“Patience means waiting God’s time without doubting God’s love.” (Our Daily Bread, 3/2/2009)
For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose for them. – Romans 8:28 NIV
I was referring to taking a sabbatical from writing fiction. I didn’t want to do it. I love getting lost in the story, letting the characters carry me away on a journey of their own making. It’s a high like no other, this thrill of writing fiction.
At least it was for my first three books. Then came the elephant – my fourth novel, book two of the PennWoods Mystery series. Like Mama Elephant carries her baby in her womb for two years before giving birth, so too has been the gestation period for Ghost Mountain. Over two years, six partial drafts and more dead ends than I cared to count.
It isn’t that I no longer want to write fiction. I do. More than anything. I miss dancing with the muse. It’s that I’d lost the passion, the excitement for the story. “No tears in the writer,” Robert Frost once said, “no tears in the reader.”
Life happened. With all its crises, issues and upcoming changes. Things that take time, energy, emotion, and prayer. Things on which I need to focus before I can move on to pursuing the vision of writing. For now I’m called to lay my Isaac down.
I think of how Abraham felt when God told him to offer his only son – the son he’d waited a lifetime for – to Him as a sacrifice. Sacrifice – giving up something you want for a higher purpose.
Renowned Christian author and speaker Priscilla Shirer had to lay her Isaac down at one point in her life, too. When her sons were born, her priorities changed. Between gigs of traveling the country and speaking to hundreds of women, she changed diapers. She soon sensed God telling her to put the speaking ministry aside for a season.
In time, Lifeway contacted her: Instead of Priscilla travelling to, say 10 different churches in an area, she would travel to one central location and the women from those churches would come to that venue. Awesome! Less time. Same effort. More people reached with the messages God gives her.
She obeyed God and took a Sabbath from what she knew she was called to do. Then, at the right time, God gave her ministry back to her, better, more effective, more efficient, and allowing time for her growing family. It was like the Israelites gathering twice as much manna on the sixth day in the same amount of time and with the same amount of effort as they did on the other five days because they were not to gather manna on the Sabbath. They obeyed. God blessed them with a double portion.
Essentially God told them, “You honor my Sabbath on the seventh day, and I’ll give you a double portion on the sixth.”
“Focus on the priority of the season,” Priscilla writes in her Bible study Breathe.
The priority of the season. With health and family issues, and DH’s upcoming retirement, life is just too tumultuous right now to focus on writing fiction. I am, however, reading it and studying the craft while I wait for God to open the door again and say, “Now.”
Thank You, God, that You haven’t removed the dream, the desire, to write fiction from my heart. Give me the wisdom to use this time wisely and strength for the wait. Amen.
© 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.