As the new year approached, I sensed God prompting me, asking me, to take a break, to give up, for a time, this writing I love.
At first I thought the idea was crazy. Taking a break from my blog writing seemed the opposite of what I should do. But the prompting continued, and I soon realized the choice to take a break was not just a matter of obedience and trust but a declaration of love.
I love this blog. I love to write. But I love Him even more. And this was my chance to show Him.
So I laid my Isaac down. My promise. My passion. My love. And do you know what happened? I am the one who was blessed.
With my writing schedule cleared for the first three weeks of January I took the time I usually spend writing this blog and spent it on finishing the first draft of a book I started in November of 2013.
As I started to write I knew God was with me. He was all in and so was I. One week, three chapters, twenty pages, and 5,692 words later I typed the words: The End.
So what’s the point of all this? Why do I feel compelled to share? Well for one, I’m excited…as if you couldn’t tell. But more than that I want to share what I learned through this experience. What I feel God has taught me. What I can’t keep inside when it comes to His abundant goodness.
Lesson #1: Milestones are worth celebrating
Don’t get me wrong my work on this book is FAR from over. My first draft is finished but I still have a lot of revision to do. Still, this part of the journey, this part of the process, is over and I’m excited to start phase two. Every phase gets me closer to God’s ultimate purpose for this work, this creation. And every phase is worth celebrating.
Lesson #2: Invite others in
Whether it’s you, my faithful readers, my writing group, my church community or my circle of family and friends, the joy of this milestone should be shared. From the beginning my journey into a writer’s life has been a testimony of God’s love and care for me, for my heart. It’s a testimony of His purpose for my life and for each life He creates. I can’t help but share this phase of the journey, this victory with others.
Lesson #3: Dream big
On the night I finished my book, after everyone in my house went to bed, I stayed up to celebrate with God. This may sound silly but I knew what He wanted me to do. I loaded our DVD player with the movie Becoming Jane and watched as the famous writer, Jane Austen, went from an obscure, female writer to one of the most well-known and bestselling authors of all time.
God has always used Jane Austen, her story, her books, and this movie to inspire me, to nurture my heart for writing, and while I don’t know the plans He has for me in terms of fame and bestselling novels I do know His plans for me are good, and perfect, and safe to trust. I know His dreams for me are far bigger than what I can dream or imagine. And it is glory to think, and contemplate, and dwell on these things. To let my heart and my mind run wild, run free, into the promise of His wild love.
In his book, The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis writes, “What God takes away with His left hand He gives back with His right.”
God may have taken away my freedom, so to say, to work on this blog for a span of three weeks, and while it was hard to relinquish this part of me, what He gave me in return far outweighs the sacrifice I made.
This is always His way.
I gave up my blog for three weeks, six posts in total.
I gained a chance to show the lover of my heart that I’m a lover of His.
I gained a finished first draft and the first step toward a dream I have grown in my heart since I was a girl with a pen and some paper.
I gained three invaluable lessons that will make this journey, this writing life, richer and much more sweet.
And once again, the words of C.S. Lewis abound in my heart:
“When He [God] talks of their losing their selves, He means only abandoning the clamour of self-will; once they have done that, He really gives them back all their personality, and boasts (I am afraid, sincerely) that when they are wholly His they will be more themselves than ever.” (From The Screwtape Letters)
Feeling more myself than ever, I return to you. I return to this blog. And I can’t wait to see what God has in store.