About the Author

Sarah Mae has a past that would be her present if it weren’t for Jesus. A blogger, author, and co-author of Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe, she’s currently writing The Complicated Heart, a book for broken-hearted lovers of Jesus. Learn more at @thecomplicatedheart on Instagram or...

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  1. Love, love, love this post Sarah. I just told my husband the other day, I need to learn how to write. When we get home (USA), we are currently living in Papua New Guinea, I am going to take a writers class so i can learn to write. Like you there is nothing I love better then helping other women walk with the Lord. My gift of exhortation just has to say, let me walk with you with this one, let me share how God can help you, let me hug you, let me show you the promises of God and how He has poured His mercy out every day on me….again love, love, love this post. I am a writer.. Thank you Sarah.

    • Betty, I think it is good to learn how to write well so we can communicate well…but if you have a message in your spirit, and you get it out on paper (or on screen), you are a writer.

      Thank you for the love!

      • I agree with Sarah Mae…don’t let your lack of “training” hold you back. I feel like this is what holds me back so much in writing, blogging, and life in general. It’s a specific area in which I can allow the Holy Spirit to be my teacher, my guide, to give me the qualifications I need to say what He wants me to say. My nature is to rely on my own merits, education or training. His way requires me to step out in faith and trust in Him. πŸ™‚

        But, I also completely understand wanting to have some kind of education to give you a good foundation-so I’m not discrediting that! Also, reading, reading, and reading has helped me so much. And, all that requires is time. πŸ™‚

  2. I’ve always felt/said to myself and others too that I can’t get out and serve others. I’m too afraid to do that, I’m too insecure to do that, my anxiety won’t let me do that.

    I did it! I went to Joplin with our small team of 10 from church to serve for 7 days. I purposefully went to serve others. I didn’t just make cookies or something to take to the whole class at church or the office. Thats easy for me. But to specifically go to a person or persons to serve them in a time of great need made me feel like I was put out in the middle of the arena and all eyes were on me. Paralyzing thought. And you know what? I had a blast in Joplin! It was hard work but it was the people who made it easy! The team of folks I traveled with, I opened up to them–hard thing to do for me also. The people of Joplin we met, I started conversations with and got to know them and their stories. They asked about me and I really answered them, not the pat answer they might have been expecting. I made friends in Joplin and we are still in touch!

    I am a photographer as a hobby only. I like to play with my camera thats all. I was our ‘trip historian’ as one of the elders on the trip called me. I said, well, I’m not that good at it by I will take lots of pictures.

    So yes, I am Lisa–a servant for God and photographer!

  3. Thank you for the encouragement! I pray you do continue to write and share. The thing I am not going to say anymore is “I sew, but I’m not a seamstress”. I love to sew, love to share what I sew with others. Several years ago during a game to identify bible characters, I got Dorcas…who would have known….only God!

  4. I struggle with feeling “worthy” to write. But God gently whispers to me that no one is “worthy”. He just picks up the broken pieces of me and He turns it into beauty. And I stand in awe. The Word pouring the words. . . . .
    Love,
    Danelle (writer)
    http://www.heseesme.wordpress.com (His gift to a girl who loves words and tapping keys in the morning with coffee and Sonshine!)

  5. Thank you so much for that post! I believe that I am very good at building other up and offering words of encouragement to others but when it comes to myself-not much. But I am so much more than that! You reminded me of that. Thank you.

  6. Being a good wife, friend to others. Sometimes I feel I don’t do a good enough job at it.

    My hubby, along with God, keeps telling me that I truly do think of others and am the best wife he could of asked for.

    Keep writing – your style is just plain wonderful & a Gift from God!

    • Thank you, friend. I’m not sure if we’ll ever be “good enough” but I know this, we are perfect enough in Him to do whatever He calls us to do…and “perfect” is better than good enough in my book. πŸ™‚

  7. This was pretty slam-dunk convicting….Oh Sarah, thanks for writing what was not only your heart, but echoes many of ours as well. “Ouch” was my first thought. And to be honest, it’s going to be hard to swallow for a while.

    Because I do that. I do that and more. And how does that glorify God? What it does do, is fiercely disqualify me. Again, and again, and again, and again…

    • Yes! I think the enemy gets a stronghold when we deny what God is doing in us because we compare ourselves with others or disqualify ourselves or whatever! We need to just live whatever He’s given us to do…and do it without fear.

      • Wow. I’m in total agreement with Leigh Kay and am feeling the hand of conviction gloved in encouragement. I also really appreciate your response to her. I hadn’t considered this type of response to ‘who I am’ as a tool of the enemy, working to distract me from moving forward in the purpose God has for me. Thank you so much!

  8. Yes, I too.
    You know the parable of the talents? Why the 5, 2, and 1? Why have 3 categories? So we compare. And I’m afraid I’m in the one category, like I’m not especially gifted, I don’t have anything real going on. Whereas maybe I am being blind to the truth that I have multiple (I’m blind so I can’t count how many) and I need to worry less and rejoice in the Lord more, for he gave them and he is the one who causes the increase. I’m going to list what I do here and not disqualify or deny the grace of God by evaluating myself. These are things that in small ways or large have served God:
    Write
    Homeschool, teach
    Crochet
    Sew
    Befriend
    Bake
    Counsel
    Sail and sing praises
    Oh my goodness, thank you Lord!

  9. When People would ask me. “Do you knit?” I’d say “Well, a little bit or kind of”, Just because I couldn’t knit while talking with my eyes closed like my sister-in-law. But you know, I did knit. I had even given some of my knitted items as gifts. So I quit saying, ‘oh a little’ and just state the fact, Yes, I Knit. My speed, with my eyes open, enjoying every stitch, challenging myself with new patterns, becoming a better knitter. Do you want to know something?….I write, too.
    Thanks for the boost along the key board!

  10. I. Am. A. Writer. I’m quick to discredit myself, but that does not give God glory for the passions and talents He’s given us. Thanks for the reminder!

  11. Thank you for sharing this powerful truth that so many of us need to grasp. I have a terrible tendency to minimize the gifts that God has given me, rather than to accept them with the value He intended.

  12. I always thought you had to be “published” (in the traditional sense) to be able to consider yourself a “writer,” but God has taught me otherwise through my blogging journey. Not only do I “write” multiple blogs, but I now have the opportunity to share what God has taught me through a self-published book coming out in two weeks! {http://31daystopray.com} Funny, the things we label ourselves – I wonder what labels God has put on us?

  13. It is a WELL known fact that those who say they aren’t really writers, or artists or whatever are the truly talented ones. A creative soul is always the most critical of his own work. πŸ™‚ Sara Mae, you ARE a writer, and a good one at that!

  14. I write only in a small newspaper and would LOVE to blog. I read your new ebook, SarahMae and am trying to get the courage to write a blog. I’m worried/concerned that I won’t have much to offer. I’m not inspiring like you or Courtney, nor do I take wonderful photos like Ann Voskamp….I know it’s the devil, but I’m having difficulty just coming up with a blog name!

    • Go for it, girl! I’m a newspaper writer, too, and I just started blogging! There is no shame in newspaper writing! You obviously already have the writing skills or you wouldn’t be published already. Be encouraged!

    • Julie, You shouldn’t have used the word “only” in your first sentence. You ARE a writer even if it’s just for a small audience. You never know what 1 life you may touch today! As for the blog… go for it! I started writing a blog in January and it originated because I wanted to be a more disciplined at my writing. I too was concerned that I wouldn’t have enough to write about, but God has filled in the gaps. Who knew the amazing things that would come out of faitfulness and commitment… I have been blessed!

      My blog topic today was based on the question “If I knew no one was reading, would I write anyway?” It ends with asking my friends and readers to join me in celebration. Next week I have my first story being published. My first instinct was to say, it’s ONLY in Chicken Soup for the Soul, but Ilike SarahMae I’ve recently learned to own the gifts God has given me. I am a writer, and I am published (no disclaimers added).

      Looking forward to reading your blog… keep me posted.

  15. Sara Mae, this really spoke to me today!! I always say I am SO NOT a writer! I felt God calling me to write/blog long before I actually started. I argued with Him because “I am so not a writer!” Even after deciding to say YES to God and start a blog, I still said I wasn’t a writer. But the truth is, God called me to write so I will write. I am not perfect, I stink at grammar and spelling but God called me to do this thing. Thank you for this encouragement!

  16. I say that exact same thing!!! I also say it about running. I justmasked my friend the other day when will I feel like I have the “right” to say I’m a “runner”? I ask the same thing about calling myself a writer. Thank you!!

  17. I do the some thing. I am starting to realize that what I keep saying I am not is really what I am. I only say that I am not because I am not confident in myself. But God is dealing with me about this. πŸ™‚ Thank you for posting this.

