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Writer Diaries, #1

I thought I knew exactly what God wanted me to do.

When I set out to write my first "real" novel (excluding its epic mermaid precursor), I had publishing stars in my eyes almost from the beginning. I was going to write a fantasy rendition of one of my favourite Bible stories, and with God's help, I did. And I thought I was on the right track. I thought this was the start of a series that would take over my next few years. I thought I had found my purpose for Christ—weaving Truth into this narrative on a quest to lead the world to Him.

I wonder if God listens to our little hopes and dreams and just smiles sometimes. Like, "That's cute, little one. But hang on tight. I've got plans beyond your wildest dreams, so don't expect your life to make sense to you. Just trust that it makes sense to me."

2020 has been a year of surrender. The realization that the timing isn't right for my first series is a tough pill to swallow, but it's getting easier. God has been working in me, changing my thinking, changing my priorities, changing my heart. He's giving me new stories to tell and nudging me in new directions. He's giving me peace to leave project #1 on the shelf for now, maybe forever, who knows? It's up to Him.

And that's okay.

Maybe those three words don't seem earth-shattering to you, but to me, they're nothing short of miraculous. Because I love my first project. I would love to finish and publish it and hopefully do some good with it; I hate leaving a story dangling out there in the world, but God has said, "Not now," and after months and years of fighting, I'm finally able to truly say, "Okay."

Okay, Lord. I give this project to you.

Okay, Lord. I give my dreams to you.

Okay, Lord. I give every word I'll ever write to you, and whatever you want to do with them, that's okay with me.

It's an uphill climb. Some days it doesn't feel okay. Some days I want to rip project #1 off the shelf and hotwire it back to life and put it in gear and zoom off at full speed. But I don't, because I know God sees the destination when all I see is the road ahead. If He says, "Not now," ignoring that instruction will probably leave me broken down at the side of the road somewhere, coughing and belching story-smoke.

So instead, I'm taking it one day at a time. I'm trying to trust and be thankful. And you know what? I am. Thankful, I mean. Because more and more, I'm confident that God is in control, and that whatever He wants for me is infinitely better than any magical fairytale future I could invent for myself.

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