how to write about Jesus

'How Can You Use That To Share The Gospel?' Is A Question That Changed How I Think About My Writing

"I remember being kind of caught off guard. How can I use writing for Odyssey to share the Gospel? I don't know, I'm currently writing about cute dogs in Santa hats."

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A little over two years ago, I started writing for Odyssey as a scared, homesick little first year. I was so excited to start writing for someone other than myself. Finally, other people were going to be able to read what I was writing. I had one of those feelings that this was a moment I would look back on as one of the first steps down a road in my life. I told everyone I knew about this new thing I had found and how much I loved it. I remember telling our college pastor at a weekly group lunch one day and I remember this as being a moment that changed my perspective on writing. He said to me "that's really awesome! How can you use that to share the Gospel?"

I remember being kind of caught off guard. How can I use writing for Odyssey to share the Gospel? I don't know, I'm currently writing about cute dogs in Santa hats.

I'm pretty sure I gave him some fluffy and disjointed answer about how I was allowed to write about whatever I wanted to write about and sure, I could write about Jesus if I wanted to. Why not?

But let me tell you why not. Because I was scared of the idea of it. I was new on the team and I was a first year who was still suffering under the delusion that I needed to make as many friends as humanly possible. I didn't want my fellow creators to think I was weird or for my editors to be like "what the heck is this girl doing?" I didn't want to share something that I had written about Jesus on my Facebook page because I knew people from school would think I was weird (even though that was flawed logic because they definitely knew I went to church) and that people from home would try to make a big deal about it (something I've always hated).

So I kind of ignored the nagging in the back of my head for a couple of weeks as I wrote silly articles about fun but trivial things. Finally though, when my pastor's question was echoing in my mind too loudly for me to ignore it, I sat down and wrote this article about Christmas. It wasn't my best work by a long shot and I didn't love it as I sent it in, but it was the first time since I had heard that question that it wasn't hanging out in the back of my mind, quietly nudging me toward answering it.

Flash forward two years to me being blessed with the opportunity to be President of UVA Odyssey and me still thinking about this idea. I've written other "Christian articles" since then and have gotten a lot more comfortable with it, though it still isn't my go-to subject matter. The question "how can you use that to share the Gospel?" sticks with me when I sit down to write. Before, I thought to myself, are people going to read my articles? Are they going to like them? Will they think I'm weird? Now, when I go to publish an article, I think to myself does this article show who I am? Does it represent who I am as a Christian even if I'm not necessarily writing about "Christian topics?" Does this article love people? It probably sounds kind of silly and strange to you reading those thoughts, but I really do think about those things before putting something out for people to read.

My college pastor's question has stuck with me for these couple of years and, being so close to when I started writing back in the beginning, I hope I look back and consider that too to be a moment when I started down a road that I will walk down for a long time in my life. I might not always write about my faith, but I hope that who I am shows in every word I write and that my words reflect a love for people.

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A Letter From God To Help You Finish The Semester

God sees your struggles and He's here to give you strength and motivation.
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My Child,

The lack of motivation towards the end of the semester is normal. You are mentally and physically tired, but you are almost at the end. Don’t stop walking down the perfect path I have for you. When you’re going along and you come upon a speedbump, I want you to go over it and keep driving. The paper you have to write and the test you have to study for are just small speedbumps I have given you to make you wiser. You can write that paper and you can gain motivation to study for that test. I am here to give you strength, and am here to open up your mind and give you motivation.

You are so loved. You have such a beautiful mind. The light of Jesus shines through your eyes and your smile brings comfort to the world. There’ll be times you feel like you’re carrying a heavy load. There’ll be times you feel like the task I have given you is impossible to perform. But remember this: I would never put anything upon your shoulders that you cannot carry. If I put you in a certain situation, it’s because I know you are strong enough to go through it.

When you feel like crying, cry to me. When you feel like a failure, remember how much I love you. You are not a failure and you are not going to give up. I will hold your hand through every second of your life. I will seek your heart through your darkest moments. I see you, I see your heart, and I see your burdens. And remember that I have your heart which means I also have your burdens. Follow my footsteps and you will be free from the doubt. Remember Mark 4:40-41: “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” I have the power to calm any storm and wave. I have the power to calm YOUR storms and waves. Set your doubt, anger, and tiredness in my hands and simply be patient.

Romans 8:14-15 says,“For those who are led by the spirit of God are the children of God. The spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again, rather the spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.” Nothing can separate you from my love. Not even your lack of motivation. You have no motivation because you do not feel good enough. You are more than good enough. You were perfectly made by me and when I look down at you, I think of how proud I am of your heart.

Throughout the last few weeks of this semester, you will stumble upon speedbumps. But hold the hand of my son Jesus and you will be able to go over that speedbump with ease. Go write that paper, go study for that test, and go get an A in that class. I know you can because I have given you power.

Love,

God

Cover Image Credit: Margaret Carnes

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8 Phases Of Lent As Told By 'Jane The Virgin'

Nobody understands Lent like Jane.

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Every person that participates in Lent knows that there are different phases — almost like the stages of grief. Now that Lent is coming to an end, I wanted to review the challenges we have all faced so far. Easter is just around the corner and we have earned it. Although everyone's Lenten experience may be a bit different, we all know the struggles of giving something up, cheating, remembering to skip the meat on Friday's, etc. The pain is almost over, so enjoy a recap of everything you've been through in the past few weeks. Here are 8 scenes from "Jane the Virgin" that understand your struggles.

1. Thinking of what to give up

jane the virgin

Thinking of what to give up for Lent can be so stressful, especially when your whole family won't stop asking you about it. Leave me alone!

2. Fat Tuesday

jane the virgin

I hope that every Catholic family out there is having a full-out FEAST on Fat Tuesday! Don't worry about your food baby; it's called Fat Tuesday for a reason, right?

3. Getting weird looks on Ash Wednesday

jane the virgin

You just know everyone is looking at you like this when you have that big, black smudge on your forehead. But hey, at least when you pass another ash-covered face you can give each other a solid nod. They know what's up.

4. Cheating

jane the virgin

This is how every Catholic grandma looks at you when they catch you cheating during Lent.

5. Telling yourself you won't cheat again

jane the virgin

You tell yourself, "hey, we can do this, no more cheating during Lent." You are happy and confident.

6. Cheating...again

jane the virgin

Let's face it. It just isn't your year. Don't worry, Lent is almost over and the shame can finally end. Be gone, shame!

7. Eating a fish sandwich for the 100th time

jane the virgin

Fish sandwiches are delicious. That is until you eat one every week for almost 6 weeks.

8. When it's finally Easter

jane the virgin

Lent was long, but the wait was well worth it. Now go have some brunch and hunt for Easter eggs!

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