the touch. To this day I can’t resist the allure of the pen aisle at any store; looking them over, selecting some then changing my mind, and always leaving with a new writing instrument.
For years I’ve attended the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival, even flying in from Arizona when the children were young. I spend the weekend among kindred spirits on campus, unleashing my writer self. My friend Pam, the holder of a coveted creative writing degree, started to make the Iowa City trek with me a few years ago. We take the classes, write for hours and read our works to each other all weekend.
Four years after my divorce from FP while moving boxes to and fro in the basement, one box wouldn’t fit into my orderly rearrangement. Opening it to see if its contents could be tossed, I found it contained my journals from the years with FP. I concluded I was supposed to read them, so that night I propped myself in bed with several pillows and layers of warm covers even though it wasn’t cold outside. For the next several nights I slowly turned over each page, reading carefully.
“God wants you to have your heart’s desire,” FP had said over and over when I had questioned whether we should get married, and the pages reflected much on this topic. Over time I’d assumed he was right and I acquiesced to marriage in spite of whispers of my inner voice. The pages chronicled the details as the whispers became louder and ultimately the marriage ended in a painful divorce.
A few weeks after I’d read the journals, a new client came into my law office. R and her husband had sought a collaborative divorce. During our meetings she had commented, “We have to be sure to include the rights to my book in the property list.”
“Wow, a book! “ I’d replied in awe of her as a real writer. “I am so envious! I’ve always fancied myself a writer and it’s my dream to write a book.”
“Well,” she said, “when this is all over we will have to make that dream a reality.”
I had been realizing God was bringing just the right people into my life, and lo and behold here was a writer. Because He always delivers “immeasurably more than we ask or imagine,” (Ephesians 3:20) she then said, “I am also a yoga teacher. One of my classes is Poses and Prose which incorporates yoga with writing.”
My two passions: writing and yoga. I chuckled. Definitely God.
When her divorce was final, I signed up for a yoga/writing workshop with R. It was amazing. Afterwards I asked R if she would coach me in writing and she agreed.
We began regular meetings at Caribou Coffee. I started with professional writing and quickly three articles I wrote were published in The Iowa Lawyer magazine. R edited my early writing and gave me confidence through her encouragement. I kept printed copies of the published articles in my law office saying “You might find this article I wrote helpful,” in my consultations with prospective clients.
I was a writer!
I also began to write my blog. R helped me think of ideas and I read her blog for guidance. I pressed the button to publish my first post amidst heart palpitations and fears of unworthiness. “Your heat’s desire!” outshouted my inner critic.
“I think this blog could help people,” commented Father A when I emailed him the first few installments. With my earthly spiritual father’s blessing I was more empowered and I posted regularly.
For my birthday a few months ago Pam gave me a special gift. My first dozen blogposts were published in a hardback book. I opened it in shock. “I am a writer.”
R and I still have a warm friendship. I practice at her yoga studio, and we meet at Caribou for writing dates where we chat briefly then sit side by side writing. When I talk to her about my writing life, she nods with understanding.
This past winter I took on a new project and last month I completed a draft of my first book. It is a book for attorneys, and it is currently being edited. I anticipate self- publishing it early next year.
I often think back to FP’s definition of my heart’s desire. He limited it to romance. Romance is beautiful but I’ve discovered the real definition is so much deeper. It includes the love God has for me, and His intimate knowledge of my heart. He created that little girl who wrote in that first diary all those years ago, and He knew that writing made her heart flutter with joy.
I understand the Psalm now. If you take delight in the Lord He will give you the desires of your heart.
And my heart’s desire is Him.