Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I was given a magnificent gift from my husband two years ago. He encouraged me to follow my lifelong dream of becoming a full-time writer. He even provided the funds for me to enroll in Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild (CWG) apprentice course.
I bounced along happily for six months with two writing deadlines a month. The busy holidays of that year made finding time alone to write very difficult. I was working on assignment #12 when a major disaster hit our extended family. A nephew, under the influence of drugs and alcohol, beat, robbed, and left a man for dead the day after Christmas.
Reeling from that and trying to be the support for my mother-in-law (she always comes to me with the big troubles), I was unprepared for the break-up of our oldest daughter’s engagement on New Year’s Eve. We all felt like we had lost a member of the family, and it was doubly painful watching our 2 year old grandson as he had become very attached to this man.
I took a leave of absence from my part-time job as a church secretary so I could focus on our family full-time. After a month my husband and I determined that the best place for me was home again on a permanent basis. At time of these back-to-back crises, I also took a break from my writing course, intending to get started again in March. Then more crises hit.
Court dates for our nephew (his conviction of 2-10 years in prison), my sister’s surgery that revealed cervical cancer (caught early PTL!), our younger daughter’s devastating break-up from her fiancé of two years, a dear friend’s diagnosis of aggressive breast cancer just days before burying her mother (a victim of the same cancer), our beloved dog dying, our son’s bout with mono (loosing 24 pounds in two weeks from a severely swollen throat), my back giving up its job supporting my body (weeks of physical therapy to recover mobility after two years of pain), our son’s engagement breaking off.
Although I have been able to fulfill most of my responsibilities to my immediate and extended family and to my church and a mission church, my dream of pursuing a career in writing slowed down until it appears all movement forward has stopped. I can’t believe that 18 months have passed since I requested a break from my writing assignments.
I am very sad that I let myself get beaten down so much that I let loose of my God-given dream. I am very much ashamed to realize that I have not grasped tighter to the Father’s hand, instead relying on myself to get through the problems.
One thing I have discovered after looking back over the past 18 months—every month (almost every week) something arises to test me. My response to the testing is a clear indicator of my walk with God.
Times when I came to a complete standstill, I was relying on my own strength. Times when I slowly made it through the problems, I had spent hours immersed in God’s Word and in prayer.
I really would like to get back to pursuing my writing education in order to fulfill my dream. I believe God gifted me with the talent I have. I am battling myself right now over requesting an extension on my CWG course mostly out of fear.
Two promises I am clinging to with both hands as I try to decide whether to request the extension—
“And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” ~2 Corinthians 12:9
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He will do it.” ~Psalm 37:4-5
Karen is hosting In Other Words at her site In Love W.I.T.H. Jesus. If you want to participate, write a blog about the quote in the box above on your site then click on the link to Karen's blog and leave your URL in the Mr. Linky box. You will also find links for the other participants' blogs.
Posted by Patricia at 8:58 AM