If I am not around much these days, it's because I am in the middle of some pretty serious edits for my novel. I have about six weeks to get it completely ready to send in and believe me, I need every hour I have between now and then. This past weekend I lived at my parents' house, holed up in their spare bedroom writing, writing, writing. Morning turned to evening before I knew it. Time flies when you are trying to revise a whole book. I cut 20,000 words from the original manuscript and now my kindly, patient editor is looking at it again to give me further guidance. I am certain she has contacted the publisher to find out what kind of short straw she drew to get me!
Today I was having a serious crisis of faith-- did I have what it takes? Will this book ever be ready? Why oh why did I ever get started with all this and was it too late to take it back? I talked to my friend and She Reads partner, Ariel, via chat and sort of vomited all this yuck on her and she told me to shut up like any good friend would. :)
Then I went upstairs and got on my treadmill, taking the book A Novel Idea upstairs with me to read while I walked my stress away. (I highly recommend this book if you have ANY interest in writing novels, ever.) While I was reading it a verse quoted by Francine Rivers jumped off the page and froze me in my tracks:
I Chronicles 28:20, "Be strong and courageous and DO THE WORK (emphasis mine). Don't be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you." (NLT)
Here's what I wrote to Ariel in our chat after I got off the treadmill:
"It was like God was saying, 'Quit yer bellyaching and DO THE WORK and don't forget I will show up each time, making it better and better in the process. Not so you can boast about your abilities, but so you can boast in Me.'"
And then it gets even cooler. My friend Ariel wrote back that she had been praying specifically for me (after she told me to shut up of course) that God would have a little chat with me, as she put it. She knew that He had done the same for her during her editing process so she wanted me to hear directly from Him.
I share this story for two reasons: 1) If you have a friend who is struggling, pray for her. God answers those prayers. and 2) God will speak to you through His word. Sometimes He shouts, like He did with me. It was like those words DO THE WORK jumped off the page at me. I just needed to stop complaining and keep working.
So my new pep talk for myself goes something like this, "Just do the work and God will be with you." Maybe you needed to hear that today about something in your life. What work do you need to keep doing, no matter how discouraged and disheartened you get? I pray that you will see Him at work on your behalf today as you do the work He has called you to do.