By: Staci Stallings
I recently shared this on a writer’s loop I’m on, but after re-reading decided to share it here as well…
I think that this is absolutely the best thing I have learned in my writing journey: God is faithful all the time. Trust Him, and He will lead you in every moment EXACTLY where you are supposed to be in that moment. You may not know it or see it or understand it, but when you look back, you will see the fine and perfect tapestry He’s been weaving the whole time.
For me, this lesson comes in several ways (some more fun than others).
#1 The YES times! This would be the moments when it all makes sense, when I see God at work most clearly, when the perfection of His Will and what He’s doing is not just a glimmer but a full-on, turn the spotlights on moment. The completion of a book I didn’t know how to finish. The right person showing up at just the right time. That flash of understanding when you just KNOW how a story all ties together. I’ve had all of these and so many more.
#2 The NO moments. I heard a story one day about two little boys who came into their father’s house with a box. As they headed to the basement, their father stopped them to see what was in the box. It was their new project: two snakes! Guess what the father said? NO! Well, just like those boys sometimes my Dad tells me no, and most of the time I’m just as disappointed as they were. But the truth is when God tells me no, I see it now as His way of keeping me from doing something that would ultimately hurt me–like putting snakes in my basement. “No” might be a contact I thought I needed falling through. It might be a path I thought was going to be great not working out. It might be MY agenda not working out like I’d planned. Do “no” moments make me frustrated? Yes. They do. But when I can breathe and remember that God’s got my BEST in mind–not just a momentary good but an eternity good, I can let go of my way and grab onto His. And He has shown me over and over again how awesome things work out when I do that.
#3 The NOT YET moments. Oh, have there been a lot of these! I tend to want to force things to go my way. I get in a hurry for them to be done and get frustrated with myself when I can’t do everything. But God my AWESOME FATHER uses “not yet” a lot–both to bring about His perfect timing and to teach me to not rely on my plans, my agenda, myself but to always rely on Him. I get a lot of “not yet” moments when I’m writing. I get going on something and then something else comes up (I have a lot of something elses around here!). I get stopped on the story. And I get frustrated with it. One story I literally did this for SEVEN YEARS! But when the book was finally finished, I understood why God said, “Not yet” repeatedly… because the book could not have been the book it is without the lessons I’d learned over those seven years. I was a different person than I had been when I started writing it. So now, not yet moments don’t throw me like they used to. It’s okay. God’s got this one too!
#4 The GO THROUGH IT WITH ME moments. These, I have to say, are the hardest. Some call them the valleys of life and of writing. Oh, these are HARD! And when they come up, my heart breaks, my world shatters, and I wonder “How can God make something good out of THIS?” But I will tell you, the two most difficult “go through it with Me” moments of my writing career brought two of my best friends into my life. One of them, not knowing me at all, edited two chapters I had sent out through my newsletter. She bled on them and then sent them back to me! I didn’t know what to do with that. Should I be angry? Should I write her back and give her a piece of my mind? Should I be hurt? Should I quit? Finally, I decided to rest in God and just see… The next month I sent out the next two chapters of my cyber-serial. In about 30 minutes I got this message back. “OH! I’m SOOOOOOOO sorry! I thought those were from my critique group! I’m new to all of this and I edited the wrong thing…” hahahah! I still laugh about that. Deb, not quite as much, though she can laugh now but it took her a long time to get to that point. The thing is, Satan threw that at both of us to take us both out. He wanted to undermine my following God and He wanted to take her out altogether. Because I let GOD handle it and not myself, we became best friends, and God has worked miracles through that relationship. I helped her with editing. She’s now a multi-published author. God is awesome!