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Delight Yourself in the Lord

For the last year I’ve been struggling with my writing. Between life getting in the way and the loss of  my awesome critique partners due to their lives getting in the way of their writing, I’ve been floundering. Finding a new critique group has taken a few adjustments and getting used to. Their styles vary and are quite different from my former group. And when I attended the Called to Write conference back in March, one of the speakers dared ask if we were really called to write. Well, duh, I wouldn’t be doing it if I weren’t. I knew without a doubt that I had been called to write. But then he had to go and say that sometimes callings change. Ouch!

I’m sure I’ve written about all of this before. His words threw me for a loop. Had God changed my calling? Is that why I felt like a fish out of water in my search for a new critique group? Had God been telling me to put down my pen? The uncertainty put me in a funk. My conversations with God seemed one-sided. Me talking, me not hearing.

And then one night I decided to remove myself from the cluttering noise, put on my walking shoes and hit the pavement. It didn’t take long before I resigned myself to giving up my dream of writing. And no sooner I did, I began hearing.

Me: All right, God. If this is what you ask of me, I’ll give up my dream, even if it hurts.

God: Delight yourself in Me and I will give you the desires of your heart.

Me: But–

God: Delight yourself in Me and I will give you the desires of your heart.

Me: Okay

That conversation changed my focus from just writing to writing to glorify God. Actually, it changed my existence. My prayers have been that I will glorify God in all things (I know this isn’t always the case as I’m human, but I’m trying). I buckled down and covered each word and paragraph of my manuscript in prayer while I polished it to the best of my ability. I sent it off to a few critique partners, and wouldn’t you know it, life got in the way. Not just a little in the way but a non-stop in the way. One cp had even read my manuscript three times, critiqued it twice and each time something kept her from sending it back (like computer crash).

Anyway, a few weeks ago while I was holding a very minor pity party at not being able to attend this year’s American Christian Fiction Writer’s conference, I volunteered to be a part of their Forty Days of prayer. If I couldn’t go to the conference, I’d pray for those in attendance. The verse I was given, Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. I did not choose the verse, I was given the verse.

It was a soothing balm, especially while I waited patiently for perfect timing to get my critiques back. Finally, after weeks of God’s constant trust me chanting in my head, I called one of my cps, spoke with her about a few things, printed off my manuscript, packaged it up. The package sat on my table for a few days, waiting. During those few days one of my devotional times ended up with me once again reading Psalm 37:4. This time I saw something much different.

If I delight myself in the Lord, He will become my desire. Not all these other things like publishing books. Would I still like to see my book in print? Yeah. And if I receive a rejection I’m sure it will hurt for a little while. But it’s a learning experience and more importantly it has and will continue to deepen my relationship with the Lord. And just because He has been a constant voice and telling me He’ll give me the desires of my heart doesn’t mean that this particular manuscript will become published. I don’t know the plans He has for me, but I do know He knows the plans He has for me. Plans to prosper me and not to harm me. Plans to give me a hope and future (Jeremiah 29:11). That doesn’t mean that that hope and future are wrapped up in my writing success. No, that hope and future is wrapped up in my Savior.

2 responses to “Delight Yourself in the Lord”

  1. Your blogs are scaring me! Our paths crossed at “Called to Write” but emotionally & spiritually they are running parallel. Life obstacles have tripped me up, knocked me down and twisted my feet like a pretzel. I want it to all stop; I want to write & forget about life’s issues, but, God also called me to live in this world.

    Psalm 37:4 (& the entire chapter) is my verse for 2011. I even had a friend which makes beaded jewelry make me a wall hanging to remind me to DELIGHT myself in the Lord.

    I too have paused & regrouped my writing focus upon hearing Terry Burns’ words, “Were you called or did you decide to write?” (If a decision, it’s an offering; if a calling, it’s an obligation).

    God keeps telling me to “let go and just write.”

    I will pray for you to hear every word HE has for you to write for HIM – whether an offering or an obligation, be HIS delight.

    • Thank you, Merrie! One thing I’ve gotten from all of this is obedience to His calling, and as a friend of mine says, delayed obedience is disobedience. I may not get to write every day, but I try to do something writing related even if it’s just my morning prayers.

      I’ll be praying for you as well, friend.

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