October 3, 2012

Bless the Lord Reason #3: He Provides What I Need

My very first draft of my very first manuscript. It was a proud moment. Clearly, since I printed it out and signed it.
When I look back over my life, I see the Lord’s provisions in very specific ways.

Strength to do a homework assignment when I’d pulled a full day at work and was dead on my feet.

A friend who spoke the truth in love.

A verse that encouraged me like nothing else (see my post from Monday on how God gave me my life verse).

And recently, at the writers conference I attended, He provided me with direction.

Even though the direction wasn’t what I’d hoped for, He still provided.

See, before I went, I was waffling between revising my first manuscript (for the bazillionith—or sixth—time) and moving on to my next manuscript.

It can be really difficult for a writer to really know where she’s “at” and whether her idea is really viable in the market. I was just too close to it.

So I prayed that the Lord would use the conference to guide me.

On the one hand, I really, really hoped my first manuscript was ready. I’d worked hard on it for the last year. I’d received favorable feedback on my writing, but was told by one publishing professional that the story wasn’t unique enough.

So even though I hoped for one thing, I really just wanted to know what to do.

As I attended the conference, I watched for those signs. And in my pitch appointments with two editors, I got my answer.

Move on to the next book.

I have to admit: I felt relieved to know. A bit disappointed that my first book probably won’t be a best seller—probably won’t ever be published—but so glad that the Lord answered my prayer.

He gave me exactly what I needed in the moment: truth and direction.

Isn’t that just like the Lord, to give us what we need? It may not always be what we want or what we hoped for most…but it’s always, always what we need.

He loves us enough to give us what’s best for us.

And I bless His name for that.

Your Turn: How has the Lord provided you with what you need, even if you didn’t necessarily want it?

33 comments:

  1. Love this, Lindsay. Your desire for His direction and heart to bless His name wherever He guides you will surely honor Him and take you amazing places!

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    1. It's not always easy, but totally worth it. Thanks, as always, for your encouragement.

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  2. It's so hard to leave that first book behind, but so exciting that you get to start something new!

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    1. I know! I'm excited...although a blank screen is kind of scary to me.

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  3. I felt that way too at the conference. I had a great meeting with an editor. Prior to that I'd been doing a small amount of freaking out because I wrote not one 5 book series, but 2! And then I heard. "Oh never do that. You don't know if book 1 will ever make it." Well crap!

    But at that appointment, when I was asked about the series, I said, "I think I did something I wasn't supposed to but..." and I told her why I did it. Mostly out of ignorance. LOL

    And she leaned in, pointed at me and said, "Let me tell you something. Don't you ever let anyone tell you what you should or shouldn't do." And then she proceeded to rattle off several authors that wrote a series similar in books and arcs like mine. And then she asked for it.

    Now, nothing may come of that, I'm not naive. BUT, she set my heart at ease with those words. And for that I'm thankful.

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    1. Jessica,wow, this REALLY spoke to me today, thank you.

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    2. Yay! So glad you had such an awesome meeting that encouraged you.

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  4. Oh yes! I love this, Linds!

    There was a time in my life when I was headed toward making a sooo-not-smart choice. I was right on the brink. And then God basically ripped the possibility of that bad choice away from me. It stung. And yet, even in the middle of it, even if I didn't want to admit it out loud, I knew it was exactly what I needed.

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    1. I've had similar experiences outside of my writing life.

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  5. Thank you for sharing your sweet and encouraging heart.

    You keep that signed copy. You will be published and then it will be even more of a sweet treasure of God's provision. Whether my first is published or not, I know I will always love it. You created something beautiful.

    I have heard the same voice of God in my heart lately. Time does not always unfold how we desire, but it is always good.

    Be encouraged.

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    1. Aw, thanks so much, Lisa! You are so sweet and always so encouraging.

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  6. Oh Lindsay, thanks so much for sharing this.

