Our prompt this month comes from InScriber Susan Barclay who is now our Writing Groups Coordinator.
Long ago God spoke in many different ways to our fathers through the prophets, in visions, dreams, and even face to face, telling them little by little about his plans. (Hebrews 1:1, TLB)
Susan asked us to describe a time where God spoke to us about our writing or used our writing to speak to others about Him in a meaningful way (and we received feedback).
God speaking to us about our writing and His intentions for us is a theme that runs through our doubts, our plans, our drafts, our publishing and our speaking/extended ministries. God speaks, often through nudges and through progressive opening up new avenues for us.
This month’s theme came at a strategic time for me. (How did I know that when I randomly assigned monthly topics? But God knew.)
The last couple years have taken me in different directions which have enriched my life but didn’t seem to further my writing goals. My writing was slipping. My revisions and my submitting for publication were slipping.
During May I began sorting through many areas where I need to be more intentional in my writing habits and plans. I’ve been like cruise ships at the end of a cruising season. To be ready for the next cruise season, they may have to travel long distances to their new starting point in a process called “repositioning”.
My repositioning started with a desire to take my writing to the next level. This was a nudge, God’s way of moving me into His larger purposes.
From there, God brought what I call miracles in miniature to clarify my thinking and move me along.
Shortly afterwards, my cousin Joan asked how my book was progressing. The truth was, I had let that project sit on the sidelines while I worked on others. Her question prompted me to renew my vision and work on it with renewed enthusiasm. This was the first of what I call God’s miracles in miniature to clarify my thinking and move me along.
Next came the examples of two friends. Both mentioned that they ask God what they should do for that day, in daily tasks and in writing. I thought back to the times I asked God for specific directions as I wrote. Once, God gave me an image of the outline for a blog. Other times I heard the Spirit’s still voice, “I will help you,” which encouraged me on particularly challenging writing assignments or contests. To hear the Spirit, it’s important be still and to let life’s debris settle while God’s wisdom rises to the top.
Wisdom from coaches also spoke to my need at just the right time. Last week one of my online coaches offered an online webinar, “Procrastinate Proof Your Writing.” Her strategies guided me in new ways to manage projects and overcome roadblocks. And then I reread a blog I wrote in 2017 that gave me much to ponder. It pointed out that I need to give attention to another coach in my life: myself. (God has a sense of humor!)
Through all these processes, God has been encouraging me through His Word. Two pertinent verses come from Proverbs 3:5-6 (The Message):
"Trust God from the bottom of your heart,
don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go,
He's the one who will keep you on track.”
And yes, I’ve discovered how God speaks in ways that meet our needs at each strategic time.
And now God is nudging me to step out in faith. At our church, pastors conclude their messages with challenge questions: “What is God prompting you to do? How are you going to respond? What is your next step?” As I continue to reposition and move forward in God’s strength, I will see God at work in new ways, and He will be glorified.