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Flat Cars and God’s Glory

Have you ever heard the story about the time I was tempted to give up writing all together? Really. Before writing Fierce Women, before I was a blogger, back in the day when I only wrote little pieces and book studies for the precious women of our church, I thought I might just hide everything in my journal and never share anything I’d written publicly, ever again. Ever.

Because I was afraid that my writing was just “flat cars” and flat cars can’t bring God glory, can they?

Let me explain . . .

My husband and I were on a road trip and as we winded through a small community in the Ozarks, we noticed a tattered sign advertising the county’s historic museum. We’re both history buffs, and I’m always up for a spontaneous adventure, so we took off and followed the signs to the city square. The museum wasn’t much more than a glorified garage sale, but we did find a few actual historic relics while we browsed.

When I came across the large oil painting of the town square, it took my breath away. Not because of its beauty or artistic excellence, no, it took my breath away because of the price they attached to this immature attempt at painting. The cars sitting around the town square had no dimension, they were completely “flat” and lying on their sides. No, it wasn’t an abstract work, it was an amateur attempt at real life. I am not kidding you, the cars were flat like a child would draw them, on this fifteen-hundred-dollar painting.

I stared a long time at that, then I turned to LeRoy and asked, “Is that what my writing is like? Am I just making flat cars, when I’m attempting to create a literary masterpiece?” Well, not that I’ve ever really thought my writing could be called “masterpiece” level, but I hoped that it might at least be better than a flat car.

Walking Naked in Public

Putting your deepest thoughts out there for everyone to read feels like what I would guess the beguiled emperor might’ve felt as he paraded down the street completely naked. He proudly displayed what he believed was a beautiful new royal robe, but in reality, he’d been duped by a crafty salesman into purchasing “clothes” (thin air) that only true nobility could see.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I imagine every writer hopes that his work is commendable, or he wouldn’t push “send” on it, but at the same time, we writers wonder if we’ve woven a piece that only we can see, and everyone else is looking at a naked presentation and rolling their eyes. At least I struggle with that.

And more often than I should, I wonder if a post is really just a flat car disguised as “writing.”

As I’ve said before, I write because I have to; it’s how I process what God is doing in my life, but it is also a burning in my bones . . . but in saying that, I also must admit that what I write usually needs more attention and care than what I give it before I push “send.” And some of it should never be sent, but deleted all together! Some of it is just flat cars.

But then, I remind myself that I’m not writing a literary masterpiece. I’m relaying my heart to you. And most importantly, I’m sharing with you what I’m learning in my adventures with God and praying that it encourages you and spurs you on to love Him more!

So, I’m not writing for people to admire the technique or to be praised as a poet. I’m writing as a novice, but as one who seeks the Lord’s heart, requesting Him to fill my mind with the content He knows I need to convey. I want to write with beauty and excellence, but the fact is, I’m untrained and in much need of editing help. But even if my writing turns out to be flat cars and faint scribbles, I pray that I’m not parading naked publicly with a proud and deceived heart. I pray that what I offer in scribbles will be anointed by the Spirit to minister insight and encouragement to the reader—whether through flat cars or carefully crafted blog posts.

[box]“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God” (1 Corinthians 2:1).[/box]

Because God can even use flat cars to glorify Himself—if He chooses, don’t you think?

Image courtesy of phanlop88 at www.freedigitalphotos.net 

10 Comments

  • Rebecca Einwechter

    Hi Kim, I want to tell you that your writing is not flat cars. You show faith and courage when you are willing to reveal your inner self, thoughts, musings, lessons, that God is working in you. Surely each of us who reads has our own struggles, and we are encouraged when you point us back to the only ONE who has the answers to our deepest needs. Thank you for honesty, reality checks. We all need it. Thank you. And keep writing!

  • Debbie Albright

    Kim, Through your writing and speaking you give hope and encouragement. God is using you to reach out to others. I know because you have spoken into my life and I am grateful.
    Blessings,
    Debbie

  • Julie Musil

    Kimberly, I’m also a writer, so I completely understand where you’re coming from. I’ve been writing since I was a child. It’s my way of expressing myself and hopefully bringing joy to others. I have three young adult novels “out in the world” and more on my laptop, waiting for the “red pen of editing.”

