Thursday, August 25, 2011
A few days ago, a friend of mine described this point in my writing career as “dipping my toes in the deep water”. I chuckled and reminded her that I can’t swim. But I must admit her comment made me think.
For the past year and a half I’ve been blessed with four contracts with Heartsong Presents division of Barbour Publishing. This year I had the privilege of seeing my first three books released and thrilled hold each one in my hands. My critique partners, my agent, and my Heartsong editor all told me they thought I was ready to start writing longer, trade length fiction. The very idea struck fear in my heart. I wasn’t ready to dive into the deep end of that pool. My plan was to get a few more Heartsongs listed under my name, and then maybe in another year—or two—I might think about full length fiction.
Did I mention that was MY plan? God has a way of raising His eyebrows and smiling whenever I tell Him my plans.
Last month, I received the news that Barbour had made the difficult decision to close the Heartsong Presents line at the end of this year. My “plans” were toast. So for the past few weeks, I’ve been rethinking the plan—not MY plan, but God’s. Pursuing my own agenda is an exercise in futility, and without God’s breath of encouragement, I could have given up in despair.
Am I ready to attempt longer fiction? People whose opinion I respect seem to think I am. Dipping my toes in the deep water means stepping out into unfamiliar territory. Should I wade in? Am I strong enough to withstand the current? I have the heart and the will; God has placed within me the determination and perseverance. But the deep water carries with it the possibility of drowning.
When I tried to sort out the reasons why MY plans crumbled, God just gave me this patient answer from His Word:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55: 8~9
With this verse on my lips, I’m preparing a proposal to take to the ACFW conference in September. Am I ready to dip my toes in the deep water, as my friend suggests? I don’t know. My job is to use what God has given me to the best of my ability. The outcome is up to Him.
Thanks for letting me share my heart.