I had it all planned.
I’ve always been a writer. After I spent my school years writing short stories and poetry, I moved into journalism and corporate communication. Words have put food on my table since I was nineteen.
Fiction writing was always something I was going to do … one day. All these ideas for novels came to me, which I politely filed away for that day in the future when all the financial ducks were lined up. That would allow me to comfortably approach the task of writing without the expectation of getting paid. When I had enough money or enough clients behind me so I could safely take the plunge into what is a vocation not flushed with cash, I would take them out of my folder, and write fiction. (I currently have 17 storyboards sitting there waiting to be fleshed out into living breathing stories).
It was a hobby. Or so I thought.
Then God challenged me. He reminded me that His gift of notes with story ideas and novels on them wasn’t just it. He hadn’t just given me stories to tell, He had also given me the ability to tell it and He would provide the room in which to tell it.
He took my writing dream, flipped it upside down and then stood back and said: “Trust Me.”
“Trust Me” are two words no control freak wants to hear. I’ve learned over my time on this planet that “Trust Me” is a phrase that actually increases my blood pressure, it doesn’t reduce it.
So it took me a while, but eventually after I trusted Him in that. I started to write and invested more of my time in this calling. And my concerns about who was going to pay the bills have drifted off (although at times they do come storming back). God’s provision of work while I’ve been writing – and I’ve done two manuscripts now – has been incredible. Clients have come looking for me, some who I haven’t worked with in years, but the flow has always been there. There is always enough.
Still, as someone who prefers to control his world, this was very unsettling, but I’m glad I did.
Next month I head off to the USA for the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference and Awards Dinner, at which that story I was given is a finalist in their Genesis competition. And while I’m there I will be talking to agents and publishers who I hope will find room on their schedule (and in their hearts) to publish it.
None of that would have happened if I had waited for that mythical day in the future of having enough. Instead, it took a lesson in trusting God, whereby I learned – eventually – that the issue wasn’t having enough, it was in trusting God to be enough.