“If any man speak, [let him speak] as the oracles of God; if any man minister, [let him do it] as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever…” (1 Peter 4:11).
I’ve been saying that I write by inspiration, but I really didn’t know how true that was until I started writing story series. What I meant before was that, when something inspires me, mostly God but sometimes it could be something I read or watched or thought that gave me an idea, then I will write. Not by appointment nor by compulsion.
But as I have been yielding myself to follow God’s inspiration to write, He has been using that avenue more and more. There are times when the burden is so strong, I feel God challenging me to start writing, even when I don’t know what I am going to say. By the time I am done, I am like “wow!”.
And then other times, it is MY idea I want to run with. And we wrestle over it, because I suspect that it will not turn out as good, but I just like the idea so much. When I start to struggle with it, I beg Him for His guidance, and then He takes control and teaches me more things, so that even my ideas become His masterpieces.
For example, “The Church Girl”, the original series with seven parts. It was my idea to write one of my short stories, because I thought it would be cool to tell a story about a Church Girl, who was “not so good”. By the time I had written almost 2000 words, I thought, “mehn, this is long! I guess it’s going to have a part two“. So I rounded it up with the suspense about their first date, thinking I will write all about it in the next part.
Well, when I started Part Two the next day, God had taken over the story…and after another 2000+ words, I still hadn’t written about the juicy first date! So the story carried on until Part Seven. I was at a cross-roads. More drama or happy ending?
Being a novice at writing story series, I decided to do the happy ending, and it was a beautiful one. God gave me freedom with that decision, and we didn’t wrestle long, if at all. I didn’t want to be carried away, and I think God knew I didn’t have enough faith nor understanding to continue the story then.
The next story series I took on was “An Emotional Affair“. It was also my idea, but this time, I was ready to take on a long story, because I knew I could count on God to take over. But it took a while. For the first twelve parts, Volume One, I was winging it! I was going with the flow, but I didn’t know where I was going to end up and how things would turn around for Lola and Bolu.
I took a break from the story to wait on inspiration. That was when God showed Himself! He woke me up with the idea about Part Thirteen, and the lines were flowing just as I was arising from sleep, in the middle of the night. Lola’s mom was waking her up to reveal to her Danny’s ways, in the same way God was whispering the idea to me. It was powerful and I had to write it down.
I wrote from Part Thirteen to Part Eighteen in about two and half days as the inspiration kept flowing. And then it stopped. I wanted to round off the story by killing off Danny! I thought that was God’s way, but I had no inspired idea for how that would happen, or how it would glorify God.
As I pondered on it, God told me He wanted to save Danny, and I was amazed. I had been thinking like a human, and He was thinking of the message of salvation. So I began to develop Danny’s character leading up to when he would surrender to God, though I didn’t know how… I mean, he had sold his soul to the Devil for goodness sake!
So God had to teach me the lesson about that, before I could teach others through the story. The lesson was that we are not ours to sell, and so cannot rightfully trade our souls. By the time I finished that story, I was thoroughly amazed at how God had used me to communicate that message and other powerful messages, like forgiveness and temptation, through the series.
So, I was buzzed, and I had been putting down ideas for new stories to tackle since, never knowing when I will have time to write them, and how God will provide inspiration. I think I have like a dozen stories waiting to be written now. If only I had more time…and didn’t have money worries (which unfortunately I still do).
I shared my stories with Lagos Convo, who freely received them, and I had and have a great audience there. But I also wanted to share it on The Naked Convos (TNC). However, they didn’t want a story series that had previously been published, even though they happily publish my other writings. It had to be a new and original series. So I gave them the idea for “The Church Girl – Extended Version”.
They were not keen on it, because the original was still out there, and I couldn’t really guaranty that I would wrap up the story in 13 episodes (it ended up being 25 episodes)! I never knew “An Emotional Affair” would take two volumes, so I didn’t want to hinder the Spirit and say I could do the dramatic “Extended Version” in 12 or 13 episodes.
However, even though they were not keen on it, I was excited about the possibility of the “Extended Version”. I decided to write the story on my blog, even though I was concerned that I might be moving in pride. I kept praying for God to guide me with the story and take control as He had done at other times. I really didn’t know how to deal with the situation I was creating for my characters, bringing a pregnant Ijeoma into Mary and Ifeanyi’s lives. I was in over my head!
But God taught me something again. He taught me that you can only give what you have. When I got stuck and was begging for more inspiration, He asked me how I thought I could write a story about following God as a single, when I didn’t know anything about that. Because I hadn’t learned to be dependent on God’s leading and direction before I married. In fact, I had been disobedient!
