“Why don’t you ever have time for me?”
My heart stopped and I turned to my nine-year old daughter as she burst into tears. I gathered her in my arms and we talked. She had needed me when she came home from school that day, but I was glued to the computer screen, and had only given her a vague “uhuh” when she started to tell me what was on her heart.
A short time after that, a man stood up in a congregation and said, “What you are doing is good but your obsession with it is not.” I knew immediately God was speaking to me. I knew my writing had become an idol in my life. When I needed comfort, I wrote. When I was afraid, I wrote. When I was angry, I wrote. I went to my writing instead of my God.
So I prayed and God answered. "Stop writing fiction." I didn’t like that answer and I argued with Him about it. But eventually I gave in but I asked the Lord for one thing - "Please, please take away the stories that continually flow through my head." I feared I would go mad if they continued and I was not able to write them down. He answered that prayer. For over two years. No story ideas, no scenes, no characters came to mind. I continued to write devotionals and articles for a local newspaper, but no fiction.
Then one Sunday morning, after the service, I chatted with a woman about abortion. She asked, “Can you imagine what it would be like for someone to discover that his mother had tried to abort him?” I did imagine. A character began to take shape in my mind so vividly I knew God had released me to write his story. I prayed and then I wrote. That novel, One Smooth Stone, won the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award. And I wept, not just because of the award, but because of what God had taught me.
He taught me that if I am obedient to Him He will bless me in ways I could never have imagined. He taught me that a strong “no” may seem harsh but will always be given with loving intent. He taught me that He intends “to prosper (me) and not to harm (me)... to give (me) a hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Those years of fasting from fiction changed me and changed my work. It was, in a way, a time in the wilderness that stripped away what was not good and left a clearer, truer path. The withering away of what was dead left room for the new and necessary growth.
“Stop writing fiction” was not what I wanted to hear, but it was God’s best plan.
Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. The sequel, A Tumbled Stone was short listed in The Word Awards. Marcia also has four devotional books in print and has contributed to several anthologies. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan.
Abundant Rain, an ebook devotional for writers can be downloaded on Smashwords or on Amazon. It is also now available in Journal format on Amazon.
Her most recent release is Celebrate This Day, a devotional book for special occasions like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving.
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