Defining Words

Mary Hood
4 min readAug 22, 2018

Words Are What I Fear The Most

Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

“Boys are better, stronger and smarter.” Seated around the table, my father let these words out in front of me, my sister and my three brothers. My mother stood, not saying a word, but rolling her eyes. What could she say? Her words held no weight and besides, she had no vocabulary that would suffice. That was well over 55 years ago. When the people who are supposed to love you the most throw words into the air, even if they are not directed to anyone specific, they settle like dust and every sparkle of light that shines magnifies them.

I grew up very afraid of words. Undiagnosed learning difficulties exemplified those words and branded me so deeply, I still see and feel the embedded stain when I speak or write.

“An open notebook on a wooden surface in front of a laptop” by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Why do I write? I ask myself all the time. I ask God all the time. The answer is always, I asked you to.

I used to think a call of God would be something of which I was passionate; something I could do or always wanted to do. When I thought that way I was sunk, for I never had any outstanding passions or interests. There was nothing I could see in myself that I was any good at, never mind making any kind of a ministry out of it. What I have learned is that a call of God has nothing to do with your greatest interests or abilities. It has to do with His purposes and using you to share His truth. He takes our inability and with His Spirit, makes us able.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

He is using my fear of words to set His Word free.

I still am skittish about words, about rebuttals, about people challenging them. I feel God has taken the weakest child and given her the hardest job in the world. I am learning as I go. He asked me to write, but He didn’t say I didn’t have to learn how. I am learning every day, I am listening and reading and writing every day. Yes, any ministry is full-time. Most of that time is spent in the shadows, not in the public.

“My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.” (Ps 139:15 NIV)

In my call to share Him, I learn about me.

It’s not enough to get to know who God is. We will never know much about Him. The inkling He allows us to see sometimes is more than we can bear. Each time I learn something about Him, I learn something about me, which can also be overwhelming. We are so intricately designed! That just shows me how indescribable God is. When I create something it is limited by my finite knowledge and sense of limited dimension. When God creates something, it is defined by His unlimited expanse of knowledge.

Photo by Maeghan Smulders on Unsplash

My fear fuels my call

I still fear, but I think it helps me more than hinders. It is healthier. It keeps me humble. It helps me to scrutinize my words. Words define. I want my words to ignite the truth, but to do it in love and with purpose of leaving a fragrance, clearing the air, not a stench of smoke or a smoldering stain. Slow learning, imperfect, I am also learning that this call is on His terms, not mine. That is where my passion is, it is not in the craft of writing, it is in the excitement and awesome realization that what has defined me for so long is being redeemed. I still have some of those issues of my childhood, and some added issues in my aging years. I want to be faithful for whatever season I have left.



Mary Hood

Born twice, I die daily. Serious about Jesus. What I write you may not want to read. Okay. I write what I believe and what I learn from others, just like you.