  18. It took me a long time to believe that I’m a writer. And one online profile somewhere says “wannabe seamstress”. But I CAN sew, I do sew. And that makes me a seamstress. Just because I can’t sew clothes doesn’t disqualify me. I make curtains and zipper pouches and baby blankets. That’s a seamstress, isn’t it?

  19. Oh my, I recognize myself in this. I disqualify myself over and over. And I do it a lot in the area of photography. I LOVE photography, people even say I am talented. Best part: I love it. And what makes it less fun is that I keep putting myself down: “I am not as good as others.” “My pictures aren’t that good really.” My photos aren’t that creative.” “My photos are too simple.” And so on and so on. It’s sad really cause it’s taken away the joy. And I am totally putting down the joy and talent God has given me. I have tried hard not to say it anymore… I will be with you on this. You won’t say you are a not good enough writer and I won’t say I am not a good enough photographer. Point is, God wants to use us in those areas. Best to you!

  20. Thank you, Sarah Mae! You ARE a writer, and so am I. Whether I write a novel for publication, a blog post for my family or a love note in my child’s lunchbox, I am a writer simply because He gave me the words and a desire to set them free. This is my act of worship, and I’m so glad it’s yours, too.

  21. Thank you so much for these words written by a “writer” … yes a “writer”.

    I almost disqualified myself from blogging because I did not consider myself a writer and I do not have a degree in “English” but God had other plans so I do blog… I do write.

    Thanks for your encouragement.

  22. Sarah, I have loved reading your words. You inspire me greatly. I’m working my way into writing my first book ever after years of blogging. I have onlyrecently been telling people that I’m doing this and everytime I say something, I take one more step in embracing this calling over my life. We all have a story to share and the discovery of that leads us to our purpose. Blessings.

  23. I hear ya! Whenever I say I am a writer, I expect someone to burst out laughing, so I laugh first and say, “Well, I’m not really a writer. I just like to write.” But what is screaming inside is that I HAVE to write. I can’t think or express myself without writing. I think that makes me a writer.

    And YOU are definitely a writer. Thanks so much for sharing your words.

    CM in the City

  24. It’s amazing how easy that would be to say – and yet how hard it IS to say. I tell people I’m a stay at home mom and then “in my free time… I….”

    I need to just be able to say – “I’m a mom and writer.” Heres to boldness and believing in ourselves!

  25. I used to that and even had it as part of my “About Me” on my blog. A fellow blogger gave me great advise and told me I should change that. I do write. I have a blog! Have confidence in yourself. Hmm..truly made me think. I don’t write all the time, but I feel the need to write and I have never felt that way before. So, I write from my heart and when I find the few minutes I can put my thoughts to pen either on my blog or my journal. Thanks for sharing this and have a blessed day!

  26. while i admit i’m a writer to some, i do it with a shy voice, almost a whisper, as if saying it out loud means someone would want to see proof of something great and i don’t always think i have something great to share. but when i remember who gave me the gift, who gave me the desire, who i honor with my words, it’s much easier to say….i am a writer. and i pray that my gift always gives glory to Him.

  27. Thank you for this post, Sarah Mae. Just this morning in my quiet time I came to this verse from Job 19:23 New King James Version (NKJV)
    β€œOh, that my words were written!
    Oh, that they were inscribed in a book!
    I knew the Lord had drawn me to this passage, because it was that very same desire of my heart that inspired me to start my blog about two years ago. Now, I, by the Grace of God, can say…
    Beth Willis Miller, writer, speaker, creative thinking specialist from Lakeland, Florida. She can also be visited on her blogpage http://bethwillismiller.blogspot.com/

  28. This post struck a chord!

    In the ’90’s I was hired as a contributing editor for a magazine. When I called my mom to tell her, she said, “but you can’t write”. I sweetly ended the phone call as soon as possible and called my dad who said, “but you can’t write”. I ended that call a little less sweetly and called my managing editor and asked him if he wanted to rethink his decision. He said, “I have too many grammarians on staff. I need someone with original ideas, someone who isn’t afraid to think”. Every time I catch myself starting to say I am not a writer, I remind myself I am a writer. I’m not a grammarian, but I am a writer!

    • boy, am I glad I read through the comments till I got to this one. I’m not a grammarian, either, but if that doesn’t disqualify me from being a writer, I’m IN! πŸ™‚

  29. I started to cry as I read this post. I could have written it, word for word. It describes me perfectly. I often feel that to call myself a writer is too lofty a term- writers are Max Lucado, Karen Kingsbury, Beth Moore, Stephen King ( Have you ever read his “On Writing”? Best. book. ever.)

    But me? No, I’m not a writer. I’m just an attempter at writing.

    Even the term “writer” (as opposed to “author”) makes my heart beat a little faster if I dream of attaching it to my name. Do I dare?

    After reading this post, now I do.

    Thanks, Sarah Mae!

  30. I have a teeny tiny blog with few readers, but I love what I do there. And I have had people share with me at church that they love reading it and I always want to dismiss their compliments, though I know I shouldn’t. I should own it.. and thank God for giving me an outlet to share! It seems silly to pray over recipes and such but I do and I pray that they are encouragement and help to other women out there! All for Him! Thanks for your words!

  31. Thank you Sarah for that post. It spoke right to my heart. It is more damaging than we realise, this self-depracation, even if it’s not outright criticism of ourselves. I do it a lot and your words are another reminder that I need to focus on what I am… a writer amongst many other things Jesus has allowed me to be.

  32. For me, it’s singing. Although I am privileged to sing in the House of Prayer, I don’t see myself as a singer. I mean I sing, but not as good as everyone else. I hear people say all the time, “you’re heart is right and we love that about you”. I long for people to tell me “great harmony” or something like that. I am working on being more confident and owning my position as a singer in the House of Prayer!

  33. Ok, Sarah–I have believed a similar lie for years: “ALL I can do is write.” Seriously. That’s what I thought. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember–but I always hated that I couldn’t do more. I was always clumsy at sports, stink at crafts & get frustrated with sewing. I have tried for years to find something else that fits me, but I’ve finally given in & said: “ok, Lord, I’ll write.” I’ve been a newspaper writer for years & just started blogging. And I am realizing–perhaps being “just a writer” isn’t so bad.

  34. I have really wanted to start a blog to help busy moms get in shape. the site is up and running and we’re working on some tweaks. I keep discounting myself that I’m not as good a blogger as everyone else I know. I keep saying that people won’t visit.

    i need to stop saying that.

  35. Love this. So many women disqualify themselves from being …… I, too, have disqualified myself from being a writer, but I’m learning the same thing you are learning:

    God has something for me to say, so I write.

  36. You are a writer and a good one! Perfect timing! I just did some self talk to myself this morning telling myself that I am good at what I do, even if I am not perfect or as good as others. Thank you!

  37. Like so many others that read your post, you spoke the words of my heart. I love to write but have had difficulty calling myself a “writer.” I stepped out in faith this year and began writing a blog. Some days I am satisfied with what I’ve written, other days not so content, but I keet plugging away. Occasionally I will get a comment that says, “This was just what I needed to hear today.” I’ve begun to see how God is not only using my faithfulness to touch the lives of others, but He is also teaching me so much along the way.. There are still days, when I’m not sure who, or if anyone, is reading my blog, but I have made my commitment to God. I have enjoyed the process and much to my surprise, He provides the readers.

    Keep writing, SarahMae… your words are encouraging, inspiring, and straight from the heart of a WRITER!

    Peace, Donna

  38. I’ve not had too much trouble claiming the title of writer, but maybe that’s ’cause I put adjectives in front of titles, diminishing their authority.
    I’m a writer, but not a good one.
    I’m a poet, but only an amateur.
    Maybe I need to quit putting a limit on God’s potential in my life?
    Trina
    Writer.
    Poet.
    Daughter of Creator God, Who makes all things beautiful.

  39. “Oh my goodness, girl ~ I was just saying those exact words to myself last week: “I am not a writer, I just have ideas.”

    This was in regard to whether or not I should go to a Writer’s Conference.

    Just signed up.

    Becky, writer.

  40. I once put photos up on the board for critique in my advanced photo class, saying as I stuck magnets on them, “They aren’t mine.” Confusion. My clarification was that I wasn’t putting up someone else’s work, just that these weren’t my Art, as in capital A, make them important Artwork. The professor had a field day with that one.

    Then came the day when I saw that I wrote more than I photographed. Hmm. What to do about that? I’m a writer-slash-photographer. I’m an artist who sometimes writes. I’m a writer who sometimes photographs. I’m an autho-grapher? Photo-riter? Ugh.

