Lord, help me. How do I put into words what you’ve been showing me as one year wraps up and another begins?
This past year I’ve seen the dedication of other writers to their craft, and I’m humbled. I’ve tried to emulate their professional approach. Learning about marketing was interesting, but everything in me recoiled when it came to putting it into practice. Was I letting the Lord down?
In the midst of trying to get myself to build a whopping big platform (you know, those 10,000 subscribers to my blog, of which I have, so far, 24), the Lord had me muddling away on a manuscript. I had no goal for the story, and sometimes wandered away. Looking back, I see that each time I did, the Lord pulled a writer friend in to give me a nudge and keep me going. Finally, to get the thing off my plate, I came across an appropriate contest, cleaned the story up and sent it in. There. Done.
And then it won.
The prize was a publishing package. I liked writing The Reluctant Caregiver; the publishing process, not so much.
But last month it was completed. Jesus and I had a chat. You wanted the thing published, Lord, there you go. It’s done. If you want it marketed, you’ll have to do it, though, because I want no part of that. I’ll go where you lead me, but I’m not stepping out.
No, no lightening came down from heaven. Just the sense of a little smile curling the corner of Jesus’ lips.
This morning, I pondered this post, trying to figure out how to share what I don’t fully understand when it comes to writing and my lack of ambition. I set the question aside to carry on with the book of Acts, and as I read, the Lord, in his inimitable style, opened my eyes.
Acts 10:4 The angel answered [Cornelius], “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.”
Clarity filled my heart. How many times during my reluctant caregiving season did I tell God, “If I have to go through this, please make it worth while.” And He has. The book led to a speaking opportunity, and from that one, two more. I’ve been invited to sit on a committee working on Alberta Health’s new Dementia Strategy.
I’m beginning to think, it’s not so much the book, as it is the ripples. Being a published author is nice, but it doesn’t excite me. Speaking on what I’ve learned about dementia and caregiving? That gets me buzzing.
And here’s the kicker. I read further in Acts and I came to verse 43. “… everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name”. Suddenly a thought landed with a clunk. Two physicians have asked me to co-present workshops with them. Both women are from the Middle East. Could it be the Lord is going to use me to plant a seed?
I don’t know. I do know that going into 2015 I’m already out of my depth. Who am I to present to medical students and doctors? I know, though, that’s the best place for me to be. It’s when I don’t know what I’m doing that I turn control over to the Lord.
So in 2014 I discovered that in this season of my life, writing will be willy-nilly, as the Lord leads. And the speaking engagements? I’ve hung a picture on my fridge of two oxen in a yoke. Jesus sent the invitation in Matthew: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.” Lord, I accept.
My prayer for 2015? Lord, help me to keep my eyes on you, and not on my feet, that I might do your will and not my own.