For the past two weeks writing has come hard. The time, the words, everything feels like a challenge, a battle, a fight.
I recently celebrated my first “Writing Anniversary,” marking one year since the day that God and I met together over this heart I have for writing and drew a line in the sand. No more excuses, no more procrastinating, no more fear of stealing from my family by pursuing my dream. I am so proud of the fact that I haven’t looked back. That I have stayed faithful to God and I’ve watched and grown as He has been faithful to me.
I feel like this should be a time of happiness and celebration, but this morning I noticed discouragement, frustration and doubt setting in.
For seven months I’ve been working on writing my first book. It is a junior fiction novel. It’s a fairytale story, one that my heart has felt drawn to for years, and as I near the final chapters my writing feels opposed.
This morning I felt the need to ask a friend to pray for me. I figured that prayer from someone on the outside, from someone that isn’t me, can never hurt. So I texted my friend and told her what I was feeling.
Less than a minute after sending this text my dad called on the phone. “Hey, pretty girl,” he said. “I was just calling to hear your voice.”
Immediately I knew that this call wasn’t just from my dad, but also from God.
It’s no coincidence that God choose to have my dad call me, just when I needed it most. For years, my dad has been my biggest fan, believing in me as a writer long before I ever began to believe in myself. What could be more appropriate than to find his encouragement in the midst of my discouragement and doubt?
When my dad asked me how I was doing, I was tempted to shmooze over the truth of my struggle. But then I thought, no, God is doing this for a reason, why get in the way of what could be a blessing not just for me but for my dad as well.
When we take the time and opportunity to encourage someone, isn’t it always an encouragement to us as well? That’s just the way God’s love is. It always comes back a hundred fold.
For a few minutes, I took the chance to be vulnerable and tell my dad what I was feeling. He told me how much he enjoyed my blog last Sunday, and how he understood my thoughts and feelings. He told me that I have a lot on my plate and a lot to do as a wife, a mom, and a writer, and he laughed at my idea of running away to Barnes and Noble to sit amongst the other great authors and write for an hour or two. He told me that I’m doing a great job keeping all the wheels turning and that sometimes a bit of quiet time to ourselves is just what we need to refocus and regroup.
It was the simplest of conversations, but it spoke to my heart.
As I went about the rest of my day, lunch, grocery shopping, putting the girls down for naps, I thought back to my talk with my dad. His words kept repeating in my head, “Hey, pretty girl, I just wanted to hear your voice.” And I realized that these words were God’s words too.
It seemed like God was telling me, “Pretty girl! I want to hear your voice too. Not just your audible voice that calls my name and speaks to me, but your words, your writing. Keep going, don’t quit. I want to hear from you.”
I still don’t know the answers, how I’ll find the time or the words to finish my book. But I do know who’s in my cheering section: my dad, my family, my friends, and God. I know that my writing has meaning and a purpose. I know that it is my voice and that my voice matters to God. I know that God is with me, and for me, and that he will lead me to the time and the words I need.
If you are finding yourself in need of encouragement this week, ask for it! It’s amazing how Satan tries to talk us out of doing something so simple. If you know of someone who needs encourage (And don’t we all need this?) then give it!
You never know when your words or actions may be used in the life of someone else to echo the love, the grace, the heart of God.
This is what I’m learning. This is what I know. In the face of discouragement, frustration, and doubt, encouragement comes. It always comes.
And when encouragment comes, my heart cries to God and says with relief, “I just wanted to hear your voice.”