    I had the same experience a couple years ago--that move on moment when I'd been agonizing over my first manuscript for several years. So glad I listened to voices of wisdom. God was there now, He was there then.

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    1. Glad I'm not alone!! And you're right. He's in all of it.

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  7. Yep. I had that experience too this year, as you know! Right now the Lord is providing for me in many ways.

    I have to study for this AEPA test that I DO NOT want to take, but He provided an awesome study guide and I am using it. The information is sinking in.

    Sigh. So, I know He is with me through all this. As usual!

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    1. He WILL be with you, even in all that stuff that you don't enjoy.

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  8. We never know what will happen with each book we write, but they are never a waste. I've learned so much, not just writing-related--but through my characters with each book I've written. It's as if God is using the books to help me grow in faith.

    Enjoy your new book!

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    1. I love having the encouragement of people who have been there, know the cost, and yet still say God's way is better. Thank you!

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  9. Lindsay, I'm glad to hear the Lord answered your prayers for guidance. Now you have direction and can move ahead, knowing you've gotten the counsel you were after. I wish you well as you work on your second book.

    If it makes you feel any better, many of us have books hidden in the deep dark recesses of our hard drives that we, in our bursts of newbie writer enthusiasm, thought were sheer brilliance. I have four such practice books. Something tells me it won't take you nearly as long to learn how to produce a marketable story as I did, though. I wish you all the best, my friend.

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    1. Thanks so much, Keli. You give me such hope!

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  10. Lindsay, I love your transparency and heart after Jesus. When the time is right, He'll blow the doors open where He wants your writing to go. In the meantime, hang in there and hang on to your wig! Hugs...

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    1. I keep telling people...God's timing. It really is what I want. I can just be slightly impatient at times, though...

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  11. I love this, Lindsay. I got the same exact message at my first writers conference. And looking back, I'm so grateful, because moving on allowed me to grow beyond where I ever could have been otherwise. (Oh, and I love that you printed and signed your first draft...I wish I had thought to do that.) :)

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    1. I know that if I don't move on, I'll just stagnate and that is something I definitely don't want.

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  12. Love your heart here, Lindsay. I love when God nudges us in a direction AND we really listen...there are wonderful blessings down that path! You just wait and see!

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  13. Lindsay - it was so awesome watching God speak direction into your life at your first conference. Sometimes it's so hard to let go of a dream (or project), but nothing we've done is ever wasted. You'll be surprised, later on, when you look back and say: "Oh, that's why it didn't happen the way I'd envisioned it." That's happened one too many times to count in my own life - and EVERY TIME I can look back and see God's Divine Will in it. Can't wait to watch you craft your second book - I know it's going to rock! :)

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    1. Thanks, Gabe. And you're right...I love it when we can look back and see God really DID have a reason.

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  14. Lindsay, I love seeing that first copy of your book in print. And signed...you go girl!! God works in mysterious ways and this post is a great reminder. Thank you.

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    1. Well, it was kind of silly of me, I'm sure, but I thought, why not?

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  15. I didn't know I wanted or needed two crit partners that sort of jumped out of the nicely ordered woodwork. But I'll tell you, and I know you'll get it, I NEED them and LOVE them and oh my word, what a joy they are!!!

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    1. I know what you mean! I don't know what I'd do without my CP!

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  16. Yes, I happen to know Jennifer M. has some cool crit partners...ahem.

    But you know, God does lead our steps, and I'm glad He made it so clear to you so relatively early in the game that it was time to write book #2, Lindsay. Sometimes He pushes us to that point where we have to "fish or cut bait," as they say. I'm finally starting book #3, cutting book #2 loose on its dangling submission thread, and just trying to move forward, yea or nay. Writers have to WRITE or we just start freaking out, don't we? Or is it just me? Grin.

    Ever ONWARD to you!

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    1. I feel blessed too. I've heard of a lot of people who have a hard time moving on. I'm so glad He made it so clear for me!

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