By Tanara McCauley
This month marks the one year anniversary since we rescued our dog Charlie from an animal shelter. Having grown up with dogs, I thought Charlie would be a perfect addition to our family and a source of great memories for our kids. He would play with them, rest his head on their laps whenever they felt down, and protect them with his life in the event of danger. At least that’s what I had in mind.
In reality Charlie proved to be the most fearful, high maintenance little dog to ever tuck a tail. If we looked at him too long he’d tremble. When we approached him he’d fall into a fit of dry heaving. And forget about picking him up.
Not only was Charlie nothing like what we expected for our kids, he turned into a great deal of work for me. I spent months earning his trust, more months training him on house rules while trying not to break that trust, and even more months helping each of my kids earn his trust and help enforce the rules. It was painstaking, draining work, and the slow pace of results often made me question whether the effort was worth it.
Fortunately for Charlie, however, I’d had enough similar experiences in my writing journey to have learned that the things which challenge and stretch us the most can be the very things God makes precious.
When I first began writing, my expectations were high and rainbow-colored. I thought the process would be as simple as get an idea, write a book, sell a book, make a steady income selling said book, and repeat.
I laugh now to admit that rejection never crossed my mind in the beginning. Let alone multiple rejections, complete with feedback that hurt no matter how much it helped. What I thought would be breezy and fun turned out to be time consuming, expensive, discouraging, emotionally draining, and downright hard.
Quitting became an acceptable option if only God would offer it to me. But He didn’t. And the more I wrote and stayed the course (running out of gas at some junctures, hitchhiking at others) I began to reap some of the harvest the Bible promises to those who don’t grow weary.
For the rough road I was given clearer directions, sweeter rest stops, and adventure across the miles. The unpredictable nature of writing guaranteed my need for God, making me a child closer to her Father and giving me a thrilling faith in place of a cozy belief. That’s a trade-off worth persevering for.
Because of that lesson, I persevered with Charlie. If I could trust God with my writing, I could trust Him with my dog. And today I have a confident, happy canine who struts about like he’s half stallion.
Charlie’s still a wimp. But it’s a charming kind of wimpy that gives us lots to laugh about; and he’s a little bit of precious that sheds fur and howls at sirens. A kind of precious God offers to all His believers–to His writers–in all things, when we endure and press on to whatever prize He has in store.
Tanara McCauley is a writer of Inspirational Fiction. She is a member of ACFW and CWOW, and a contributing author to Thriving Family. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three kids and is working on her third novel. Visit her website at www.tanaramccauley.com.