20140413Bailey 003Well, I’m a regular ol’ person. Who just happens to write. A lot. Probably more than I should. I firmly believe that God created me to be a writer. From the time I learned how to string letters together into words I’ve been making up stories. Believe me… I have a very rich imagination. I used to think I was weird; now I know God just put me together that way. I can’t even watch commercials without expanding them into stories in my head. I am humbled and honored all at the same time that God looked down from heaven on me and said, “Jodie, do what you love.” Wow… how awesome is that?

I have always loved to write. I have stories that I wrote when I was in first grade. I used to sit at my grandmother’s yellow electric typewriter for hours, banging out my own little stories. When I was eleven, she bought me a typewriter of my own (It was 1984, okay?) and I would write and write on it. I wrote stories out by hand, and they ran to hundreds of pages. I got my first computer when I was eighteen, and the first thing I did was write a story on it. I wrote for school. I wrote for fun. I wrote for my friends. I’d get them on the phone and make up stories for them. (I earned the nickname “Dreamweaver” for that one. Nobody calls me that anymore, but it still stands as the coolest nickname I ever had.)

It never crossed my mind that other people didn’t think that way, that they didn’t have stories bouncing around in their heads all of the time.

When it comes down to being a writer, I never actually said I wanted to be one. In fact, it was October 2006 when I finally heard God call me to do it for a living, I didn’t tell but one or two people. I felt too much like I was saying, “Uh, yeah. When I grow up, I wanna be a rock star.”

There came a day when I found myself sitting in Beth Moore’s “Daniel” Bible study and thinking, “Man! She has the greatest job in the world! She gets to write about God and teach about God and…” DING DING DING! I could almost hear God say, “FINALLY! She finally gets it!”

And thus began a season of severe learning. I used the term “severe” there on purpose. God worked me over. And over. And over. He dug things out of me that I never dreamed were in there. He refined me with fire and pulled me back through nearly every experience in my life–good and bad–and showed me where He was involved. He also (apparently) attempted to pack my brain full to bursting with knowledge about Him. I vividly remember sitting on the bed, surrounded by papers and my Bible and books, crying and raging, “How much more can You ask out of me?” I thank God for His timing, because with my husband in Iraq and my daughter in preschool, God had more than enough time to hash all of that stuff out inside of me.

So here I am, with my first book about to release. Sometimes I think about the little girl at her grandmother’s yellow electric typewriter, and I wonder what she’d think about this big girl now.