But God is merciful. He used me anyway, because I was willing to be used and corrected. And writing the “Extended Version” was every bit a learning process for me as it was for my readers. God took me through resolving the situation one step at a time, dealing with Ifeanyi’s self-centredness, Mary’s and Ifeanyi’s lust and even bringing in the message of forgiveness between Ijeoma’s parents.
Ifeanyi and Mary had to come to the point of being surrendered to God before God would bless their union. And the way He chose to reveal Himself to both of them was so inspiring, even to me. Sometimes, we think God can only answer us one way, but God is so not limited by what we think or believe.
The story “Broken” is, perhaps, the most inspired and unique of my stories. It was God’s idea from the beginning, and I knew I had to write it straightaway when the inspiration came. I wrote it for the audience at TNC; an original story that had not previously been published.
I was actually thinking I wouldn’t be able to publish any of my story series on TNC because of their rule. I wanted ALL my story series to be published on my site first, before sharing. But the inspiration to write this story came while I was reading another story series on TNC. It was about sex. It was called “Little Black Book”.
At first, I didn’t want to read it, especially when I knew the angle wasn’t godly, and it was a purely carnal writing. But for curiousity, I did. I wanted to reach out to the audience at TNC, and my view of that platform is that they seem to be obsessed with sex! And the “Little Black Book” gave them plenty to imagine. I wanted to enter their world so I could reach out to them.
The thing that rang a bell with me was something one of the writer’s characters said. Apparently, he was a man with a strong libido, who could last forever and make a woman come multiple times, without coming himself! He said he had a curse, such that he could only come when he slept with “true love’s vagina”! I was like “wow!”. And the idea came like ding!
I thought, “mehn, these people are broken! They are perverted, so they cannot appreciate sex in the glorious way God ordained it.” So that’s when God gave the idea for the story, “Broken”, and I knew it was for that audience. I wanted to show them the depravity of sex apart from God. And “Broken” had lots of it.
“Broken” took from the Hosea story, and showed how God loves us, despite our rebellious ways. It was a message for the unsaved world, who denied the power of God. It was different from my other stories which focused on those who actually believe in God, and sought to strengthen that faith. I had to enter into the mind of my character, Promise, and I prayed to God that I wouldn’t lose faith in the process. It was a real testing of my faith to go deep and write that story from her perspective.
It also carried a message for Christian marriages, about being long-suffering with one another, the way God is with us. Even though theirs was not a Christian marriage, it was a marriage God ordained for a purpose. Ope had to show God’s love to Promise, and depend on God’s power to redeem her.
“He Cheated!” was another story that God inspired. There I was, after finishing the Extended Version of The Church Girl, and I was lusting after my character, Ifeanyi. I was positively in love with the guy. He had transformed from a bad guy, to a good guy, to a hero and a romantic lover!
That was when God told me he would fall. I was like “NOOOO!!!”. That was soooo heartbreaking, and I could only imagine how it would be for a real-life Mary, who would no doubt have been enraptured by him as well. The story had to be told from her perspective. I imagined that it would be a long thing, where she would almost sabotage their marriage, by holding on to unforgiveness and growing in bitterness, but that wasn’t the nature of my character, Mary, and it also wasn’t God’s idea.
[inlinetweet prefix=”#GraceandTruth @UfuomaeeA” tweeter=”UfuomaeeA” suffix=””]God doesn’t do long-thing! Not needlessly. We are the ones who do the long-thing, and have to learn the hard way.[/inlinetweet] Yes, Mary struggled to forgive Ifeanyi, and in fact, she was ready to die, because she had had enough disappointment and struggle in her life. But all she needed was the Truth to set her free, and it came by Ifeanyi’s mother to the glory of God!
By the time I had written Part Five of “He Cheated!” and gotten to the end, I knew the series was complete. Mary had finished telling her story, but I still had more to say. There was so much to the story, that I just thought it would be a waste or a disservice to leave it there. But I had to wrap “He Cheated!” up at Part Five in obedience to God’s leading. It was His story anyway!
So I wrestled with Him about continuing the story as part of The Church Girl saga. But I didn’t know what to call it. Again, like with the “Extended Version”, I worried that I could be following my pride in continuing the story. So I let it go. For a while.
I decided to save it, and maybe God would give me the inspiration to write it later. I wanted to know how to save it, and I played with a few titles. I believe it was God who helped me to settle on “The Guardian”, following on from the lesson of Part Five, “He Cheated!”. And with the name came the confirmation to write, and inspiration… But I still had to wait.
