Monday, 21 May 2018

Called to be Different

by Anusha Atukorala

Thank you Lord for our Dream Home

In May 2017, I thought it would be brilliant if I could sleep for a year, waking up to find our house sold and the three of us settled comfortably in a new home. And guess what! The miracle happened—I did wake up today in my new abode. Yay! However, I must whisper in your ears that those twelve months were not spent in sweet slumber. They involved plenty of hard work and plenty of stress. Thankfully as we look back, my beloved and I agree that it was all worth it. Every bit of it—the stress, the slog, the wondering if it would all work out.

Our gracious God has now brought us to our promised land and our cup of joy has over-flowed. What an awesome God He is! Being a nature lover, I’ve been delighted to see flowers of different varieties in our new surrounds. Delicate white roses adorn our front yard. More rose bushes grow in the little garden patch outside our kitchen window. For a long while there were no signs of blooms on those shrubs. My husband watered our new garden often to make sure it would remain green and lush in spite of the hot weather.

One morning we discovered that the extra watering had woken up the sleeping rose bushes. A gorgeous yellow rose beamed at us. Every time I looked out of my kitchen window, I was enthralled. Before long we had the pleasure of basking in an abundance of yellow roses. The bush in the middle though had not yielded any flowers. Shan watered it some more.

And then it happened. One day we spotted a little bud starting out on that middle rose bush. Exciting! BUT … surprise, surprise. It wasn’t yellow. It’s petals were painted a bright joyful red, with streaks of perky yellow creating a beautiful contrast. Wow! A queen of roses it was and it bloomed for weeks on end. With boldness it declared: 
I’m different and I’m glad to be different’. 
It brought joy to my heart in a way no yellow rose had done.

That striking red rose pointed me to a God of wonder; a God of beauty; a God of surprises. And more. It prodded me with a call to be different. God asks you and me as Christian writers not to merge with the world—but to stand out. To be as conspicuous as that enchanting rose in a manner that will glorify our Creator

But what does different mean?

 I believe that most importantly it has to be the inner me that’s different as I grow in intimacy with God. I am called to a life of purity and integrity, reflecting the beauty of Jesus. We Christian writers are called to write from the depths our walk with God, leaning on the Holy Spirit to guide us. Not necessarily doing what brings in material benefits but primarily being obedient to Him. The world’s way is to squash one’s competitors. The acronym CALEB (as used in the prize offered in our annual Omega Writer’s competition) stands for something unique: “Christian Authors Lifting Each other’s Books”. Isn’t that beautiful? What a contrast to doing life  according to the world’s modus operandi! I love it.

Jesus calls us not just to entertain our readers but also to help them to reflect on the deeper issues of life. He calls us not just to thrill and enthral but also to bless and build. We Christian writers need be different by standing up for the downtrodden and the weak, by giving a voice  to those who don’t have one. We are called to be salt and light. To flavour the world with our writing. To point to the Saviour.

Some of us write only hints of the reality of God and the reality of heaven. Others of us are more explicit. Whatever we write, we can be different to the world in the way we approach our craft. By praying before we write. By saturating whatever we do with His presence. By listening to the nudge of the Holy Spirit. By giving away a free book to someone who needs it, even if it means that we don’t make as much money.

We are called to be different because what propels our writing is not self-ambition and self-interest but the love of Jesus. We are called to be evangelists even if our writing is not explicitly so. The stamp of our Creator needs to be on each book we write—a stamp that may be invisible, true—but one that bears His heart within.

We are called to be different because the reward of our hard work might not always be obvious. Instead of world’s understanding of ‘success’, it’s in the joy of being obedient to God, the thrill of finding our writing has reached a reader’s heart, the knowledge that our words have encouraged someone and given her hope, the wonder of leading a stranger to Jesus. Being different might often cost us. But oh the joy of walking close to Him and writing as he leads. After all ... we are called to be different so we can make a difference in the world. 