    I used to blog about reading and writing on a regular basis. Then life threw me the ultimate curve ball. I was brought to my knees. Although the idea of publishing quickly dropped to the bottom of my list, writing is still something I still do out of need and habit.

    Not too long ago God placed in my heart the desire to blog again. Not about reading and writing and publishing, but about my faith journey through crisis. I’m preparing to do that now. Hopefully God will send the people over who need it the most.

    Which brings me to you. Your words as God’s messenger have made a big impact on my life. Huge. I first heard you and LeRoy speak on the Focus on the Family podcast back in 2015. My husband of 25 years had just left me. We’d been together since I was 15 years old, so my world was completely rocked. I was searching for help, searching for answers. Your book Fierce Women encouraged me to look at myself and my role in the state of our marriage. The book led me to your blog, which led me to Revive Our Hearts, which led me to Seeking God.

    One thing has led to another. This journey has been long and brutally painful. But I’m learning to trust God in the midst of all this pain and confusion. But it all started with God leading me to you.

    Your words are not just words. They are anointed. They are encouraging. They are healing. Words have the power to build up or tear down. Keep using your God-breathed words, because God is using those words to help others. Even if we don’t comment, we are reading.

    We are all given gifts and talents to be used for His glory and purpose. I’m thankful that He’s using your gifts in this way. And your blog post today reminded me that my gifts of writing and encouraging others are not empty, useless gifts. Instead, with the Master Wordsmith guiding me, my words and encouragement can help someone else.

    I pray you’ll continue to open year heart in this way. You’re making a big difference in my life and the lives of others. Thank you.

  • Raxhe'l Campbell

    Thank you so much Kim for sharing this! As always your messages bring encouragement and godly focus! Praising our Lord for every “jot and tittle” of truth written through your hand!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Becky ~

    Thank you so much for your encouragement, dear friend. I take that as a great compliment and gift, knowing that you are a voracious reader (of good books), and a mature believer who knows her theology well. So thank you very much! And as long as God continues to confirm that I’m to scribble out words here, I will continue to write them out 🙂

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Dearest Julie ~

    Thank you so much, dear friend, for entrusting us with the gift of your painful story, deeply painful but one where God is at work even in the heartache. God has brought you to mind, at times, to pray for you, and although I didn’t know the details, He did, and He was faithfully caring for you by sending out a call (to more than me, I feel sure) to intercede for you.

    I’m so sorry for your loss, I pray that one day, you will see God step in to bring redemption and reconciliation. Such a hard loss. I’m sorry for your loss, but thankful that in the midst of that–God has used it to fully capture your heart and to train you in a life of walking with Him. There is no greater joy than being in His presence and walking in obedience to Him.

    I’d love to read something you’ve written and see your blog. It would also be a joy to sit down with you over a cup of tea and visit a bit. If you don’t mind, respond by replying to one of the daily emails and let me know what area of the country you can be found 🙂 I may be in the vicinity sometime and would love to spend an afternoon with you if God would put that together.

    I hope you have a solid local church and mature spiritual women in your life that are walking with you as you navigate this difficult season and make adjustments. I hope you have a good network of support.

    Yes, I encourage you to use your writing gift to convey what God is teaching you and how He is leading you in your faith journey. I’m sure your readers will be blessed.

    Grateful for God’s amazing providence in bringing our lives together here. May you be encouraged and experience tangible evidence today of His faithfulness!

    Thank you so much for being one of my most faithful commenters, that means a lot 🙂 Your words always encourage me to press on and let me know that someone is reading and receiving!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, friend! Good to hear from you. Thank you for your encouragement, you always send such sweet thoughts and kind words, here and on Facebook 😉

    Blessings ~

  • Vivian Etherington

    I actually commented on how your writing blesses me on yesterday’s post! And as I am re-reading Fierce Women–you ARE a gifted communicator, both in writing and speaking!

  • Pauline Butler

    I echo what others are saying, Kim. Keep writing. God is using you mightily. Thank you for being faithful in using the gift He has given you. It is bringing glory to Him and I know He is pleased. You will, one day, hear Him say, “Well done…”

  • Bambi Moore

    Thank you for this. I struggle with flat cars as well. But so true…it’s all about Jesus and being used for His purposes.