I’m the author of my life and Jesus is the author of my faith. As I work closely with Him in crafting my story, I take 3 steps to becoming God’s Ghostwriter. This post follows one about my Project Semicolon tattoo in raising mental health awareness, and as a symbol for suicide prevention. See my tattoo and read more about it here. Project semicolon aims to help us remember that our story isn’t over yet; that we can choose to go on when life’s storms get challenging.
Wikipedia defines a ghostwriter as a person who is hired to author books that are officially credited to another person. Celebrities often hire ghostwriters to write for them. Usually, there is a confidentiality clause in the agreement that obligates the ghostwriter to remain anonymous. I’ve met several ghostwriters, some of whom are extremely successful. But not one was willing to even hint at who they wrote for. One well known Christian author that I met has ghostwritten over 100 books.
Step 1: Work Closely Together with my Celebrity
I am the author of my life. God created us with free will, and many verses in the Bible speak about this.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).
In other places in Scripture, we are encouraged to choose – choose who we will follow, choose life, choose to think and act as God recommends. God clearly gives us the right to choose how we live our life and who we follow. We call this free will. So, in a sense, I am the author of my life.
As the author of my life, I can choose to end my life through suicide or choose to go on. In a myriad of other ways, I can choose to “go on” as well.
- I can choose to go on in a prickly relationship that is difficult.
- I can choose to go on with a project when I hit a roadblock.
- I can choose to go on even with a mental health diagnosis.
- I can choose to go on working toward a goal when I can’t imagine how I will ever persevere.
As I author my life, God is hard at work authoring my faith. This passage speaks to both author roles.
“…let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1b-2).
I’m the author of my life, and He asks me to lay aside encumbrances and sin, run with endurance, and fix my focus on Him. Jesus is the author of my faith. As I align myself with Him, together we write an epic masterpiece. He thinks of me as His ambassador or representative.
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us” (2 Corinthians 5:20).
A ghostwriter works closely with their celebrity. They have to learn the story and interview many people, read many of the articles about them, etc. They do intensive research. But a ghostwriter is somewhat handicapped by being on the outside looking in at the celebrity’s life. They don’t actually get to experience that life first-hand.
As God’s ghostwriter, I’m not on the outside looking in; I get to live this life myself, experiencing it first-hand. That makes me much more qualified as a ghostwriter.
Step 2: Work with Excellence as His Ghostwriter
Sometimes you will see a ghostwriter credited on the cover. You might see the celebrity’s name, followed by “with so-and-so.” Those ghostwriters don’t get paid as much because they get credit. It can also be assumed that those ghostwriters are not the best ghostwriters.
The best ghostwriters don’t get any credit on the book cover or elsewhere. They are silent and invisible. They can write so skillfully in the voice of their celebrity, that no one is the wiser.
The best ghostwriters write as if the celebrity wrote the words themselves.
As God’s ghostwriter, I want to do my work with excellence, that as I speak and write, all the glory will go to God. I want to craft my talents so that I show off God at his best, and when others hear or read my words or see my actions, they will know who I represent. I want to speak in the voice of God. The following verse is one I memorized years ago as I began to speak professionally. I was nervous, but this verse helped me to remember that I was just there to share God’s story with the audience.
“My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the King. My tongue is the pen of a skillful writer” (Psalm 45:1).
I not only get to live this exceptional life, but I get to tell others about it. I strive to be the best ghostwriter I can be for God.
Step 3: Keep Working Through Writer’s Block
Sometimes it becomes difficult to keep on as God’s ghostwriter. Sometimes we get writer’s block. Circumstances occur that make us think our story is over.
- Death of a loved one
- Scary health diagnosis
- Financial disaster
- Broken heart
- Mental illness
- Aging issues
We often stop our work in authoring our lives when these things happen. We mistakenly think that our story is done. We think we can’t go on. We may not take the drastic step of suicide, but we nevertheless stop really living, and stay stuck. We keep doing the same things, over and over again, expecting a different outcome. But nothing changes and we just give up. We think the circumstances of our lives have derailed us and there is no way to get back on track.
God has a remedy for writer’s block. It turns out that He knows we can get stuck, and He provides a cheerleading team to help us.
The Hebrews passage I quoted above follows a laundry list of heroes of our faith, who kept going when things got tough. Many challenges are listed in Hebrews 11, and each person faced the challenges and kept going. The passage ends as follows.
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” (Hebrews 12:1).
God knows that hearing the stories of others who have triumphed and overcome obstacles is inspiring to us. It’s as if we have a team of cheerleaders, jumping up and down, yelling and clapping and shaking their pom-poms as we race by. If they can do it, so can I! We are strongly influenced by the stories of others. God puts many of His ghostwriters around each of us to encourage us and keep us going when we get writer’s block. We are all prone to getting stuck, and He created us to respond positively to stories of others who got stuck but got out. Here are some ways that I get unstuck:
- Read stories of the faithful in the Bible. Start with Hebrews 11.
- Read biographies of the faithful in history, see my video below.
- Listen to stories of courage and faith from people you know today.
In this video, I share some of my favorite stories by God’s ghostwriters.
I want to encourage you to think of yourself as God’s ghostwriter too. God has given you the awesome responsibility to author your life, as He authors your faith. Together you can create a story that is an epic masterpiece.
So grab a pen and start writing!
…because U count, deb