May 10, 2013

One Word 2013: The Encouragement I Needed

For those who are new here, I chose one word to focus on for 2013: rejoice!

The last few months have been somewhat difficult for me. Due to a variety of reasons (life!), I haven't been able to focus on my writing the way I've wanted to (it's my dream to become a published author).

I entered a few contests in the hopes that the feedback would show I've improved since last year, but I really had no clue what to hope for. My awesome critique partner, Melissa Tagg, kept telling me to hope, but I just felt...worn down. Discouraged.

It seemed everyone else was moving along much more quickly than me, and able to spend more time focused on writing than I was.

I started to compare myself to others. And that's never EVER a good place to be.

I'm realizing more and more that God has His own special path for each one of us. And that path is perfect.

On Monday, I received awesome news: I semi-finaled in one of the contests, the ACFW Genesis.

It's always amazing to me that God knows just how to encourage us when we're down. In this one event, this one moment, He affirmed for me that I was doing exactly what He wanted me to. That I was being obedient to slow down and that I needed to have patience as He walked me down this road.

I know that there were those who were disappointed in their results*, and I know what that's like too. Yet even in disappointment, God is good.

And He can still use those things to affirm our obedience to Him. 

As for me, I plan to pick up my proverbial pen...and keep writing. His encouragement gives me the strength to do it.

Your Turn: What has God used in your life to encourage you in the past?

*It is not my intention at all to appear to be bragging here, or to receive congratulations. I give God all the glory for this achievement. I know I wouldn't be anywhere without Him. I only hoped to share some of my heart along this journey.

14 comments:

  1. I know exactly what you mean. So many times on this looooong journey I have been so close to giving up, thinking that maybe somewhere along the way I've taken the wrong path and this isn't what God has for me to be doing. Every single time He's already known and had something planned in advance to tell me to keep going. It just amazes me.

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  2. I have to admit that I had no expectation of making the next round and had even somewhat shelved my first manuscript because I was feeling the same way. Rejoicing with you! Glory to God!

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  3. Lindsay, This post didn't come across like bragging at all. You shared some of your journey along the writing road with us -- how you moved from some of the bumpy sections to a smooth part -- and reminded us all that God's "got" this.

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  4. So excited for you! You've worked hard for this :) Totally relate to the LONG journey, is this really what I'm supposed to be doing feelings! You've got it Lindsay!

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  5. Yaaaay again for your semi-finaling. You are so right that God gives us encouragement when we need it most. Sometimes it's in the form of great contest results. Sometimes it's in friends or family who have just the right words of wisdom at just the right time. Sometimes it's great feedback on a scene...whatever...

    And yes, I did push you to keep hoping. Haha! I keep running into the phrase "confident expectation" lately and I want to live that out more and more! Thus, my continual push to hope big. :)

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  6. Lindsay, I love that you're seeking to glorify God in the things you do and the words you say. And I'm totally rejoicing with you, my friend!

    God did a similar thing for me last fall when I finaled in two contests within a week of each other. I had felt discouraged about writing. He used that boost to remind me I was where He wanted me to be. He's also used words others have spoken. He knew what I needed to hear, even if the speaker didn't. :)

    Congratulations again, my friend!

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  7. Congratulations! I love seeing God's confirmation in our lives. It helps me to run the race when I get tired and discouraged.

    So excited for your Lindsay!

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  8. Glad when God gives that bit of encouragement that we're on the right path when we need it most. I honestly would've quit this writing gig about 20x over if He hadn't stepped in at the strangest times. Congrats, Lindsay!

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  9. Congratulations, Lindsay! What a thrill!

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  10. Rejoice!! I feel your heart in this post, Lindsay, and I was rejoicing when I saw your name on the list! What many aspiring writers don't realize is that there are soooo many writers who aren't on the fast track to publication. We see the success stories, the "miracles," and we forget how many people are chugging along without sharing the details on the Internet. I'm excited for everyone--the miracles and the chuggers!!

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  11. Lindsay,

    Congratulations, girlie!!!! It was wonderful to see so many names I recognized on the list this year - makes me so proud of all my writer friends!

    I was struggling so much with writing direction back in March, and a friend got me a ticket to a one-day conference nearby - didn't even want to go, that's how down I was. Anyway, I was blown away by a special message God gave me to stay on course, and within a week, He'd provided in ways I couldn't even have imagine for me.

    He surely knows when we need what we need, doesn't He?

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  12. Lindsay, I couldn't be happier for you! When I found out you had semi-finaled, I literally smiled at God. I knew you needed this and I knew He was smiling on you. You have a heart for writing and God is using it to draw you closer to Him. It's hard to be in the midst of the Refiner's fire, but when we're there we can rest assured that we're exactly where we're supposed to be. He desires us to be refined of everything that would hinder us from our calling. He's preparing you for the next step!

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  13. Congratulations, Lindsay! I was so excited to see your name on the list. You've worked hard to make your story the best it can be, and it's rewarding to see your hard work recognized this way.

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  14. So happy for you Lindsay! What a delightful moment for you. The milestones that make up the journey are so precious. Celebrating with you! God really does know just how to encourage us when we're down. I've found that for me, it often comes right after the heart-change. His timing is so good like that.

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