Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What's Your Heart?

There’s something I just can’t shake – the image of a 95 lb, skinny, green-hued teen. Yup folks – I’m making a personal confession here. That girl was me.

Let’s just say I wasn’t exactly at the top of the 10 Hottest Girls List. In fact, when the guys at camp made the list, I wasn’t even on it. Ten girls, and I was the eleventh one at camp.

But I can’t blame the guys. I’d spent most of that summer hunched over the porcelain bathroom fixtures (whichever ones were available… I wasn’t picky… toilet? Shower? Sink?) puking up the medicine my body somehow thought was poison.

I don’t say all this to make you feel sorry for me. I say this because that girl, although better now, will always feel a little bit of that skinny, scrawny teen deep inside.

My heart aches for other girls who know what that feels like. Not just the physically unattractive ones – but also the ones who are living in the nighttime for other reasons. Other ones who know what it’s like to have the lights go out suddenly. Other ones who ask, “Where is God in this darkness?”

Several years ago I set out to reach those girls in the form of a book. The response from publishers? “Hurting teens aren’t shopping in the Christian bookstore.”

And they were right.

But years later, I can’t stop that scrawny girl from reminding me. I can’t stop her from aching for the teens around me who hurt. I can’t stop her from longing to share more thoroughly her story of God’s redemption and healing… but mostly of how He met her in the dark.

Am I writing other, more saleable projects at the same time? Absolutely. These more saleable projects are also heart-books that I think will reach broader audiences.

But I can’t ignore the girls who cross my path every day. So I talked with my agent. We cleared up the whole breach of contract thing. And she agreed… it was time for me to write a resource for these girls, while still writing my more saleable projects.

So I write, knowing these specific words may not reach millions. I write, knowing that this project is for a select few.

I write… because it is what my heart tells me to do.

Real Question: What’s your number one heart-project?


  1. What do we do if we don't know what our hearts desire to write is?
    I hope your book sells :)

  2. Great post, lady! And Suri, my advice is to pray and live and it will come to you. Ask yourself some key questions, like, what clenches your heart? What do you see or hear on the news that makes you say "that's not fair?" and lingers in your mind for hours after? Or what makes you get really, really excited? What do you look forward to the most in your daily life? If you could support one mission or charity, what would it be and why? What'sy our favorite movie, and why? Play around with those questions and I bet you'll find some answers.

  3. I am the girl who didn't think she was pretty and it ended in an eating disorder. That is where my heart is. There are lots of hurting girls who think the same. I know how hard it is to overcome that problem, and I have "flair-ups" even after 1 1/2 years of getting out of that trap.

  4. Emily, wow. You definitely know what your passion is then! That's great.

    There's a verse in the Bible that talks about being able to help others because of our own experiences.

    It's 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

    "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort."

  5. Betsy, I think that was a great answer for Suri. And Emily, wow, you definitely know your passion. I'd love to hear more since I'm working on similar content for realteenfaith.com. Contact me at write[brained]at[gmail]dot[com] if you want to chat.