About a week ago, I stood at my writing desk just before heading off to work and said this prayer… Lord Jesus, please help me to have more time and energy to write for Your glory. I just don’t understand why this calling to write can be so strong, yet I have nothing left to give you by the end of the week. I could give You so much more if my body and mind were not so overwhelmed after giving so much of myself to my job.
Has your call to write been put on hold due to life’s obligations? Have you been at a loss regarding what to get rid of in order to have more time to write? For years, I was okay with putting my writer’s life on hold. When my five children were younger and my husband ran a business, I believed God would open up the writing door somewhere in the future. I trusted He would guide me little by little into His perfect timing.
Over the past three years, the vision and passion I had to write for life has slowly happened. One baby step at a time, I have been able to integrate writing in the “in between” times. In between working a day job, managing our home, our finances, staying connected with my husband and children, and facing numerous health obstacles, I have somehow managed to complete many writing goals. I self-published a non-fiction book in a subject where there was a great need. Then, I revised and expanded a fiction novel 25 years in the making—pitched it to a publisher and got a contract!
When I stop to think of all God has enabled me to accomplish, I am amazed at His grace and mercy. So many times, I made excuses and gave into other activities besides writing. My life is exhausting even without the writing life in the picture. And some days, I am simply burned out and cannot fathom sitting at the keyboard.
However, the overwhelming urge…desire…need to write has pulled at me more than ever in recent weeks. Some mornings I wake up feeling inspired, ideas running through my mind on how to tweak a scene or add conflict to the plot in my WIP. Then I look at the clock and sigh. Time to shift my mind to other matters, like getting the kids off to school and heading to work.
By the time Saturday morning comes around, I have every intention of diving in and acting on all the inspirations from the past week. But I sleep a little later than I intended. My husband and I take a walk. I decide to filter through all the emails I could not get to during the week. Oh, yah, I might want to eat something before I isolate myself from family and enter the world of Lydia and Dylan and all things unseen. Eventually, I make it to the keyboard, forcing myself to ignore the fatigue, the brain resisting thinking of yet one more thing, the list of things I still did not get finished—laundry, connecting with a friend, checking the kids’ grades…
Oh LORD, I want to give you my all but this week has simply drained me. Please give me strength and focus to get through at least a couple of chapters.
Deep breath. Activate Pandora and the Chris Tomlin channel.
Ready…begin…Repeat week after week.
I’ve been telling myself that one day; God will allow me more time to write. I try to imagine how much more productive and creative I will be—how amazing my stories will be once I have the freedom to keep them at the forefront of my mind day after day.
I imagined that day would come a few years down the road. You know, when I have a few novels under my belt and I get that call from a major publishing house wanting to sign me on with a huge advance as their next greatest Christian Fiction Author (winky face).
But until then, I was okay with the current state of my life. I accepted it as the way things had to be for now. I would work unto the Lord at my day job, but not invest more of my time and energy than was necessary—saving my creativity and new ideas for my stories alone. When I felt inspired to write, I would not feel guilty about what else I should be doing. I believed God would provide the opportunity for me to write more in His perfect timing.
What I did not expect was for Him to provide it in an instant—nothing of my own doing whatsoever.
This past Wednesday, I drove to work planning on an extended workday to meet a deadline. It was a short workweek because of the holiday, so I had a little catching up to do—my goal was to get ahead and not need to work on Friday. I generally stay a few hours later than all the part-time employees do. About 1pm, I was gearing up for a productive afternoon when my boss asked me to come to her office once I was at a breaking point.
Less than an hour later, I was packing up the personal belongings from my desk. My employers had decided to “eliminate” my position due to financial constraints.
I was officially unemployed after devoting nearly 2 ½ years to this company. Not even a chance to say good-bye to my co-workers or train those who were keeping their jobs to divide all my tasks.
The reality of this is still sinking in. I gave 110% of myself to that job–often prioritizing it over everything else in my life to become a vital asset. I never imagined I was so easily expendable. The financial hit is one matter–my feelings will require a different approach.
However, the truth is loud and clear—God answered my prayers and made a way for me to put my call as a writer first. So I will not let the temporary things or people of this world define me in any other way. I am NOT expendable to God!
Have you ever experienced an unexpected change that demonstrated God’s calling to write on your life? I’d love to hear about it in your comments below.