On writing for the Lord
Well, my signature has changed. I’m officially Katie Ginn now! I won’t have time to write about my wedding before we go to press, but in the meantime, here’s a rumination on “writing for the Lord,” which I think can apply to anything we hope to do in His name.
When I was in middle school, I wrote a letter to my “shepherd group” leader from church, Ms. Rhonda. I told her I wanted to write for the Lord, and I expressed concern about how to do that.
What I meant was, I didn’t know if it was possible to write for the Lord — at least not in a way that was fun for me. I thought it amounted to following a bunch of “do’s and don’ts” and always being preachy. (This was my idea of the Christian life in general.)
I don’t remember exactly what Ms. Rhonda said, but I’m sure it included a promise to pray for me and an assurance that God would guide me. That He has — and “writing for the Lord” has far exceeded my expectations.
I wanted to be an author when I grew up, but my parents told me it was tough to make a living that way and encouraged me to find “something to fall back on.” So in college, I majored in journalism. Freshman year, I decided I wanted to run my own Christian magazine one day. I’d been editor of my high school’s literary magazine and loved it.
In my early 20s, I wrote a lot of news stories at The Northside Sun in Jackson. My beat was south Madison County, from Gluckstadt to Ridgeland. This was way more fun than it had any right to be.
Sometimes I reported on mundane stuff that appealed to my nerdy brain, like the details of road projects and other developments. Other times I wrote about local government actions that could impact the kingdom, like the zoning exception – originally opposed by a majority of the board of supervisors — allowing Pinelake Church to start a campus in an “industrial” area. The board relented after an emotional plea from then Sheriff Toby Trowbridge.
When I moved downtown to the Clarion Ledger, I wrote mostly “features,” non-newsy stories about interesting people, places and events. I also wrote personal columns, sometimes involving my faith. And I was an editor: I got to plan, assign and proofread content for the CL’s Magnolia Magazine and the features section of the paper!
At some point in my 20s, I started writing a “memoir” about my faith journey. I thought it could help people. Mostly I thought it would be cool to see my name on the front of a beautifully designed softcover book, and to do readings and signings like all the other glamorous authors. (Never mind that my book would probably be an expensive, self-published endeavor.)
The more time passed, the less I felt led to work on the book. Somehow, “writing for the Lord” didn’t include publishing a spiritual memoir, but it did include keeping my neighbors informed with the news, helping them get to know each other through feature stories, and sharing shorter snippets of my own story. I was fine with that.
Then in spring 2018, Marilyn Tinnin reached out to me. By that fall, I had taken over her baby, aka MCL. God had dropped my freshman-year dream into my lap!
Would I still love to be a published author one day, and do readings and signings, and have a beautiful softcover book in print? Yes, yes, and yes! But I still haven’t felt led to pursue that dream. Maybe one day God will lead me there, but for now, I’m “writing for the Lord” with MCL, and it’s been an absolute blast.
Whatever your dreams are — whether traveling, finding that special someone (for you or your child), starting a ministry or more — submit them to our good Father and watch Him work. He might not give us everything we want, but He always gives the very best!
NOTE: If you’re interested in writing for the Lord, our MCL Summer Writing Retreat will be held Saturday, July 15, at Broadmoor Baptist Church in Madison! Space is LIMITED, so go to bit.ly/mclwrite and get your tickets today!