It’s time to continue my “Write by faith” series, a series of blogs in which I talk about some of the practical repercussions or lessons I’ve learned about being a Christian artist. I’ve talked about timing before, but feel I’ve recently gotten more insight on the matter, and wanted to share.
Last time, I talked about letting God have control of my day to day schedule, trusting him that I’ll finish everything I need to finish if I let Him have control, and breaks, that I can trust God will bring things back in his timing even if I have to take a break–or extended break–from a project.
This time, I’d still like to talk about some of that, but from a different angle.
Recently I was talking to a friend about writing and some frustrations I’ve been having lately. One of the most surprising questions she asked me was: Why are you in such a hurry?
The question stopped me. I’m well aware I often put deadlines on myself that aren’t necessary, but it’s rare for me to stop and think about why.
The answers I gave were fairly common, I think. I want to help people, I want to provide something different than what’s out there, I can fill a gap, it’s what I feel called to do, etc.
And I think, by and large, those are all true. I do have big dreams for my writing and I think, most of the time and for the most part anyway, God does too (those times when I don’t being more from a lack of faith than what is actually true).
But what is easy for me to forget is that, ultimately, God doesn’t need me to do any of this.
I want to write because there are people out there that don’t know that God loves them. Because there are people who think God couldn’t love them. I write in a genre that is frequently flooded with darkness, and I want to do what I can to change that.
But, as much as I believe I can help those people, that I can spread God’s love, and that God chooses to love people primarily through other people, that still doesn’t mean that God needs me to do it.
God is huge. And powerful. And good.
If He wants those people to know Him, to know how wildly crazy about them He is, they’ll know. Even if I never publish a book or story in my life, God will make sure that His purposes are fulfilled and that, whether or not they choose to accept Him, everyone, everyone on the planet, will at some point know.
So, why is this important?
Well, mostly because it takes the pressure off. I struggle a lot with how long the writing process has taken–and is taking–for me. When I know there are millions of people out there who don’t know Jesus, when I know my writing could help with that, it’s hard not to feel like a failure, like if I were really going to succeed with this, if I were good enough or working hard enough, something would have happened already.
But that, my friends, is a devil’s trap.
Because God does have work for me, I believe He has put this work and those people in my heart, but if I don’t do it, even if I never get there, that doesn’t mean that God won’t be able to do what He wants or that those people won’t know God. Nothing I could ever do or not do could ever keep anyone else from going to heaven.
One of the turning points I had as a writer was realizing that me getting to write these stories, to participate in God’s plans, is not a necessity. It is a mercy.
God is so generous in letting me help. I act, in so many ways, like an animal, a monster. But somewhere inside all this mess, all my mistakes and flaws and sins, there’s a little girl in there, holding up messy fingers and asking to help her Daddy. And though I can’t cut straight with my scissors and add way too much paint and glitter outside the lines, He still loves to let me help. And when I’m done, when we’re finished, my life will get to go up on His fridge, a masterpiece not because I’ll have made something beautiful, but because we’ve done it together, because His mercy and grace and love have made it beautiful.
So, do I still have a lot of work I feel God wants me to do? Of course. Do I still want to help people and believe my work could do that? Yes. But I don’t have to be in such a hurry anymore. Because even if it helps them, it can’t save them (or not, if I make mistakes). That’s God’s work.
My ultimate purpose, my top goal, is to do it together. To work with excellence and patience and a willingness to bend, surrender, and grow, until something beautiful is there, something real and good that He caused to grow. I can’t do it myself. I can only do it with His help, putting in the work until His timing.
John 15:5. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
So, what about you? Have you ever put too much pressure on yourself or your work? Struggled with the process of time? How did you overcome those issues, and where could you still grow? Let me know in the comments below, and if you want more content like this, you can follow me here or on social media using the links below. Thanks for reading!