I hate poetry.
That's not a joke. I despised learning about classic poets, meter, similes, and everything else my mom felt was important for me to learn.
The only time I enjoyed reading poetry was before I knew what it was. I remember when I was a little girl around the age of six. I found a worn, green hardback book stuffed on one of the many bookshelves in our basement. It was my mom's copy of A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson when she was a little girl. These poems brought me to a place where my imagination could think of anything it wanted. I loved the feeling those poems brought. I didn't have to know why made the poem make me happy. I just knew it did.
Once, I had to learn the structure behind the words, the rules behind the sound, and the supposed intentions behind the writers, I began to dislike poetry. In fact, I forgot that I even loved poetry at one point.
So, writing poetry never became something I enjoyed. Assignments that told me to write about a lady bug resting on a flower petal drove me nuts. Words would never flow the way poetry was supposed to.
And ... then God decided I would be a poet.
I've written before about some of the struggles my family went through with our foster kids. The night the state told us they would be taking all four kids away, I was an emotional mess. I sat down at my laptop, wrote some words, walked away, and ate a steak burrito.
Later, I went back to read what I had written, I found stanzas grouped in threes. Every line in each stanza started with the same word, except for the last line.
I wrote a poem, and I don't even remember doing it.
God had set those words on my heart, and it's because of him they got written.
Without editing a word, I threw together an e-mail and sent it off to a magazine that accepted poetry from teens. The writing in that e-mail now horrifies me. I'm not sure what state of mind I was in when I wrote it.
Time passed, and I forgot about the poem.
Then last year, I get an e-mail from the editor of ENCOUNTER - the magazine. She told me that my poem was being considered. After a few more months, she offered me a contract, and also asked if she could publish the story behind the poem, the writing I thought was horrible.
A month ago, I got my copies of the magazine.
God was doing something when my family was struggling. God was doing something when he placed those words on my heart. God is still doing something as I continue to write.
I still don't love reading poetry, but I write a lot more to help me deal with life.