I wrote the story in seven parts over six days. I thought it was inspired! I had struggled with the scene about the rape of Mary because I was like “God, I cannot write this!!! There’s no way I can write that You allowed Mary to be raped, after all she has gone through! They will say You are not a good God, or that the story is not of You!” But He pushed me to write it, and I learnt the lesson He wanted me to share. You will learn it too when you read the story… I hope I haven’t revealed too much 🙂
But the reason I am writing today is because God is doing another thing with “The Guardian”, the story I thought I was writing in my own strength. He has now taken it over, and I am re-writing it to have twelve parts instead of seven. In the initial write up, my character, Amaka, was not well developed. And frankly, it was because I didn’t care about her! I didn’t have good plans for her!
But that’s the difference between God and man! God has good plans for all of us, and He sees what others do not see, and what we do not even want to reveal about ourselves. So, He has moved me to develop Amaka’s character to share her perspective on the whole thing…with the aim of ultimately leading her to the Cross.
I wasn’t able to write the story God’s way originally because I didn’t love Amaka. I hated what she did and all she stood for, and created her in the way I saw her, as a villain. It was easier to write that way. But God taught me something, which I shared some days back on The Oracle. It was a message on compassion. He said: “Do not rejoice at the suffering of your enemy. You ought to feel compassion for every and any soul that does not know the love of God!”
I had been rejoicing at Amaka’s downfall. Now I am rejoicing at God’s salvation at work in her life, and also reminded about how God is using this avenue to minister to me and others. I know that “The Guardian” will be another masterpiece, inspired by God.
I am convinced now that the story, The Church Girl, needs to be turned into a Book, and God has given me inspiration for that too. It will be my first or second book, depending on how the Spirit leads. I am also working on turning The Marriage ABCs into a book. My challenge right now is that problem of being only able to give what I have. But even in my lack, God has used me to communicate His truth, and I am sure that He will carry me through to finish the series.
I read one of the pieces the other day, “H for Honesty is the Best Policy“, and I was like, “Wow, I wrote this?!!“. And the Lord pressed me to persevere, even if I feel I don’t know what I am saying. That is how it has been with many of them. I start them and say, “Lord, take control“, and He always does… So, hopefully, I will be publishing the next post on “S for Sex and Sexuality” soon 🙂
Though I do not speak in tongues, even though I believe in the gift and have prayed for it severally (and continue to), this is my utterance! This is how God speaks through me, and speaks to me. This is how God shows His power at work in my life, through my writings.
And you may think this post was my idea, and all me, but it wasn’t. It was God’s idea. As I was reading a post this morning about losing faith, I was moved to write this account as a way to remember all that the Lord has been doing in my life, and as a future reference, next time I am doubting our relationship.
You might be surprised to learn that I still struggle with doubt. I write a lot defending our Faith, and I am always surprised when I am moved to write so passionately about that, and then I find myself doubting if I know God at all at other times. This usually happens when I see sin in my life, and I am wondering if I am just pretending and doing things in my own strength.
But I know the difference. And I hear God. And I know Him. And even though these realisations and revelations may be short lived, they are the sparks of light, fireflies that lead me onward in my walk with Him. For we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7).
So, finally, though I know this has been long already… God inspired me the other day to write a new story series for a new audience. It is called “The Atheist”. I guess you know my audience. The unbelieving population. The inspiration came the same day I wrote “Dear Atheist…” Infact, I wrote that post in the middle of the night after reading a post on an Atheist’s blog. God has been putting a burden on my heart for this fellow for a while.
I have been, and I am still a little scared about writing this story. I know it will be offensive to a lot of people. And some or many Christians may even disagree with my theology. But I am hoping that God will teach me as He has done before, and maybe my theology will change too.
However, what is daunting to me is the task of entering my character, who is a white male, and a staunch Atheist! I have nothing in common with this character, and no way of truly knowing what goes on in his mind… But if God inspires it, He will definitely make it beautiful.
Please pray for me to receive more inspiration and grace to share this story, and that it will truly turn the hard hearts of many unbelievers to God. I know it will come under a lot of criticism, and potentially, attack, so please pray for God’s divine power and protection to be revealed through this story. Thank you so much!
I am so blessed to have your following, and I hope you continue to be blessed by what God inspires me to write. Do continue to share as you are inspired to, and may God continue to use us and build us up into a strong witness for Him on this Earth. May the grace of God be with you all…
With Love, Ufuomaee (and God!!!).
I dedicate this post to the God I serve, the Lover of my soul, revealed in Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the most romantic and greatest story teller!
Photo credit: http://www.entrepreneur.com
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