The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. **Mark Twain

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Giving up -- what difference does it make?

CK wrote and asked...

"I have spent a lot of my free time learning all I can about the publishing world. I've polished my grammar and worked on personal marketing. I have a ministry with abused women and I feel like I've learned important tips that should be passed to a greater audience.

I feel like a failure even asking this question publicly, so please don't use my full name. How can I know if I will ever make a real difference? My world is so small. I feel God in every conversation I have with a battered woman. What if that's all God wants me to be? What if my voice isn't developed for publication? I keep wondering if maybe I should just quit."

CK - you are not alone!

I don't know anyone that hasn't felt that way. I've felt that way and I know others that deal with those same issues.

I won't dare presume that I could know God's will for your life. I do know with 100% certainty that no one will ever get the Good News to this hurting world without pushing through the "tar" barrier.

The "TAR" barrier stands for "Things are rough". Rough can stand for anything we are facing that wants to stop our progress - even our own discouragement.

When I was a kid in the South we used to love those super hot days. The tar roads of our subdivision seemed to be covered with a steamy heat wave. My friends and I would find sticks to poke at the bubbles or big rocks to ease down into the goo. Even worse though, was to be playing tag and chase someone across an especially gummy part of the road. The goo didn't stop me, but it sure made running fast difficult.

Being an effective writer is some of the hardest work anyone can do. The only job that comes close is being a mother. A mother will work 18-hour days for years without pay, acknowledgement or even the hope of success. She gives willingly of all her talents and all her energy. Her only hope is that when her child reaches adulthood that he/she will turn around and say, "Thanks, Mom." Years of work for a simple "Thanks, Mom" before he/she heads out into the world. I dare say though - no one will deny the great importance of that her contribution. Her child will be different because of her dedication.

You sound tired and overworked. Maybe you are putting so much time into preparing to write that you don't "feel" like writing. Inspiration is a funny thing. It usually only strikes when we are rested.

So here's a few tips:

Take a vacation from your writing. Not a long one, but give yourself permission to rest. Hug your child, kiss your husband and go for a walk.

Try writing something small for a while. Start a blog or send encouraging notes to a friend. Write small items and build day by day to larger pieces.

Read, read, read. Reading helps us to get in the flow of writing.

Ask God to center His perfect will in your heart.

Let the scriptures inspire you. Here's a few to consider just for writers:

Philippians 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

I Peter 4:11 If anyone speaks, (writes) he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 2:13-16 For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life - in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing,"

Philippians 2:13-16 is my favorite verse. It tells me that God is in charge of results. I am only in charge of doing my best and continuing on the path he has laid before me. My energy, perseverance and success are all in God's hands. I am just his vessel.

I love the way Marlene Bagnull puts it in her "Writer's Statement of Faith".

"[Not in my own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in {me} - energizing and creating in {me} the power and desire - both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight" (Phil 2:13, AMP)

CK - you will never be able to effectively tell the world what you know without God's help. Don't go it alone. Ask Him daily to stand beside you and give you the inspiration you need to be all He has called you to be.

Let's pray, "Dear God, please help CK and all your writing soldiers to be encouraged today. Help us to remember that you are in control. Help us to lean on you for our strength, our encouragement and our talent. We offer our writing to you first. We ask that you bless it and help it to multiply to those that need it. We trust you for the direction of our lives and our talents."

I will be praying for you. You can do it!

God loves you and has called you to write,


No comments: