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NaNoWriMo and Me

It's National Novel Writing Month, and I'm a roiling blend of nerves and excitement and dreams of a finished product by the end of one month. And "dreams" is probably the right word—the chances of me actually writing a 50 000-word manuscript in 30 days are slim, but all the same, it's an exciting time of year, and my first time doing a November NaNoWriMo project.

Over the past few months, writing has been difficult for me. My WIP series has hit some roadblocks I didn't anticipate a year ago, mistakes I shouldn't have made resurrecting to haunt me as I try to move forward with a project I love, but feels like more of a burden than a dream. The stress where my book baby is concerned is mostly self-inflicted—like so many things, it comes down to control.

I had a vision for my writing career. A dream first, but then something more solid, something more like a plan. And when that plan began to fray, I thought it just needed repairs. When it began to come apart at the seams, I thought it just needed a patch job. When it burst into flames and disintegrated into a pile of ash dust, I got the point.

A plan is just an illusion of control. And—news flash—I don't have any.

I've always tried to offer my passion for writing as an offering to God, something for Him to use for His purposes, a way to be an instrument in the battle for His Kingdom. My good intentions have remained good intentions; in many ways, they've become even clearer. But my implementation, I now realize, has been pretty flawed.

See, I don't get to decide how I'm used for Christ. Offering God the gifts He has given me doesn't mean I hand Him a business card and say, "This is what I do. You need any of these things, call me." Nuh-uh—God is the high command. He's the superintendent calling the shots. God may have a plan for my gifts that doesn't involve anything I imagined it should . . . and for the first time in my life, I'm realizing that's okay.

It took me a long time to get to a place where I could say, "It's fine. God's got me. Whatever happens will happen the way He wants it to." It took me a long time to get to a place where I could say, "Maybe I won't be what I thought I'd be. Maybe I won't do what I thought I'd do, what I want to do. Maybe He has other plans. That's okay."

And I still struggle, but it is okay. God is good, and great, and glorious. He is above every flaw I think I see in His design, infinitely loftier than the biggest roadblock I can imagine. He's not worried. He's calmly directing traffic from heaven, seeing all the risks in every direction, and guiding me down the best possible route as only He can.

I don't need to force my dream. The real dream is following God down the road He's mapped for me. This NaNoWriMo, I'm going to try to enjoy the passion God has given me, to offer it to Him every day, and to remember that it was never mine to micro-manage. It's His to use as He wills . . . and so am I.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

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