Build a Boat and Let it Rain: Faith in the Writing Life

ACFWAuthors and writing, Encouragement, Friends of ACFW, writing 1 Comment

By Patti Richards

Music has always been a huge part of my life. Seasons have songs that become my anthem at just the moment I need them. That happened recently with a song called, “Build a Boat,” by Colton Dickson. I was running errands a few weeks back (my daughter got married at the end of October, so there were LOTS of errands), and his song came on the radio:

I’ve been wandering through the desert
Ain’t seen a cloud in forever
Over me, but I believe
The rain is coming. . .

Then he comes to the chorus–

Everything you said’s gonna happen
Even though I haven’t seen it yet

I will build a boat in the sand
Where they say it never rains
I will stand up in faith
I’ll do anything it takes
With Your wind in my sails
Your love never fails or fades
I’ll build a boat in the desert place.

“Oh, my goodness. This song is literally about Noah, and me!” I started singing and crying and thanking God. You see, I heard this song for the first time almost exactly one year after my first picture book, MRS. NOAH, released! It was a 20-year-plus journey from when I started writing for children and when I held this book in my hands. And I have to tell you, having a book come out during a pandemic has been a challenge! But God has been faithful.

So back to the song. Aren’t we all, as writer’s– putting our hearts onto the page, building platforms, and trying to get over “imposter syndrome” — building boats in the desert and praying for rain? There Noah and his family were, building a boat in a world where rain didn’t exist. Neighbors laughed and went on about their lives as if nothing miraculous was about to happen. But Noah knew if he kept building the boat God told him to build, rain WAS coming. He kept swinging that hammer and believing. My book, MRS. NOAH, is about love and teamwork, but it’s also about believing the thing God has put in your heart to do and trusting He will do what He promises. Every. Single. Time.

If you’re reading this today, that means you’re a writer. You may be struggling to believe that. You may be experiencing the worst writer’s block ever. You may want to walk away from what God has placed in your heart to do and never look back. I urge you, friend, if you have this calling on your life, even if it hasn’t started raining yet, keep building your boat. Your boat may never take the shape of a multi-book deal, an award-winning children’s book or the great American novel. Everyone’s journey is different. But don’t doubt the words God has given you to write. Don’t doubt that He will do with your writer life what He says he will do. The words He gives you are for someone. Maybe that someone is you. Maybe it’s a friend, a loved one or a person you’ve never met. It’s not your job to know. It’s your job to build your boat in the desert. . . hone your craft, attend conferences, join organizations like ACFW, network with other writers, find a critique group. . . and wait. And while you’re waiting remember this, with His wind in your sails, His love never fails or fades. The rain is coming. Trust in that, and write on!

The boat you build (story you write) may never take the shape of a multi-book deal, an award-winning children’s book or the great American novel. But don’t doubt the words God has given you to write.” @pattigrichards #ACFWBlogs… Click To Tweet

Writer, teacher, mother, wife, Patti Richards has spent more than 30 years spinning yarns and telling tales. From children’s books and magazines to web content, Patti spends her days writing words that speak hope, love and joy into the lives of her readers. She lives in Farmington Hills, Michigan.


Comments 1

  1. This is exactly what I needed this morning. Sometimes we get sidetracked and begin to wonder why we are writing or (doing something). We have to be reminded God is guiding us – not ourselves. Through Covid God has taught me HE is the leader, I’m the follower. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *