God is the Author (by Madison Karr)

I was a very quiet kid growing up, labeled as “the shy girl” who struggled to find her voice. It’s not that I didn’t want to talk or didn’t have anything to say but rather had convinced myself that nobody had any interest in what I thought were meaningless words coming out of my mouth. When I first learned how to write, I gained a valuable tool that allowed me to express all the thoughts and ideas flowing through my head without having to share them out loud. I have always been a dreamer so I became fascinated with the ability to use my imagination and put stories down on paper. My brain bustled with ideas about all the narratives I could create. As I progressed through school and fell in love with the freedom that writing gave me to express my creativity, I became the kid who answered, “An author,” when asked about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I also became enthralled by poetry and found that putting together rhyming words in a rhythmic flow made for a fun puzzle when I was bored.

Unfortunately, like most people who had big dreams as a child, I became discouraged about having a future career as an author. Statements like, “It’s unrealistic and not financially stable,” and, “Publishers are critical and cruel,” were whispered in my ear from society and the overwhelming amount of expectations that loomed over me. Writing became obligatory as I got older and my creative freedoms were stripped from me and replaced by essay rubrics and writing guidelines. School transitioned from teaching about extravagant dreams with the motto, “You can do anything you set your mind to,” to drilling in my head “achievable” goals, corporate jobs, and taking the predictable route through life. It didn’t take long before I changed my answer to “a doctor” when asked about my future career goal. I was good at science, wanted to help people, and wanted to make the big bucks that society claims makes for “a good life.” I went to college, majoring in Health Science Studies Pre-Medicine, so writing for my own joy got put on the backburner, and anything I wrote for myself was solely journaling to process life.

For years during every Christmas season, my constantly brainstorming mom talked about this amazing idea she had that she hoped would become a Christmas tradition, inspired by the ever so loved Elf on the Shelf. Her vision was to have a book about the true meaning of Christmas, along with a stuffed animal lamb, to represent what Christmas is really about. The dream was there—the title Iam the Lamb  was even there—but she didn’t have the words to put down on paper, so she urged me to help her write the book. I was hesitant, didn’t think I would have the right words, didn’t think I had the time, didn’t even know where to start. My talented dad, who has been writing poems for fun long before I existed, put down the first line of the book. One night during Christmas break of my sophomore year in college, after everyone had already gone to bed, I sat down at my desk and opened up my laptop. I pulled up the Word document that had been passed back and forth through emails, slowly generating ideas for I don’t know how long. I took a look at all the pieces my mom wanted to include in the book and just started weaving everything together to match up with the rhythm my dad had initially created. The Holy Spirit flowed through me as ideas generated in my brain, and the puzzle of my mom’s vision, the story of Jesus’s birth, scripture references, and rhyming words were pieced together. After only thirty minutes, the first draft of Iam the Lamb was finished.

I emailed the rough draft to my parents, honestly thinking that nothing would come of this amazing dream. My mom, however, was determined to listen to God who put this idea on her heart. Almost three years have passed since I wrote the first draft. It was a long and slow process of editing, finding an illustrator who could also see my mom’s vision, formatting the book, self-publishing, and many more details that my amazing mom figured out. God has been with us every step of the way. We have learned to pray and trust fully in Him as He makes this dream come to fruition—both my mom’s dream for the Iam the Lamb organization and mine to become an author.

Long story short about my career goals… one year after writing the first draft of the book, I officially decided that I did not want to pursue medical school and become a doctor. Since then, I still haven’t figured out exactly what I want to be when I grow up. I graduated college with my original pre-medicine plan Bachelor’s degree, which is completely unrelated to my current job at Medical City Dallas, but I am finally starting to dream big again. I’m not sure what God has in store for me next but I am encouraged to keep writing for fun on the side. Although my name may be on the cover of the book as the author, it’s really God who wrote the book because it’s God who is the author of my life.