Sunday, October 15, 2006

It hit me the other day.

One moment, I was on top of the world, rejoicing over the fact that my words were down on paper and would soon be in the hands of readers. The next, I was scared witless over the fact that my words were down on paper and would soon be in the hands of readers.

What ever made me think I was called to write? How dare I think that I can string together a handful of words and make them into a coherent sentence that actually touches a reader’s heart? What if people hate my book? What if I get bad reviews and never sell another manuscript? For days, fear plagued me. Fear of failure, of bad sales figures, of. . .rejection. Now there’s a word.

I sank into uncertainty, felt its paralyzing effect on my writing. Not a word flowed from my fingers into my wip. I wrote a doggie devotional—three, in fact. I wrote a book review, a blog article, and a check to the electric company. But nothing for my wip.

“How’s the book coming?” a kind hearted soul at church asked.

“Fine,” I said, and then skipped the following Sunday so I didn’t have to answer that question again.

But God isn’t so easily dissuaded. I felt His pull upon my heart, the gentle question, ‘what are you hiding from?’ sounding in my brain.

“Well. . .God. . .I’m afraid.”

“Of what?”

“Of never being able to write another book.”


“Because. . .”

Uh-huh. There it is. I’m afraid I just got lucky the first time. I’m afraid that God wasn’t in it at all, and that I pulled a cosmic joke on the universe and somehow managed to get around the system. I’m afraid that there are other writers out there who are so much more deserving than I am, and that somehow, my shameful secret will be found out. Let me tell you, if I had any doubts before, they’ve certainly doubled now.

The good news is God isn’t into moody blues. He’s more interested in pulling me from my funk and reminding me of who HE is. I’m not writing for me, or my readers, or for reviewers. Fear and doubt? Those are the devils tools. God sees me where I am, whether it be high on the mountaintop, rejoicing over a victory, or deep in the valley, struggling with feelings of failure and doubt.
And He’s faithful.

Faithful to remind me how and when I knew I was called to write, to heal my insecurities, and renew in me a peace that passes understanding.

So yesterday, I got out my laptop and hesitantly typed the first words I’ve managed since before my writer’s conference. I wrote and erased the same line several times. The next line came a little easier. Soon, I’d written an entire chapter. It felt so good, and it reminded me. . .I’m not alone in my funk. God is there, helping me, sustaining me. He’s just not interested in staying there. And neither am I.


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