Doubt. One of satan's handiest tools, he nurses the seeds with a religious fervor. I need a story for my writing course, and I have no ideas. I've always thought my best stories have the ring of God's voice, and so I decide to pray. God, I need a story. If you're calling me to this writing thing, it's up to you. In the waiting, I speak my doubt to Brant: "What if I'm not a writer? Will you think it's been a waste for me to quit my job and pursue this if nothing pans out, if I never publish a thing?"
"No." My husband says it unequivocally, with a small, unperturbed smile. I supply my arguments: I don't know if I'm a writer. I don't know if I have anything to say. I'm not sure people want to read anything from me.
"You sound like every other writer out there," he reminds me in his practical way, because I've told him about Francine Prose, Stephen King, Margaret Feinberg, Jonathan Merritt, and others whom I've read in recent months, and he knows even successful authors often hear the same song.
Yesterday I ran an errand to my current favourite CD, Elevation Worship's There is a Cloud. As I drove and listened, I couldn't help but throw my hand out in worship (eyes open!), and I thought about the changes God has wrought in me, the freedom with which he's gifted me. A crystal picture struck me, of a little girl with vines wrapped around her wrist and with the clarity of a "God-thought" I heard, "There it is, there's the story." In tears and laughter, I marveled once again at his sweet habit of whispering my mustard seed into growth. So faithful!
Only hours later, I flounder again...how will I write this story, God? I can't think of how to make it flow. Was that really you? Can I be sure you gave that to me? Ah, my humanity...frustrating and humbling and necessary. I pick up a book I've slowly been working through, I read about praying for and trusting God for the impossible, and in what can be no coincidence, a reference to Peter hopping out of the boat to walk on water to Jesus - that recurring theme he's been speaking to me. I read about the waiting and hard work that can accompany a call from God. I remember the journey I've been on and his unflappable faithfulness on the road. With more tears, I acknowledge my utter dependence on his grace, surrender myself to his forgiveness, and settle in to wait and pray some more.