But then ... I am preaching the choir aren't I? Celebrating each of you today knowing you have chosen to be a red rose amidst a hundred yellow roses today. Well done fellow-writers on your faithful writing. Cheering you on and joining hands with you. Let’s continue to saturate the world with books inspired by the Holy Spirit so we will fill the earth with books stamped by the cross of Christ, and are whispers of God’s heart to His world. 

Anusha’s been on many interesting detours in life, as a lab technician, a computer programmer, a full time Mum, a full time volunteer, a charity director, a full time job chaser, until one golden day (or was it a dark moonless night?) God tapped her on her shoulder and called her to write for Him. She has never recovered from the joy it brought her. She loves to see others enjoying life with Jesus and does her mite to hurry the process in her world through her writing and through her life. The goodness of God is her theme song through each season, as she dances in the rain with Jesus. Please stop by at her website Dancing in the Rain to say G’day. 
At the launch of Dancing in the Rain - 12th May 2018

Her first book Enjoying the Journey contains 75 little God stories that will bring you closer to your Creator. 

Her second book  Dancing in the Rain was released in March 2018  by Armour Books and launched recently on the 12th of May. It offers you hope and comfort for life’s rainy seasons. 

Available from:


  1. A great reminder of why we are called to write and by who. Thanks Anusha! It’s such a pleasure to write to glorify the One who gives the gift to us in the first instance. Just finished your latest book for the second time. Soooo good!!! 💜🌟🌹

    1. Thanks so much dear Lesley. Yes, it sure is a joy to write for Him who called us. And yes, it's He who gives us the gift of course. Delighted to hear you read my book twice! :) And thanks for reading an excerpt at my book launch. You chose well. I loved it how Sherreen and you had chosen 2 very different chapters - they complemented each other very well. Thank you for your encouragement on my writing journey. And wishing you every blessing on yours.

  2. Thanks Anusha for your words of encouragement and the reminder to keep our eyes on Him :)

    1. Thanks Jenny and thanks for steering the CWD ship so ably and so well despite all the challenges that life throws at you and your own busy writing schedule. God bless you.

  3. Thanks for your great blog post, Anu. I so agree with you re being called to be different, not to be part of the world system in our writing but to do as we feel He wants. And on another note, isn't it fun when you move to a new house and water the garden and get surprises springing up out of the earth! Thanks for being so true to your calling and inspiring us.

    1. Hi dear Nettie. So glad you liked it. And so glad we are on the same page about what we are called to do as Christian writers. Oh yes - love being surprised in my garden - bet you had lots of lovely surprises too. You must be well settled in your home now? I'm sure you are having lots of fun there as we are here. Thank you for your friendship encouragement and prayers in my writing journey. God bless you.

  4. I am afraid I argued with God for months and kept reminding Him that I wrote computer manuals for beginners, not fiction. Guess who won ! LOL
    Well, in a sense I did too, because in researching for the background of the historical fiction series I learnt such a lot I had not known. Spent more time in the Bible too.
    You are correct about being different. But isn't it great to know we are not different alone LOL

    1. I can well understand those kind of arguments with God Susan. So good that He welcomes our honesty. He loves it when we connect with Him even if it's with an argument. I'm glad you learnt a lot through your research. And you are so right. It's great we are different together and not alone. That makes all the difference! :)

  5. Hear hear, thanks for those encouraging words, Anusha. They also remind us that not only are we different in the world, but results of our labour may be different than the world would have us expect. And we should be okay with that 😊 Lovely to see glimpses of your new home and garden.

    1. Thank you Paula. And exactly! You've said it well. The results of our labours are often very different as the world would have us expect. As I expressed in a different way - success for us is a different yardstick compared to what the world calls 'success'. So many other joys like hearing a reader's heart has been encouraged through our writing. Gold - to a Christian writer. Blessings Paula and the best to you in this new season in a new neighbourhood and home. May it bring some unexpected writing benefits too.