    I think I have chosen to embrace Robert Rauschenberg’s philosophy that he was a painter, even if most of his later work never involved paint. So be it.

    ~The Thinker

  41. i love, love, love this post. thank you for being a writer and for sharing this encouragement. i too AM a writer! blessings to you and your words!

  42. Thank you for your encouraging words of truth, Sarah Mae. Today I will stop two things: 1) I’ll stop underestimating my talent. Just because no “big name” has heard of me or I’m not published anywhere other than my blog does not mean I cannot write.
    2) I’ll stop hiding behind my aspiration to one day be a writer. It’s okay to live in the present; the here and now.

    I write.
    I am a writer.

  43. I was just talking to someone about that very thing today. I want t o be a writer but don’t know if I actually have any talent. I am in the process of submitting some devotionals to a world wide devotional magazine. I also have my blog to practice my writing and encourage other people with their walk with God in spite of their struggles. Maybe I should start referring to myself as a writer instead of a wanna be writer.
    My other blog can be found at http://www.fruitfulhome.blogspot.com.

  44. This is definitely me – I say those exact words all the time, even though my chosen profession requires me to write again and again on a daily basis. Oh to boldly claim and own what I whisper in my heart.

  45. Somebody needed to say it to encourage us. You were the one. I write, therefore I am a writer. I am. Full stop.

  46. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m a beginning blogger because I believe that I have something worthwhile to say, and so often when I read the blogs of more experienced writers I feel less than adequate. What encouraging words you’ve sent out there to others like me! I am a writer!

  47. “I’m a writer, but I’m not a *published* writer.”

    Then what is that button I click whenever I’m done typing up a blog post?

    Is it not ‘publish post’?

    πŸ™‚

  48. Love this! I am just starting to write, so I am still hesitant to call myself a writer. But I should have no problem calling myself a speaker. It is what I spent 10 years of my life doing professional, but I still have difficulty telling people that is what I am. I am a speaker because I speak and God has given me a message to share.

  49. Ok, here goes… (after being a wife and mother, of course…)
    I (along with my amazing husband) am a film-maker. And a writer.

    Well, that was weird πŸ˜‰ (still feeling silly for even saying it!)

  50. Thank you for this great post Sarah! I too am uncomfortable with calling myself a “writer”, but your insight was helpful and inspiring! Thanks!

  51. For several years I did the exact same thing. I disqualified myself as a writer because I didn’t believe I fit into the “mold”. But I was wrong. God made me a writer. Communicating on the page (or blog) is how I minister to other people. Oh yeah. I’m a writer.

  52. I had to laugh! So you tell yourself you aren’t a writer because you don’t write long posts? I tell my self I’m not a writer because I DO write long posts…and can’t seem to be concise:)
    The other reason I tell myself I’m not a writer is because I haven’t always wanted to write. I just started wanting to write in my old age…yes, over 60. I guess if painting wasn’t too old for grandma moses at whatever old age she was when she started, writing isn’t too old for me in my 60’s.
    One thing is for sure! I never run out of things to write about! I don’t always get a chance to sit down and do it, but so far, no writer’s block.
    Whether or not I’m a good writer is not my responsibility for now. I do the best I can in obedience to God. I’m improving with practice. The perfectionist in my would love it if I were good, but the results are up to God. Sadly, I know I’m not the best. That’s ok for now. I would like to be good enough to be useful, not so bad as to be distracting from the message.

  53. I love, love, love this post! It’s very empowering. Why do we sell ourselves short, thereby really, in actuality, selling God short, when He’s the one who has given us the talents and desires and “shapes” that we have? It’s all to His credit, and all for His glory. Be exactly who He made you to be, and shout it from the rooftops- with confidence!

  54. This made me giggle as I have heard those very same words come out of my own mouth. How grateful I am for the truths you have written here. They touched my heart more than I can say. ..one writer to another. <3

  55. Hi, Sarah!
    I just found this blog and I’m excited to look at more! Just wanted to say that I, too, can relate to the hesitation of calling myself A WRITER! But I’m learning to grasp ahold of what I know to be true…even if I’m just beginning the journey! It’s good to know we’re not alone!

  56. You just wrote my heart! I do that all the time hoping the Lord will use what I right but assuming that, if it doesn’t hit everyone, it’s not worth it. God gave us a love for writing; praying I will be faithful to do it and not “chop myself off at the knees!” πŸ™‚