Hours spent with wheels spinning and getting NOWHERE, I have found myself so very stuck in the frenetic nothingness of frustration. Awash in the irony of the situation, I am up to my ears in the extraneous trappings of trying to “be a writer” and I’m doing zero writing. I’m spending time to learn how to do it better, how to build a platform, how to edit myself well, how to craft a book proposal, and then I’m getting sucked into setting up my professional Facebook page and getting so very lost in social media, how to add widgets and graphics to my shiny new blog site (this is NOT my forte), and how to create everything around this little party of mine. Everything except the writing. Is this what God call me to spend all of my time and myself on? No! He called me to put words on paper, real or virtual, and to share His work in me.
Then the scary thought, the whisper of the accuser in the back of my mind: Or did He really call you?
I am honestly second guessing myself like crazy and need to be talked off my ledge. And as I view some of these articles, videos, etc., meant to prepare me for my first ever writers’ conference in July, I am frozen. I feel like I have NO business doing this at all. I have a TINY platform (people who follow my work). I have no audience other than people who know me. What makes me think I have ANY reach or ANY business doing this? Did I mishear you, God? As I wrestle through the muck of emotion and self-doubt it’s all I can do NOT to un-register myself from the conference, cancel my flights, and crawl under my covers with a box of tissues. I feel as though I have nothing to add, it’s too early in my process to attend this kind of event, I have NO chance of getting a publishing deal since I haven’t gained traction anywhere else, and I am wasting our family’s resources by even thinking of going. I have swallowed the lie of the one who would stop me from following God’s plan. My heart whispers: I am unqualified.
But. My eye is drawn to a lovely art print hanging by my desk, a gift from a sweet and supportive friend, that says “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” A reminder I needed to drink into my soul today. God doesn’t expect me to be other than where I am. He knows I don’t have all things (any things!!) ready for a national speaking stage platform and book tour. Heh. Not even close. So that’s not where my next step will be.
Matthew 17:20b says “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed you can say to this mountain ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Yes. He will do what He will do with this mustard seed effort, these words in print or from my lips, these small steps of obedience on my part. God will open the next door He wants me to walk through. And the next. My sweet husband reminded me, when I was crying on the phone to him about today’s aforementioned “talk me off the ledge” moment, that I need to have faith in the bigger plan and see where He takes me, where He takes my book, my blog, my speaking. So what if I don’t get a publishing deal? Who says I have to do that within 6 months of starting this in earnest? (The answer is no one, just another wacky unrealistic expectation I have in the carnival of my mind.) Those things don’t mean I’m unqualified for where God is taking me. They mean I’m exactly where He needs me. At the beginning. Can you hear me exhale? Whatever God wants will unfold His way with His timing.
Oh my friends, I know God has a plan. And it often doesn’t sync up with the pretty little picture in my brain. But He has shown me again and again this year that I can put my trust, my complete faith, in His way even when I can’t see the end result, in His plan because it’s better than mine. I am reminded often that He can do immeasurably more than anything I can ask or imagine because of His power at work within us (Colossians 3:20). Nothing will be impossible.
He’s called me to write. If that means I need to prepare to “be a writer,” I will do all the things that necessitates as well. But the writing is the central thing, the place I need to choose, the place I need to park myself in this season, growing as a writer and honing my craft. Time at my computer NOT just working on the extra stuff, but just fingers on keyboard, watching where the words take me.
My job: obey and write. His job: the outcome. I will endeavor not to confuse the two.