By Rondi Bauer Olson
During this Thanksgiving season, many of us are visiting with relatives. Maybe you’re eating leftovers, or you’ve snuck away for a few moments by yourself. In any case, coming together to thank God for our blessings is not only important for families, but can be wonderful for writers, too.
Last summer I signed up for an autumn Christian writer’s conference. My writing had fallen into a slump, and I knew from experience nothing inspires more than getting together with other writers. Then things in my life went from uninspired to downright tough. My publisher missed a tentative publication date, for the second time. Our small family business was struggling financially, and worst of all, my dear friend was losing her battle with cancer. I questioned the value of my writing. I contemplated quitting.
The worst news came the morning I was supposed to leave for the conference. My friend had passed away. I went from feeling ambivalent about attending to not wanting to go at all. Nothing mattered. Not our business, and certainly not my writing. As I stared at my packed bags, I prayed for a way out of the commitment I had made, but even as I thought up excuses to stay I felt impressed that not wanting to go was the best reason I needed to, so I headed out.
At the conference, I selected my first sessions without much enthusiasm. I had a difficult time paying attention, and often felt tears well. By the end of the second day, I was still mourning, but a spark of hope had ignited in my heart. Others struggled with the same things I did. None of the gifts God gave us were meaningless.
On the last day of the conference, I felt confident my writing was important, but I still wasn’t sure what direction I should go. I knew I needed to seek God’s direction, but I wasn’t sure how. Then I saw an entire hour set aside for guided prayer and reflection. It wasn’t the type of class I would normally attend, but I wanted to give it a try.
Now, I don’t consider myself a prayer warrior, although I pray all the time, but there was something about praying with a group of like-minded people that lifted my spirit in a way I had never experienced before. By the time the session was done, I felt such peace and joy, not only about my writing, but about all the other situations in my life, too. Giving my writing to God help me give my other problems to him.
Are you feeling stuck in your writing? Discouraged by rejections or delays? Even if you’ve set your burdens before God on your own, I suggest finding at least a few other people to come together with for prayer. There is strength in numbers!
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20 KJV
Rondi Bauer Olson is a reader, writer, and animal wrangler from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Her debut novel for young adults, ALL THINGS NOW LIVING, was a finalist in the 2012 Genesis Contest and is scheduled for release in 2017 by Written World Communications.Visit her at www.7thdaughter.com.