By Elizabeth Musser
I received a wonderful gift over Christmas: contracts for two new novels with a publishing house I not only respect but one I had worked with for many years.
And then for many years, I didn’t. Work with them. Or receive a contract.
And it was HARD.
Maybe your writing has career has been a little like mine. Years of writing and praying and polishing a manuscript. Moments of ecstasy when I received that first contract. The absolute joy of crafting stories. The reader letters that bring me to tears of gratitude that this is my life: I get to write stories that touch hearts for the Lord. The accolades. Then the notice from the publisher of low sales. The rejection emails. Again. The discipline to keep writing, keep learning about the craft and building a platform and tipping my toes into the waters of self-publishing and wading through social media.
And all those crazy emotions that roller-coaster me through the days and weeks and years of waiting to hear from publishers. The self-doubt, the, ah-hem, envy as I watch other precious writers soar in their careers, the humbling, the wondering if the Lord is leading me away from writing. The awe at the many ways He answers ‘No!’ and ‘Persevere’ and ‘Wait.’
Then watching the Lord give me other avenues to publish in the States and overseas.
All I know is that while I wait, God is at work. In me. If I am open to Him.
As I sit with what has been a very hard season in my writing life of waiting and having hope given and hope dashed and hope renewed, I ask: “Why go through all the craziness of these past years, Lord?”
I don’t think there will be an answer to that question, but I certainly have answers to these questions: Did I learn things during these years? YES. Was I forced to trust the Lord in new ways? YES. Did I pay attention to Him and try to obey Him in the present? YES. Was I faithful to confess the anxiety, the hurt, the comparison and envy? YES (even if it took a while!) Did I continue to persevere in ways that I felt were God-honoring? YES. Did I keep working hard at both the writing and business side of this ministry? YES. Did I continue to see the fruit of my ministry in lives changed and people touched by my words? YES. Did I learn to practice in gratitude in the waiting times? YES. Do I feel great thankfulness that I once again have a publishing house and contracts and books coming out? YES.
So I don’t think I’ll know why all the years of waiting, but I do know that, by His great mercy and grace, the Lord has faithfully pushed me forward in growth in Jesus. Even when it felt like I was on a downward descent, He was still teaching and providing and loving me.
What do we writers learn while waiting? We learn to trust our Lord and Savior and move more deeply into His love for us. We learn to listen to Him while we write. We learn that God’s Spirit is never stagnant, and He is at work in our lives.
So wait actively, prayerfully, joyfully (even if it takes a lot of confessing), expectantly for God to show up and show you the next steps.
While you wait.
“Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go for to You I entrust my life.” Psalm 143: 8What do we writers learn while waiting? We learn to trust our Lord and Savior and move more deeply into His love for us. While we wait. @EMusserAuthor #ACFWBlogs #amwriting #faith Click To Tweet
Elizabeth Musser writes ‘entertainment with a soul’ from her writing chalet—tool shed—outside Lyon, France. For over twenty-five years, Elizabeth and her husband, Paul, have been involved in missions work with One Collective, formerly International Teams. The Mussers have two sons, a daughter-in-law and three grandchildren. Find more about Elizabeth’s novels at www.elizabethmusser.com and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and her blog.
I love this post. We do learn so much in our different times of waiting. Your books are wonderful, and I’m super excited for you!
Thanks so much, dear Janet! It’s been neat to see your hard work paying off too. Congrats!
My word for the year is WAITING.
And my verse for 2019 is Isaiah 30:18, Happy is the one who waits on the Lord.
I am confident the Lord energized you in those times of waiting by filling you with stories-yet-to-be and perhaps closing the door on stories that were not-yet.
I think wisdom is often born of waiting. Thank you for sharing your heart and your insights. No doubt, you have uplifted many!