I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Monday, July 23, 2012

Scary Prayers and Patience...Again.

Note: Melissa here, and I've got a minor confession. Nothing Judge Judy would balk at, but a confession, all the same. This blog entry is a re-post of one originally published in October 2010. And I'm re-posting it because, I'm sorry, two years later, I'm still wrestling with that pesky patience thing. Maybe, just maybe, I'm not alone...

There are some things one just doesn’t want to pray for. And by “one” I mean “me.”

Like humility. Seriously, I worry that the moment I pray for a spirit of humility, I’ll:

a) plop spaghetti all over the one nice white shirt I own (yes, it’s happened); 
b) send an email with a blush-inducing typo (yes, it’s happened);
c) accidentally wear my fuzzy slippers to work (uh, it's almost happened).

Or self-control. Really, the day I pray for self-control will probably be the same day a coworker brings a plate of double-fudge brownies to work. And I, convicted by my own prayer, will have to say no. Oh, the pain.

Or patience.

Ahh, now that’s a biggie. 'Cause what better way for God to teach me patience than to make me wait. Grr. 

Patience is a huge part of a writer’s life—whether we like it or not. And mostly, I’m of the “not” persuasion. Just being frank here: I want it all now. I want an agent and a book contract—hmm, make that a multi-book contract—and the ability to stay at home and write full time. And for that last one to happen I either need to truly hit it big—like John Grisham big—or pull a bank job or marry a guy with a decent income. (Of the three, the last is probably the most plausible—and legal. So, men, step up. I’m nice, I really am.) 

[Update: I do have an agent now--the fabulous Amanda Luedeke of MacGregor Literary, Inc. And I've also recently pinpointed my potential spouse. You may have heard of him--Tim Tebow. In addition to writing, I'm busy learning football plays these days so I can be a good wife. King Lemuel totally left that out of Proverbs 31.]

But in all seriousness, writing without patience is probably a bit like getting your tooth pulled without laughing gas. Doable, but a whole lot less enjoyable.

Someone—maybe my mom?—once told me that patience isn’t waiting. It’s waiting with a good attitude. And perhaps that’s the trickiest part of all: choosing to wait with peace and joy. The kind that says, “God, I truly trust your timing. And while I wait, I’m going to approach each step of my writing journey with hopeful confidence. I’m going to take joy in the small accomplishments—whether it’s a good critique or a productive writing day or an encouraging email from a fellow writer.”

That’s the kind of patience I want. And that, okay, yes, I’ll pray for. 

How about you? Is patience ever a struggle? What are you waiting on? What helps you maintain a good attitude while waiting?

Melissa Tagg


  1. Melissa, as you know, my tagline is "I asked God for patience and He gave me a book to write." I am learning soooooo much about that pesky word.
    Yes, patience is waiting, but that doesn't mean we do nothing. We continue to hone our craft and to write so that we can be ready when God provides that editor or agent for our work!

  2. Melissa, great post, and how fun it is to see your updates--as in an agent! Now, on the spouse side, it's always good to aim high! Good luck on learning football. I'm sure Beth would be happy to help you. :)

    Thanks for your words on patience. They are so good. Patience is something that is tricky to live out in the day to day events/non-events of mothering and life. :)

    Yes, patience is often a struggle, especially in the writing life. What am I waiting on? The day when my writing is "good enough" to catch the eye of an agent. Waiting actively, though, as I strive to improve writing craft. People help me maintain a good attitude about waiting, particularly friends.

  3. I didn't pray for patience but God gave me seven kiddo. So I had to learn it anyway!

    I understand wanting the book contract now, or rather, yesterday. But I believe God's timing is perfect. I really do. Looking back at how badly I wanted to be published in the past, then going on the journey I've had, made me realize I couldn't have handled the stress of publication any sooner.

    So hang on, Father really knows best.

  4. PAT: I love your tagline. If there's anything in the world to teach a person patience, it's the writing journey. :)

    JEANNE: Yes, I definitely have good football mentors in Beth and also Susie Warren. Haha! It sounds like you have such a wonderful patience already in play. Yay!

    ROXANNE: So true. We think we want it now, but then down the road we see why God had a different "now" in mind. :)

  5. Melissa, if your book is nearly as fun as your posts, I'll buy it for certain!!

  6. How could I have forgotten SUSIE! Silly me. :)

  7. Thanks, Teri!

    Haha, Jeanne, yes, we can't forget Susie, the football fanatic. :)

  8. I love your mom's definition! I'm going to use that from now on.

    Patience is a huge struggle for me, but I'm learning. I prayed for 3 years for Hubby to find a good job. Patience and acceptance of God's timing paid off because he begins his new job on Monday. Learning to wait on God's timing has been a learning experience, but his timing is oh so sweet.

  9. Woohoo, yay for Pat's job! Awesome.

    And yes, my mom is a very wise person. My dad, too. I could fill a hundred blogs with how they've impacted me. :)

  10. You're hysterical & Tim would be blessed (though he might hate playing second fiddle to your writing career). I'm still learning some of the same personal lessons, too--but gaining ground.

  11. I'm pretty sure if I end up with Tim, Dee, I will have no trouble putting him before writing. Hehehe... :)

  12. Ha--great post, Melissa! So glad you've pinpointed that spouse-to-be!

    But seriously, I'm right there w/ya. Just when you think you can't possibly learn any more patience, you have to wait some more. The name of the writing game! But in the meantime, there are the not-so-small blessings, like landing an agent! That's one huge step. Then...there's some more waiting to be done, it's true.

    I think one of the coolest things we can do for each other as CBA writers is PRAY for each other. Whether it's your book or mine that catches that agent or editor's eye, we can rejoice in each other's victories!