At church yesterday morning I met a new friend, introduced to me by a mutual friend who told her I am an author. It was thrilling to hear this and know someone beyond myself believes in my ability to write! Before she could ask what all I have written I told her about my current WIP, giving her a thumbnail sketch of the plot and then telling her it would be a few more months before it is completed. I explained to her that the manuscript would have to make the rounds of potential publishers at that point and that it would take about a year after acceptance for it be released. As I spoke these words, I was reminded of how God's timing is not ours, His purpose not ours, His ways a far cry from our understanding as a rule.
But let me quickly add, God has a way of keeping me totally humble with this new role He has called me to fulfill. When I related the incident to my husband he asked if I told her I had written numerous chapters rather than books! Yes, he's right, I have written quite a few chapters and if you add up all the ones for other books which also are not finished, they do add up fast. I'm trying not to be discouraged by this honesty but instead take it as a sobering reminder from the Lord to keep on pounding out those pages so I can finally say the book is finished! Of course, then all the revisions begin, but that is another story...
As God teaches me how to trust His methods and timeline rather than taking things into hand and forcing them into my own, He also brings to mind many equally as humbling situations concerning my writing. Whenever I am tempted to fantasize about the excitement of releasing my first book, for instance, He is there to whisper, "Not yet!" First comes the work, then the glory. Well, sort of at least. In truth, it's a tradeoff, more hard work but of a different sort is all.
"Dig deep into your mind and heart and dredge up all those forgotten emotions and experiences," He tells me, "so I can continue to use them in your writing. I will redeem your mistakes and place your feet above the mire of the enemy's counterfeit plans to slow you down and divert you from the path I have planned for you. Just keep at it and don't give up."
No, writing is not easy by any means but neither is it wasted time and effort. Whether or not the words ever end up on paper in a book on a shelf at some point, God has purpose for them. I just have to obey and trust His word to bring that purpose about!
Thank YOU for being a part of that divine purpose. May His showers of mercy fall on your life this week!