By Jennie Atkns
Have you ever been given a word or what you perceived as a random thought from God that you didn’t quite know what to do with?
That was my situation after returning from ACFW. The word was PREPARE.
Prepare what? And for what? Believe me, after a year loaded with trials, I can honestly say it left me imagining the worst. But I stopped to consider where I was and what I was doing when “the word” appeared on the neon bulletin board of my mind. I was in the midst of struggling with my writing and all the decisions associated with it—traditional publisher or Indie? Agent or no agent? Or perhaps stop writing completely.
I have been striving for publication since 2008. I have completed seven manuscripts and started a dozen more. I’ve received multiple rejections, but earnestly tried to learn from each one. I’ve been told my writing is good, but for some reason I haven’t had the bites from the publishers I’d hoped for. I would like to insert here that I don’t feel my books were so magnificent that they should have been grabbed up immediately. But I had hoped by this time an editor would have showed some interest. My writing journey is no different than any other newbie writer, but it has left me questioning my current path.
I’ve been pushing to expand the exposure of my personal blog. I’ve appeared in multiple other blogs for a broader exposure. I pressed forward with my latest novel in an effort to complete it prior to the conference. Although I have always felt God’s leading with my writing, when I received “the word” I realized I’d only been trying to push my agenda. Not God’s. I was trying to jam a round peg into a square hole. As a result, I felt burned out and confused.
The time has come for me to examine what God wants for me and my writing. I don’t know where I’ll head afterwards, but I must take the time to lean on God and trust in his leading.
From now until the end of March I am abstaining from social websites, blogs, and anything that takes me away from focusing on God’s direction for my life. During that time, I plan to study more, research ways to make my writing better and stronger. Until he sends me in a different direction, I am preparing my heart to receive God’s guidance and my mind for the lessons I will learn.
Ecclesiastes tells us there is a time for everything under heaven. Each of the examples listed in chapter 3 are opposite from each other—they are examples of all or nothing. No fence sitting, no gray area. A time to be born, and a time to die. A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to love, and a time to hate are a few examples.
For me . . . this will be a time of growth and making sure I am in the will of God. Although I hesitate to drop everything I’ve been working toward like the proverbial hot potato, I’m determined to take on the approach spelled out in Ecclesiastes and see where God leads.
I’d like to say thanks in advance to Ginger Takamiya who will take my place here on the MBT Ponderers blog while I am away.God bless you all and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and blessed New Year.