By Patricia Bradley
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
That thought kept running through my mind as I drove the 550 miles back from Dallas in 2012. I’ve always believed God gifted me to be a writer. I’ve worked hard to improve my writing skills and gone from getting scores in the 50s and 60s in the Genesis contest to being a finalist that year.
Since I never go into a contest thinking I’ll win, I wasn’t really disappointed when I didn’t. I’d said all along that I’d won when I became a finalist. And I meant it. Winning the Genesis wasn’t in God’s plan for me. And that’s the point. God has a plan. He will give us exceedingly abundantly more that we can think or ask, but it will be in His time frame, not ours. In the meantime, we have to do our part. We have to be ready.
For a writer, that means not only learning the craft, but also putting what you learn to work. In other words, write. Write when the words flow and write when it’s like pulling teeth. By the way, which scenario do you think will happen more often?
I have a cross stitched piece on my wall: Success is that place in the road where preparation and opportunity meet. But too few people recognize it, because too often it comes disguised as hard work.
Let’s face it, sitting behind a computer, opening our veins and bleeding words on the page is hard work. A lot of those words are never seen by anyone other than our critique partners. That’s why it’s so important to know Who you are writing for and why.
If you’re writing for fame and fortune, you’ll probably never get either. But if you are writing to glorify the One who gave you the gift of writing, you’ll be able to handle the disappointments that will litter your road to publication.
So, that contest you entered and didn’t win, the editor or agent you didn’t get–don’t fret about it. It wasn’t in God’s plan for you, at least not right now. But it was His plan for someone else. Be happy for them. Your time will come.
Remember Psalm 34:4: Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires. But also remember just 3 verses later the psalmist says, in verse 7: “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act.”
What has God whispered in your ear this week?
Winner of the 2016 Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in Suspense, Patricia Bradley lives in North Mississippi with her rescue kitty, Suzy. Her books include the romantic suspense Logan Point Series and sweet romances with Harlequin Heartwarming. Her newest release is Justice Delayed, a Memphis Cold Case Novel.