February 24, 2020

I wish it came easy. I wish I could sit down and write. I wish there wasn’t always a battle.

It was only a few months before I graduated high school that God made it perfectly clear to me PWID was where He wanted me. I had attended multiple CU Fridays and read through Cedarville’s academic programs page so many times. I’d lost hope of finding a major until an AP Language homework assignment involving writing and design led me to scour the programs page one more time, find Professional Writing and Information Design, and read how writing, editing, and design can be done all at once. I was so excited! My feelings of worry and indecisiveness faded to nothing. God revealed His will in His perfect way and timing.

Yet when I started the program, I doubted in a new way. I was nervous about writing. Could I write “professionally” (whatever that means)? Was the “good writer status” I had held since middle school still valid in college? How hard was this going to be?

Rarely have I entered a writing period and enjoyed the flow of words or watched as paragraph by paragraph builds in clarity and confidence. Instead, I encounter writer’s block and claim that as the day’s excused writing absence. My fingers will sprawl lazily on the keyboard while my heart grumbles and complains; I try to find a way to sneak away from the computer. I sigh, wondering why I can’t say things as eloquently as other writers I know do. Sometimes there are even opposite days where I lift my chin high and hope that the words appearing on the screen are wise, insightful, and reflect well the thoughts and person of Abby Edsell.

As a Christian indwelt by the Holy Spirit I recognized the battle rising within myself and knew I should not turn a blind eye to it. The root of my writing woes does not ultimately lie in any external circumstances—but rather me. I sit down to write and my thoughts all point back at me. I want to be thought well of. I must get it perfect the first time. This is how I prove myself. I need to feel what I’m writing. I hope someone will affirm me.

With each of those desires I steal the glory from God, use my writing abilities selfishly, elevate self-love and concern, and idolize my hopes for my writing. I so quickly forgot God’s sovereignty in guiding me to PWID. I was not considering His will or part in my writing.

Since high school, God has made John 3:30 one of my repeated companions. “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Each year He reveals a little more about what living that verse must look like. I know it means denying myself. Forgetting myself. Learning and doing my best with the intent of offering it back to Jesus Christ. Prayers upon prayers for a humble spirit. Committing outcomes and feedback to His keeping.

I wish this exchange of desires came easy. However, God personally arranges circumstances to make His own holier. It’s not the job that fulfills me. It’s not an excellent writing session, completed project, praise of man. It’s obedience to God. It’s doing everything in my life for God.

I wish writing wasn’t so hard. I wish I could ignore the battle. But as a professor recently told me, “It’s not enough to know what’s right when we know we must change how we act and think.”

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Abby Edsell

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