This is the third blog I’ve attempted today. None has even made a half page. I guess you could say I’ve been fasting from writing. It’s been twenty-one days.
When I re-posted the series I wrote two years ago on believers in politics, it wasn’t with the intention of taking a break. It was just good timing. Our summer had just begun, and we were heading to San Antonio for a week with the families we serve with in our Christian Service League. While my family enjoyed late mornings sleeping in, I soaked up precious hours of solitude, sipping coffee on our third-floor balcony overlooking the lush green landscape of the Texas Hill Country.
That’s when God revealed that my morning routine of digging into the scriptures, talking with Him, and writing about what He’s teaching me had become a public event. In that private place with the Lord, my focus had shifted to public revelation, and therefore, I had lost the private. I was missing the secret place. That place of seeking Him with the singular goal of seeking Him, not leaving with something I could share with others. Not that there’s anything wrong with leaving our secret time in the Lord with a testimony for Him, but the manifestation or outcome had become my focus, not Him.
At first, it was a relief not to write. The days spent on vacation, removed from routine and the pressures of my daily life were like a shot of oxygen to my weary soul. It became awkward when I got home. I almost didn’t know what to do. Without the measurable goal of a blog or a portion of another book or project I’m writing for, I felt lost. Then I rested in the Lord. Simply spent time with Him and followed His lead. Some mornings I poured out my heart in prayer or journaling. Other mornings I worshiped Him and read scriptures of praise out loud, or I prayed specific passages for others. Other days, the Holy Spirit drew my attention to a word or concept in a particular verse, and it lead to several word studies.
Then the email came. I’m attending my first conference for writers and speakers in July, and attendees are given the opportunity to meet with publishers. They needed to know my top five choices for my publisher meetings. Included were profiles of the representatives, the types of projects they are looking for, and what they require for their meetings. Many want a one-sheet on the author that clearly communicates her unique voice and message.
I was assaulted by fear and doubt. Who do I think I am? Who am I to even be writing? Why do I think what I have to say is special? Do I even have a unique voice and message? Maybe this isn’t the time or season. Maybe I should cancel.
The panic felt familiar, not because I struggle with panic a lot, but as I sit here telling you about it, I am taken back to another time when I felt exactly the same way: the moment the labor and delivery nurse told me it was time to push out my first child. I turned to my mom, terrified, and pleaded, “I’m not ready, mom! Tell them to push her back in!” With calm resolve, she answered, “It’s a little too late for that, honey. You can do it.”
I looked into canceling my conference registration, but I had missed the deadline by days. I would lose the entire fee. That’s when the Lord reminded me to trust Him. Trust His leading. Trust all He’s been doing these last six years. Trust the confirmations He’s provided when I’ve doubted what I’m doing. Trust the answer He gave me when I asked if I was supposed to attend the conference in the first place. Trust that He has a plan and it covers every detail not only of the conference, but of everything I need to do to prepare and everything that will come afterward.
Perhaps this is a time of gestation. A time of getting ready. Perhaps I’m in labor. Who knows what He might be trying to birth or the timing of its delivery, but like the pink lines on a pregnancy test, there have been unquestionable indications that He is up to something. So I’m trusting Him and moving forward in spite of my doubts and fears. I’m going to do this thing, even if I have to do it scared. I’m going to walk by faith and trust that He is and will order my steps. It’s the only way I know to do it because I don’t want to get ahead of God, and I don’t want to miss Him either.
One day, there’s a good chance hind sight will shed understanding on this time and experience. I look forward to it, because right now, I find it a bit uncomfortable and unnerving. But that’s the great thing about having a relationship with the heavenly Father through Jesus Christ. We can trust that He knows all and is in total control, and we can remember all the ways He’s already proven Himself true and faithful.
Lord, thank You for Your goodness and faithfulness to all generations. Help us trust You in all things as we become more wholly Yours today.