His calling has led me down many wonderful roads. The best road yet is the knowledge that I am called to write. I am impatient at the time it seems to take for me to learn this business. However, there are times when I look back and I'm grateful for the small tender ways God is tweaking my thoughts. I am grateful for the years he has taken to gently change and redirect my writing.
This last year has been my hardest and deepest lesson. Perhaps it was my final. (I hope so?!?) If God has more trials in mind for me, I am sure that I will survive based solely on the lessons I learned this summer.
Last March I attended the Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Even though I was scared, totally inexperienced with conference requirements, felt in awe of the talent pool and sure that my abilities were inadequate....I pushed on through. There were rewards. I made friends, contacts and had a favorable return on a critique. I was so excited to win the MP3's of the conference. I left with a hopeful heart determined to make 2007 a successful year.
I could make this a long post by giving you all the details, but let me just list the issues I faced when I returned home.
- My son (a music minister) was having trouble at his church. "Please come out Mom and see what you think." I spent a week with him.
- When I returned home, my mother had arrived and stayed for six weeks. It was obvious she has beginning dementia.
- Three days after she left I went to the hospital with chest pains. Stayed overnight - I'm okay.
- MRI for chest pains revealed a spot on my lung and two on my thyroid.
- We experienced three deaths in the family.
- My son decided to leave the church and move home...we helped him.
- My daughter decided to leave her job and move to Florida. We helped her.
- I am the Administrator for our church library and we were in the process of changing 8,500 items from the card system to a scanner system.
- My husband Ron was told his retina might be pulling away from the eye.
- Ron's job was causing enough stress that we worried about his heart.
- I have TMJ and the bite split was causing problems that resulted in more migraines.
- One doctor was adamant about more testing of the spots on my thyroid.
- My husband and sons were leaving on their annual motorcycle trip when I received a letter urging that I see the doctor at once about possible cancer. We prayed and promised to trust God together.
- That evening Ken called and said, "Stay calm Mom, everything is fine. Jamie is fine." I panicked as he continued, "There's been an accident."
- Jamie had extensive surgery 4 days later. He had two pins in his hand and 9 screws and a plate in his leg.
- I was sitting beside him the night after his surgery when the BP monitor went crazy. His BP went to 260. Nurses flew in from every direction. 45 minutes later it happened again. Tests revealed he had two blood clots pass through his heart. Everyone kept saying... "Most of the time people die with this."
- Jamie has a huge photography business. For the next three months (because he couldn't walk) we all had to pitch in so he could save his business. Since everyone else had rigid schedules - I kept my house clean, his house clean, helped with his business and went to weddings with him - pushing his wheelchair and carrying equipment.
- I finally had a biopsy done (had to postpone because of accident). It was more painful waiting but I finally found out, Thank God I'm cancer free.
- Ken found a wonderful job in Illinois. We helped him move to Illinois, finished moving from his previous employment and kept his dog for a while.
That's not all, there's more....but it's enough for you to get the idea that this year will be used as a benchmark. From now on when something bad happens we will instantly feel better by saying, "Well, at least it's not as bad as the summer of '07 !"
Why am I telling you all this???? What could this possibly have to do with your writing soul???
YOU CAN DO IT ! I found out that if you "know" in your heart that God has called you to write, you can do it! Maybe it won't be in your time frame. Maybe you won't accomplish everything on your list. Maybe you will only complete chapter one instead of a three book series...but YOU CAN DO IT!
While all of that was going on I cried a lot. I also looked at the sky. I wondered how I could take the peaceful clouds and the beautiful colors and bring them down to my crazy life. How could I possibly "feel" the peace of heaven during the tremendous storms of life?
One moment at a time. One tiny second at a time. I learned to accept a little peace here and a little peace there. I learned to savor the smiles and the moments of quiet. I learned to do as Paul instructed...
"I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Phil: 4:12
I found great strength in the writing contacts and friends I made at Mount Hermon. Holly Miller has always been a great source of strength and comfort as my dearest friend. As I said in my first blog, I would close my eyes and see the face of Vicki Crumpton as she insisted, "Just do it Debbie, Just do it." I remembered the encouraging words of Nick Harrison, Barbara Curtis and Jim Denney. I felt their encouragement and it made me want to go the extra mile and push - just a little longer. What a comfort it was to sit and read Marlene Bagnull's devotional book for writers, Write His Answer.
You can also find that strength. If you are called, you must continue to "fight" for your writing talents. As Holly Miller has told us..."You must MAKE time for your writing."
I am living proof that you can do that. During all the stress, worry and turmoil I found tid bits of time to accomplish the following.
- Finished my website.
- Wrote over 150 blogs.
- Sent out articles.
- Reworked my book.
- Read 12 books.
- Redesigned my business.
- Started 10 new blogs including this one so I could help more people.
And how did that help my writing? Just like everyone at the conference insisted, if you spend at least 15 minutes a day writing, you will improve.
God is so good. Jamie is alive, Ron's eyes are perfect, my children are doing well in their new jobs and I am cancer free. What an added plus that I now have this wonderful blog to encourage others.
Not only will I continue to keep God #1 in my writing, I will pray for you that God will keep you centered in His perfect will.
I am not special. God isn't just working on me. I know that no matter what you are going through, God will bring forth your talents. YOU CAN DO IT!
God loves you and has called you to write,