The Drafting of a Woman: An Essay by Jeni Booker Senter


(image by Bruno, Germany, on Pixabay)



The Drafting of a Woman



Looking through the questions of an online personality profile this morning, I saw

this question: “How would you describe yourself?” And because this is how God has created me, as an inquisitive writer, that question sparked a journey for me through

His Word, and it has resulted, as is often the case, in a bit of writing on my part. If

you like, you can join me in this pondering of the Word by reading my juxtaposition

of God's Word with something I know a bit about—the recursive process.

“How would you describe yourself?” I think that is a relatively easy question for me to answer. I usually view things through the lens of some sort of rhetorical device, more specifically writing. And, through that lens, I can clearly see that I could best be

described as a revised draft. That description fits me because I know that I am most definitely not in the rough-draft state, but I am an imperfect work still in progress, so

I could certainly be described as a revised draft.

You see, there are four steps to the writing process: prewriting/planning, drafting,

revising, and editing. Collectively, these steps are known as the recursive process.

And, as Christ is the Author of all things, I thought it might be appropriate to view

myself as one of His creations, or in light of this particular explanation, a recursive

project—God’s drafting of a woman, if you will.

The first step of the recursive process is the planning or prewriting part. It is in this

stage of writing that the author thinks about the project he would like to develop.

This step includes anything that is done prior to creating the first rough draft of a

writing, including brainstorming, thinking critically, note taking, talking it out, outlining, organizing, etc. The Bible tells us that the Triune God certainly did some planning

before He began drafting me. We can read in Genesis 1:26 that before creating

mankind, God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and

let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle

and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” That

verse is a clear example and solid proof of God's use of His infinite wisdom in planning

His creation—His prewriting step.


Also, reading Jeremiah 1:5 affirms that the Author of my life planned me: “Before I

formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you;

I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Thus, I know from reading God's Word

that the Author of all creation planned my creation; but I also know that I am no longer

in that initial planning/prewriting stage of His recursive process because I have

already been created—past tense—my life has already begun.

The second step of the recursive process is the drafting stage. In writing the rough

draft, the author transforms his plans into action by putting down onto paper the

thoughts and goals that are initiated in planning. I consider that first "rough" draft my genesis, if you will, or my creation. I was created in the image of God, but because

of the sin of humanity that every person is born into, I was born very rough indeed.

Without the redeeming Blood of Christ, I would have remained in that rough stage.

But the Blood...

A bit farther along in the recursive process comes the third step of the writing process,

the revision stage. It is through reading Scripture that we learn that we are works that

are still in progress, and we know that our revision will continue until the day we see

Christ return. And what could revise an error-riddled rough draft better than an eraser?

How about the strongest sin/error eraser in all of creation? "What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the Blood of Jesus..." The powerful cleansing Blood of my Savior has

revised me, purified and refined my error-riddled rough state, and it has turned the rough draft of my life into a better version: a revised-by-the-Blood draft. That is where I am

now; but you see, that is not my ending point at all. There is still more work to be done.

The fourth and final part of the recursive process is the editing stage. It is during this

editing step that the revised draft is fine-tuned and perfected. The Apostle Paul tells

us in Philippians 1:6, "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good

work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." The Author will continue to

perfect us, to conform us to His image. This step is hard. It is supposed to be. Some

parts of the paper cannot survive this stage. The parts that do not fit well are cut

completely out of the piece. The parts that are not good are changed into an entirely different version from the original. The parts that are a bit awkward are fine-tuned into

a piece of effective and beautiful prose. The overall aesthetic of the piece of writing is transformed from flawed and incomplete to fullness and perfection.


The skilled writer knows that no step in the recursive process can be skipped. The

piece of writing MUST go through the refining fire of each step, starting at the first

step and then moving through the next and then the next and so on in perfect order

until the final step renders the piece perfectly formed, well-articulated, and suitable

for presentation.

As the Hebrew prophet tells us in Zechariah 13:9, "And I will bring the third part

through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested.

They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’

And they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” It seems appropriate that only the piece of

writing that makes it through the first three steps, the third part, will be further refined

to that final state of perfection. And who better to receive the presentation of the

perfected final draft than the Author and Perfecter of the faith Himself, Jesus Christ?

He promises to perfect those who are His.

I have not yet passed completely through this perfecting step because this refining

fire continues throughout our entire lives here on earth. We will not be fully perfected

and presented to God until we reach the end of our time here on earth. And, as of

today, my time on this planet is not over yet, so my refining will continue until Jesus

says it is done. And when this earthly life of mine has ended, Christ will give me the

new, perfectly revised and edited body that He has promised, and I will be with Him

for eternity.


We who love Christ are promised in 1 Corinthians 15:51-54: "Behold, I tell you a

mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling

of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the

saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory." And the Author of all things

shall have refined me to the final draft stage, and I will be with my Savior for eternity

in that perfection.

So, although I am still far from perfect, I am so thankful that the Author and Perfecter

of my life and of my faith is Jesus Christ and that His editing tools are love, mercy,

and grace. I know that my eternity rests in Christ, and for me, that is enough.

And because the Word of God is sufficient and does not require a commentary to

conclude it, let me leave you with some final words from the Apostle Paul: "Not that

I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I

lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not

regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies

behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the

prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14).

_______________________




Jeni Booker Senter is a freelance writer, Christian book editor, teacher at a Christian

school, and an AACC board-certified biblical counselor. She is Mom to four children

and Nonnie to eleven grandchildren. She lives with her husband, David, also involved

in the ministry of Christian education, and her son, James, in the Blackwater River State Forest in Florida's Panhandle.

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