Saturday, July 17, 2010

Starting Over

Psalm 13: 5 - But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.

Hindsight is 20/20 so the saying goes, and I found that to be more than true this week. The same day that I received a rejection letter from Peachtree Publishers about my novel, I was guided to a post that cautioned against ever sending an unrepresented manuscript to any publisher as it, most likely, would not even be considered. Although the letter was polite and assured me that my manuscript had been read in full, I did not trust this in the least. The blogs of literary agents read this week, however, have clued me into the mire that is necessary to slog through in order to convince someone that a book is worthy of publication. I would rather spend my days writing than selling my creation but, it seems, I must don another hat in order to make this dream come true.
Today, I began revising my first novel in earnest. To my surprise and, at times, chagrin, I realized that, yes, there were phrases that needed changes, passages that begged more explanation, and page numbers that had somehow forgotten how to align themselves. This was, indeed, a humbling experience, but one replete with the opportunity to be the writer that God expects me to be. I was gently reminded that, with the Lord, there are no shortcuts, no fairy-tale answers. It is in humility that we walk with Him and delight in and grow with His wondrous gifts that He has given to us. Micah 6:8, a verse on my Facebook page and one that should be emblazoned upon my heart, reads: He has shown you, oh man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Can anything more be asked of us? Indeed, are we capable of doing, even in our most resplendent of times, any more than these? He has acted justly toward me, pointing me in the right direction; He has shown mercy, forgiving me of all bad thoughts, words, attitudes for which I have asked forgiveness; He has humbled me by sending me back to the first novel to be a "critic from the outside, looking in". Hey, when you start thinking you're the cat's meow, you need to look around for the litter box! I know, for a certainty, that I am now cleaning out that litter box with a renewed faith.
My gift for writing is nothing less than a gift from God. In considering every talent in which God seeks to bless us, each takes endless hours of practice and commitment, toil and ardor, to reach that God-given goal. God never promises that this life will be easy, but Jesus assures us that His yoke is light and that we can cast all cares upon Him. What an incredible promise this is! When I sat down to write last summer, the only free time I had when not teaching, I would preface, verbally, each session with "How would you have me write today, Lord?" In the two summers preceding that, I wrote, but did not, necessarily, call upon Him for help. These are the chapters I am so engaged in redeeming at the moment. I do not expect much revision from the point when I allowed the Lord to "take the wheel", to be my guide, to help me fulfill the plans He has for me. Humbling myself to His will, I know, will make all the difference.
How have you humbled yourself unto the Lord today? How will what you do tomorrow, and the next day, and the next reveal to those around you the light of the Way? Your burden may be heavy, but His is light. Trust in the Lord's unfailing love.

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