At the end of January, my husband was laid off and was without a job for about two months. It wasn’t the first time we had experienced a setback like that, and as I heard the words over the phone the day he was laid off, I knew that my immediate reaction would be the foundation for how I would respond repeatedly, as long as we were without a paycheck.
I sank to the the stair I was standing on and my stomach tightened. I breathed in and out a few times and then said, “O-kay . . .” Breathe in.
In the past, the words, “I lost my job,” would have been a trigger for me to go to my dark place, my depth of despair, but surprisingly, that didn’t happen once during the time that my husband was home and looking for work. My immediate response after reminding my body to breathe was, “God is here, this is Him. He is in control. I trust Him.”
I was really proud of myself for having so much trust. It was a victory for me because I have such a hard time remembering, in the moment, how faithful God has been to us. There were plenty of times during those two months that I had to remind myself to breathe, grab a hold of something and take a minute to fix my thoughts on my unfailing Father, but I never went into that familiar dark place, and we saw so much blessing during those months. The Father provided for us in the most amazing ways, to the point where we were laughing over the checks that were showing up in our mailbox, providing for our needs, and even some extras.
My husband has been in a new job for a month and a half today, and I have been thinking lately about how much easier it was to have faith in the Lord when there was nothing tangible and regular coming in. Now that we have a regular paycheck again, I find myself doubting again that there will be enough, that there will be extra. This job was God’s provision for us, and it’s ongoing yet here I am doubting it. What????
When I realized what I was doing, I was reminded of something the Father spoke to us just about a year ago. “Do you trust the paycheck? Do you trust the man signing the paycheck, or do you trust in Me?”
I am disciplining myself to put my trust in the Lord who is the giver of life, but this discipline is challenged every day, in all kinds of scenarios, including the publishing of my next book.
I’ve done a lot of reading on the craft of writing, the publishing world, the self-publishing world etc., and I’ve had significant moments of doubt in my gift, my process and that people will continue to stand behind me in support. To be honest, I don’t know how I measure up in the world’s standards, and in self-publishing I circumvented a lot of rejection, and plenty of authors look down on self-publishing because of that. I’ve really began to question whether what I’m doing is the right thing, if I’m walking down the right path in gearing up to self-publish Nor Forsake.
The Father had to remind me this week about why I self-published Stones of Remembrance: Because that is what He directed me to do. Not because I didn’t want to experience rejection and criticism that might have hurt or even bettered my skills, but because it was His leading to self-publish.
While it’s definitely a good thing to read articles and try to better myself, it is wrong to put those things in a place of authority in my work. I don’t trust market-standards, or bloggers who have opinions, I don’t even trust the rules for writing fiction. I trust in the Lord, who has given me the call to write, and I submit my work to Him and Him alone. That might sound hokey, or like a cop-out, but He is my source. He is the one who gives me the words to write.
I trust His leading implicitly. He will not lead me astray. He will not let my family go without.
*I wrote this post yesterday morning, and held off on posting it. The dark clouds came almost immediately after saving it. My entire day was attacked and I struggled for every waking moment to see the Father’s hand, to rise above and rule my thoughts and actions and I felt like a complete failure all day. Then I got a text from an old friend with this verse:
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:29-31 (NIV)
Even in our weakness He is made strong. I cried my eyes out as I read it and just received His grace. We all have those days.
What is the Father asking you to trust Him with today?Where do you need to receive more of His grace?