Everything happens in God’s time, and I’ve been doing a lot of praying for His direction in my writing. It is my wish to honor Him with the gift He’s given me in the passion to write. But I struggle with plots and stories and wonder if the ideas are mine or His.
When God speaks it isn’t always in a thunderous voice like Moses heard when he turned his face from the burning bush. We must be patient and be still and listen, for He will speak to us when He knows we are ready to hear. Yesterday, I was paging through some storylines I’ve begun, seeking the right one to work on. Suddenly, an idea came to me. I must write a three-book series. What? I’ve never written any book with a series in mind. Me? I struggle to get through one book, let alone three. That would require plotting…lots of plotting…something I stink at.
“Hello? Are You speaking to me, God?”
The idea wouldn’t go away, so I jotted down three-book series.
I stared at the words so neatly written on the page. If this was God’s idea, then I sure hoped He would give me the direction.
“What will this series be about, Lord?”
My fingers tightened on the pen and I wrote: Book One – Forgiving the enemy; Book Two – Receiving and accepting forgivness; Book Three – Redemption.
I stared at the words…at the series beginning to take shape on the page in my own handwriting. I whispered, “Wow, Lord, that’s a big undertaking.”
Calm settled over my shoulders. The plot line became clear and I began to briefly summarize all three books, weaving the stories together just as I do when I’m crocheting afghans or prayer shawls. And the Lord said, “It is good.”
I answered. “Okay, Lord, I believe You. If You say I can do this, I know that I can do all things through You. But how in the world do I go about making sure the details for this are accurate? You know I’m not good at research.”
I sat quietly but no answer came. Perhaps my brain was being too noisy with negative feedback.
“Okay, I’ll give it a try.” I fired up the computer and started searching for answers. It always frightens me to put things in a search box like vehicular homicide and prison sentences. I mean the cops might come raiding my house one night and take me away in handcuffs. I did feel that these were simply the devil’s way of discouraging me. So I persevered. My eyes crossed and my mind went into a shutdown. Understanding legal laws and documentation is not for the timid. I came away with some vague ideas but I still felt I’d be taking a shot in the dark on getting the details right. So I posted on one of my writing loops for help in finding a criminal lawyer who would be willing to let me pick his/her brain for free. Yes, I know it was far-fetched, but with God all things are possible! Then I shut down the computer and headed off to bed.
This morning I woke with the stories burning in my mind. As I drove to my hairdresser appointment, I thanked God for giving me the courage to undertake this series. I was getting excited and believing I might be able to pull it off. Immediately the titles for all three books were revealed! I had to hold tight to the steering wheel. Believe me, when God speaks it’s like an electric jolt of awareness. I looked out my side windows to see if anyone else had heard or seen this miraculous revealing. I seemed to be alone with this phenomenon. “God, You choose to speak when I am least prepared to hear Your voice, but I am not questioning that these titles came from You. Thank you.”
When I got home again, I opened my email and saw a response from a member of my writing loop. “Sounds like you need to talk to a judge!”
Bam! God speaks to us through other people, too. I knew this, had experienced it before, but when it happened on the heels of the other things God revealed…well, I got goosebumps. Big hives-type goosebumps! Why? I know a former judge in the court system where my stories will be based. She was also an attorney. She is a member of my church, my church women’s group, and my Sunday School class. It was almost as if God said “You are making this too hard. Just listen and write.”
God has been speaking to me for two days, and I’m feeling so blessed, so courageous. I plan to be still and listen in the coming days and months as I write these stories for Him and to honor Him. I have faith that He will give me the words to touch the hearts of those who read these books and that He will use them to to His glory.
There is such peace and strength when you just let go and let God take control.