“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
Failure. Ouch. No one likes that word, and I’m pretty sure many will do whatever they can to avoid it. Even if it means closing our ears to that still, small voice that calls the writer in us to keep on going. Regardless of how many rejections or failures we face.
I suppose that is where the problem lies. Whenever anything—our insecurities and deepest fears, ultimately our quest to watch out for and preserve self—overrides our commitment to please God.
For me, it was the fear of coming to the end of my life with nothing to show for it. Nothing but computer files filled with unsold stories. Yet, God continued to call me, to stir within me a desire to write.
And He asked me to answer that call without knowing what lay ahead. Out of obedience to Him, without a safety net in place.
It was the last part that got me. I was in school, doing quite well, and pursuing a respectable degree. One I could fall back on if this writing gig didn’t turn out. And yet, the more I studied, the more frustrated I became. I wanted to write! This desire welled within me so strongly, I knew it came from God. And yet, my fear of the unknown, hindered my obedience. So I’d turn to God in prayer, ready to surrender, but unwilling to release my safety net—my back-up plan.
Then God grew silent. For six months, maybe more. I continued to cry out to Him, but it was as if a wedge had grown between us. Oh, I was still saved. There was no question about that. But the fellowship we’d enjoyed had weakened to the point I couldn’t sense His presence anymore.
It was a very dark and lonely period, one I hope to never experience again. I went about my day, pushing through, working on my studies … diligently tying the cords of my well-planned safety net, feeling empty. For the most part, I quit praying. Oh, I’d bless our meals, and utter obligatory words aimed toward heaven, but I stopped truly communing with my Savior.
Until one day, broken, I cried out to Him once again, “Please, Lord, tell me what it is You want from me! I want to please you!”
“I’ve already told you.” His words filled my mind and heart with such clarity, all other thoughts evaporated. My heart stilled. I knew this was my line in the sand moment.
“I’ve already told you. You already know how to please Me, and You’re not doing it.”
In that moment, clarify hit. I had two choices: obedience or rebellion. That was the moment I chose to surrender. My first contract wouldn’t come for years later, and along the journey, there were many times I had to remind myself of that line in the sand moment—of Who I was writing for.
What about you? Where are you on your writing journey? Do you feel like you’ve been working hard for much too long with nothing to show for it? Are you beginning to wonder if your dreams will ever come to pass?
Pause to remember that moment when you first sensed God calling you to write. Remember your passion, your sense of urgency, and your conviction. Hold tight to that. This journey isn’t quick or easy, and if we’re not careful, the struggles and rejections can begin to drown out that first call. But God doesn’t change His mind. He will perfect that which concerns you, in His time and His way.
Your Turn: Where are you on your journey, whether striving in the field of writing or any other field. How did you feel when you first heard God’s call in your life?
I’m so glad Jennifer shared her thoughts. Her new book is now available! Woohoo! Buy link on the picture and HERE.
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Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.