I’m so excited to post this life update! Just want to let everyone know where I’m at in this season. Where shall I begin?
For those of you who don’t know, I wrote a Young Adult novel a long while back (I’m talking back in 2009). It went through some rewrites, a lot of edits, and it finally ended up in the hands of someone who was able to give me substantial feedback. She really liked the book and offered to vet me to some agents and editors she knew (after I completed that last set of edits, of course).
Then in January 2011, I had a house fire.
Now, I don’t know about your average house fire, but I’ve read that when forest fires occur naturally, they can have some benefits for the forest. Here’s what the website HOW STUFF WORKS has to say:
Forest fires are a natural and necessary part of the ecosystem. Even healthy forests contain dead trees and decaying plant matter; when a fire turns them to ashes, nutrients return to the soil instead of remaining captive in old vegetation (“After the Forest Fire: Benefits to Plants.” howstuffworks.com).
Well, that’s kinda what happened with me. I was like a dead tree in this forest of life, and I needed to burn down so that I could start anew. I was in a seven-year, tumultuous relationship (some of that was him, a lot of that was me), and I was living a life that was immersed in darkness. I won’t go into all the gritty details here, but suffice it to say that I read what I wanted, watched what I wanted, listened to what I wanted, wrote what I wanted…basically I did whatever I wanted, all while believing there would be no consequences for living that way.
The house fire burned that life to the ground, and I was forced to start over. And I did. I walked away from that relationship and started traveling the world. I actually went to the places I’d written about in my book, and it was AWESOME…well, until I started living however I wanted again. But that story is for a different blog post. This blog post is about the mysterious manuscript that never came to completion.
So after the house fire, I had a major case of writer’s block, and I never could finish the edits. Everything I wrote felt dry, even after my incredible, inspiring European travels. Every plot fix I tried felt wrong. Every scene felt off. I didn’t understand what was gong on, because I had some pretty amazing writing pour out of me when I was in Croatia (my first trip to Europe). But I just could not seem to write anything related to my book.
Then comes my radical encounter with Jesus.
It’s summer of 2013. The day I was born again is the day I applied for the World Race. And while I was on the mission field, I deleted my book’s website, the accompanying blog, and my travel blog, which had been featured as the Blog of the Day multiple times on TravBuddy and had all my photos from all my trips on it. That was my way of giving that manuscript (and everything associated with it) to the Lord. And I told Him that if He wanted me to do anything with this book, that He was going to have to redeem the project (it was full of impurity and darkness) and give it back to me.
The past few months, that is exactly what He’s been doing. I can’t write a story unless I can see the scene unfold in my mind’s eye, and I have been receiving the exact inspiration I’ve needed to be able to write a lot of new material (most of the book has been totally new and required all new writing rather than just editing or rewriting). Plus, I’ve had some major plot issues, but I’ve been praying, and I’ve continually felt solutions dropping into my spirit from Above.
It has been a crazy past few months, but after seven years (WOW! SEVEN YEARS! God’s number of perfection and completion – I hadn’t even realized it’d been that long since I got the writer’s block…AMAZING!), I am finally finishing the book. I am working on the climax and denouement now, and then I’ll be D-O-N-E!!!!
I sure would appreciate prayer for direction on where the Lord wants to take this project. Perhaps He has traditional publishing in mind, or maybe He just wants a personal copy of the manuscript to keep for Himself. There’s a whoooole lot of in between, as well (publishing with a small press, self-publishing, hybrid publishing, just having a few copies printed for friends and church family), but I’m willing to go wherever He wants to take it. He gets ALL the glory!
Yet (Abraham) did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God. – Romans 4:20