On the heels of Paula’s excellent post about writing being an act of worship, the post the Lord has laid on my heart to write today is similar, but different.
This year the Lord has been busy telling me that it’s time for me to start writing again—not just in fits and starts, not just devotionals (several of which I wrote and sold last year and early this year). It took a while for me to take His urgings seriously. But in July I almost literally got smacked upside the head with it.
Within a four-day period, He spoke through my agent, Joyce Hart, His Word, and Marlene Bagnull, my dear friend and mentor. All said essentially the same thing: It’s time to stop playing and get serious about this. Now it wasn’t that I didn’t understand His previous urgings, it was more a matter of what I would have to give up in order to write. It meant that I was going to have to step out on faith, turn down some editing projects, and trust Him to cover the resulting loss of income.
Yes, five years ago the Lord told me it was time to retire from teaching at our Christian school and go full-time with editing and writing. He tremendously blessed the editing, and I got so busy with that, relying on that income, that to write meant going back to no income, or substantially less than the editing brings in. Now He was asking me to trust Him with my writing, too. And I was dragging my feet.
The slap the Lord gave me came through my husband. Just before we left on a trip to San Diego in the middle of July, Marlene sent an e-mail encouraging me to consider taking the next step. In fact, she was insisting I take it. *smile* I shot off a quick response, saying I would pray about it over our long weekend. So in the truck a couple of hours later, I shared it with my husband. Knowing I’d already had a meeting with Joyce and how the Lord had been speaking to me through His Word, Roger looked at me and said, “What’s there to pray about? How clear do you want the Lord to make it?”
Ummm . . . ouch! And here I thought I was being all super-spiritual by saying I would pray about the next step. LOL
I wish I could say things changed immediately. They didn’t. I’m still trying to find the balance between editing and writing. I know there is one because He hasn’t told me to quit editing altogether. In fact, He’s sent me new clients and opened up other doors to expand that side of the business. But He has also opened up new opportunities to write, both for immediate income and long-term possibilities.
Now the Lord is showing me how He’s been preparing my heart to “write His answer” through the stories He’s given me to write. Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 (MSG), “Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy.”
Incorporating a spiritual thread into my stories is an area I struggle with. But this week, the Lord has impressed on me that as long as my focus is on Jesus Christ in worship, the spiritual thread He wants in my books will show up. Out of the abundance of the heart, I write, speak, worship.
So is my heart ready? Am I spending time with Him, getting to know Him through the love letter He’s written to us? And the more I know Him, the more He is reflected in all I do and say. That is my prayer for me, for all of us.
Marjorie Vawter is the ACFW Colorado Area Coordinator, a freelance editor, and writer.