Living Chosen with Amy Williams
Living Chosen Through Storytelling
I wrote my first story in kindergarten. I don’t remember what it was about, but it was probably a bizarre amalgamation of My Little Ponies and Star Trek. You know, I was a weird kid.
Story has always been my love language. If you want to be my friend, tell me a story. And if it’s a funny story, that’s even better. One of my favorite things to do with close friends is to introduce them to movies or books they haven’t experienced.
I see the world in stories. I walk into a coffee shop, and I make up stories for the people sitting at the tables. What might the dude in the three-piece suit be typing on his fancy-schmancy laptop? What is the girl with the mohawk thinking right now? What possessed that parent to buy their child a triple-shot espresso?
But it took me until last year, as a 40-year-old reluctant adult, to understand what story has done for me spiritually and emotionally.
When I was young, I told myself stories all the time. I thought I did it because my brain was overactive. Telling stories was just what I did. It was how I entertained myself.
Come to find out, stories were my therapy. They were my coping mechanism when life didn’t make sense. Even as a child, I developed characters to help me understand the grownups in my life. Why they did what they did. Why they said what they said. Why they hurt each other.
But I didn’t figure out the people in my life by myself. You can’t expect an eight-year-old kid with no real-life experience to be able to comprehend complex trauma and how it manifests in adult relationships. Writing became my therapy because I had to have an outlet to process the inconsistencies of life between what actually was and what the Bible said was true.
I decided at a young age that Jesus was my guy. I don’t remember the actual day it happened. I know I walked the aisle on Palm Sunday when I was seven, but from that moment on, I was 110% sold out for Jesus and His Word. And by His grace, I haven’t looked back or wandered off yet. But I didn’t really understand what it meant to live for Him and by Him and through Him until I hit college.
I lived and breathed God’s Word. I craved it. I read it every day and looked for verses to remember throughout the day. And it never failed: God would always give me something. And then as I got older, that became something I could share with other people.
I’ll never forget putting a post-it note of Colossians 3:23 on my computer at work, to remind myself that I should work as though I were working for the Lord and not for people. A coworker asked me about it, and I explained it—and even though she knew the Bible, she’d never thought about it that way. She’d never thought about using it in her everyday life.
That was a turning point for me.
I’d always dreamed of being a bestselling author with books lined up spine-out on the shelves of the local bookstores. I imagined television interviews and radio shows where I’d have to be quick-witted and funny and charming (so I figured I had to practice to be prepared). I envisioned awards for exceptional creativity and skill in craft.
So, just to be clear, none of that happened. And I am so very okay with that. Because somewhere in the middle of my career as a storyteller, God led me to start telling stories about what He has taught me. I started making my stories about the Truth—His Word.
He had sheltered me, protected me, guided me, taught me, redeemed me, and restored me. I wanted to tell those stories, and, what’s more, I wanted other people to know that I wasn’t special. That He could do it for them too.
Once I started looking at my career through the purpose God had for my life, my whole perspective changed. Sure, winning awards or gaining fame and status would be nice, but the only reason I’d want that now is to make the name of Jesus known more effectively than I can already.
That’s how I found my passion and my purpose. Letting Jesus change my heart and mind, allowing Him to transform the way I think. Storytelling will always be my love language, but my heart is using stories to show people what it looks like to follow Jesus.
They’re not always overt (I write samurai superhero novels, for crying out loud). Sometimes it’s a story about loving someone who is unlovable, or maybe it’s a story about standing up to do what’s right even when you know you’re going to suffer for it. They’re biblical principles if not Bible stories.
Actually, my first full-length non-fiction work, a Christian lifestyle book about choosing joy when life isn’t joyful, will be releasing from Bold Vision Books soon. But even then, I wrote it with the same purpose as my fiction books: To help everyday people get to know our extraordinary Jesus.
Living chosen as a daughter of God is the greatest gift and responsibility of my life. It both fulfills and challenges me. And believe me, when you put Jesus at the center of your career choices, you can’t imagine the adventures you’ll have, the memories you’ll make, and the stories you’ll get to share.
Author A.C. Williams is a coffee-drinking, sushi-eating, story-telling nerd who loves cats, country living, and all things Japanese. She’d rather be barefoot, and if she isn’t, her socks won’t match. With fifteen published books in both fiction and non-fiction, she is a Realm Award winner and a Selah Award finalist, as well as the 2022 Arise Daily Writer of the Year. She is also a popular monthly contributor to two blogs ranked in Writer’s Digest’s Top 101 sites for authors. Follow her adventures at her website, www.amycwilliams.com.
Connect with Amy on social media: