by Mona Shriver

I was 50 years old when I heard God’s call to pursue writing. I knew He had given me a message to share with others. One that I felt sure would offer comfort, hope, and more importantly would glorify the God I serve. So I began. When the words flowed it was so easy. But there were many hard times when my fingers sat perched on the keyboard waiting for something to stream from my mind to those ready hands.

God’s call was to share my life in the written word. What He had taught me. What He had done. My husband says sharing our lives publicly is like standing naked before a crowd. One of my dear friends says when we share the hidden things we are indeed exposed. Naked. On national television. Doing jumping jacks. I have sensed the experience of both.

So with my husband’s approval and support I pursued writing. I educated myself about a world I hadn’t known even existed. “God told me to write this” is stated by every Christian who puts pen to paper but that does not sway those who make decisions about printing what you’ve written. The business of writing is a business and one must convince those who publish that these words have value for the reader and the publisher.

I do not like trying to convince others that what God has told me to do is worthwhile. Yet I found myself at a writer’s conference doing just that. And feeling dismayed and worthless because yet another editor had told me they weren’t interested in what I’d written.

One afternoon after several gracious rejections I took a walk among the beautiful redwood trees of the conference grounds. Yet my focus was not on what surrounded me but rather on trying to understand why God had told me to write something no one would ever read. Lord, you clearly told me to write. And in obedience I did. Yet I’m told it will not go beyond my binder. I’m confused and it feels like I’ve wasted time, energy, effort and money. And I’m embarrassed.

In the quietness of that forest with the sun streaming through the trees, God spoke to my heart. You and I read it. Are we not enough?
My confusion and frustration were replaced with a reminder that God wastes nothing. And I began to remember how in the writing process I had grown closer to Him. How in the act of putting those thoughts on paper I’d remembered the many times I’d experienced His mercy and grace.

We all want recognition when we’ve accomplished something for the Lord. It is a natural human desire. But I was reminded God is concerned about each of us as individuals and is just as glorified by one as by many. His purpose will be accomplished and that purpose may well be just about you and Him.
I pray that God will continue to work in me. That He will help me remember that it is in my obedience His purpose is experienced. I have learned the value of what I do is not in my “accomplishment” but rather rests in God’s accomplished purpose. The truth is I may not always understand His purpose but I do recognize His call. My job is to yield to the purpose of the God I serve.

…It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:11 (NIV)

Mona Shriver: Mona Shriver worked as an emergency room nurse until the Lord called her out of that profession and into ministry. She is a Precept trained Bible teacher, has been active in women’s ministries, and speaks at special events and retreats. She serves her local church body in central California.

Mona has been married to Gary since 1974 and they have 3 grown sons. She and Gary co-founded Hope & Healing Ministries Inc. which provides support and resources for couples in adultery recovery. They co-authored the book: Unfaithful, Hope and Healing after Infidelity


  1. 10-3-2011

    Mona, Welcome to MPN! Called to be a writer in mid-life, I relate to what you have written. I look forward to future articles from you. He called you to a specific purpose and your work will not be in vain. He is working in and through each of us. Be encouraged, my friend!

  2. 10-3-2011

    Welcome to MPN, Mona! Your story is a powerful one. Thanks for sharing it. I look forward to more great insights from you.

  3. 10-3-2011

    Mona, your words were very encouraging to me. It had never occurred to me that He is just as glorified by one as by many. That thought makes this “one” feel important. Every lesson does have eternal value, doesn’t it? Thank you so much.

  4. 10-4-2011

    Welcome to MPN! Your piece resonated with me as God called me to write within the last year. At times I am overwhelmed by the process – last night a dear friend who is an accomplished writer prayed over and for me. What a blessing and encouragement you both provided!

  5. 10-20-2011

    Mona, you are a gift of a friend. I treasure who you are. God ALWAYS ministers to my heart through your writing…and your friendship. Wish we would have known all this before the 3,000 miles grew between us, huh? Bless you.

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