At my first major writers’ conference, the worship band played a particularly stirring song, one that has stuck with me ever since. It’s called “Waiting,” by John Waller. The song struck me as odd at first. I wondered, are we ever really waiting? Or are we to use every moment, every thought, every day to serve our Risen Savior?
But then I had to laugh, for that’s exactly what the song is saying.
That was in 2009, when I “officially” answered the call to write. Oh, I’d written before–on “assignment.” VBS curriculums, dramas for church outreach events, short stories for children’s ministry events, parent newsletters. But writing had always been a means to an end–a way to enhance my ministry.
Then one day, it clicked. God wanted me to be a writer–like full time, not merely to enhance ministry, but as a ministry in itself.
Then the waiting came, because the publishing industry is anything but quick. 🙂 That was four years ago. Four years of praying, of listening … of surrender.
A lot happened in the waiting–a lot of ministry, of friendship building, and growth.
During the waiting, I met and developed close relationships with other writers passionate about sharing God’s love through fiction.
I met one of my most cherished critique partners, a woman who quickly became a prayer partner and very dear friend.
I began writing for an international ministry passionate about sharing God’s love and truth through drama, and I got to meet some of these sweet writers in person. I got to pray with them not via texts, emails, or over the phone, but in the flesh! (Yes, that was a highlight!) I got to celebrate with these ladies when their debut novels released.
went on missions.
I watched our daughter grab hold of God’s passion for missions–for the nations–and work tirelessly with a sweet friend to earn her way to Jamaica.
I learned answering the call to go is sooooo much easier than surrendering your child to the call. The act of which brought me to a whole new level of trust–and praise, when I saw the post-mission-trip results.
I watched God change lives, heal wounds, draw His children ever-closer to Himself, often allowing me to be a part of His outpouring of grace.
Looking back, God’s timing was perfect, and I cherish each moment I “waited”.
Friday, I received and signed a contract from New Hope Publishers, a publishing house God connected me with three years ago, one I admire greatly. My dream publisher, really–a house that is passionate about reaching out to the lost, ending human trafficking, caring for the orphan–of being instruments of truth and grace in a world in desperate need of a Savior. To be honest, I’m still kind of soaking it all in. And in another period of waiting, this time for the novel to be released …
Knowing my Savior, a lot more will happen in the waiting. 🙂
I’ll tell you more about this novel later. So yeah, I guess you’re in a period of waiting, too. 😉
In the meantime, don’t forget about the daily act of kindness challenge! Today, a friend I met in ministry shares a touching story of how God moved him to show grace and kindness to a man in desperate need of a friend.
Each day, God invites us to be part of His outpouring of love and grace. Last week, Jason Sizemore answered that call.http://www.takinittothestreetsomaha.org/blogs/with-open-arms/
Are you in a period of waiting? What might God want you to be doing while you wait?
Congratulations on the book contract!
Yay on the book. Am I in the waiting? Absolutely! Do I know what’s next? No way! Am I trusting! That’s a little hot then cold but your post reminded me to stay connected and follow what He would have me do; even those little acts of random kindness that have nothing to do with writing! Thanks Jen.
It’s all part of our ministry, isn’t it? And I often remember the verse where Jesus said those who were faithful with the little things would also be faithful in the big things. I try to remember that verse when I’m doing those little things it seems no one is noticing. Then I remember, ah, my Savior is. And if I do this with my best effort and for Him, He will be pleased. 🙂
I am so exited for you. I have been waiting for so many things since 2007. But God has filled that time with so many learning opportunities.
That is such an awesome attitude, Teritiffany! When I first started writing for Christ to the World, my editor ordered me a book called “God Meant it For Good.” The book discussed Joseph’s life in terms of how each experience, trial, and delay shaped and trained him for his future ministry. I’m so glad my editor ordered that for me! It really helped me to seek God in each encounter and event the years following–and hopefully, for the rest of my life. 🙂
Waiting has never been my strong point in life. But, I have to admit that those times when I’ve had no choice but to spend time in the “waiting zone” have been the times when I’ve grown the most! Thanks for sharing this message and your wonderful photos! Congratulations on your book contract…you rock!
Thanks, Audrey, you made me smile. 🙂 And I am so like you! Both in the patience aspect and in the vision from hindsight. So glad God knows and always does what’s best. 🙂
Congratulations on the contract! That’s awesome.
I’ve never been to the ACFW conferences, but I remember reading emails from the year of the “Waiting” song. This resonated with me too. I’ve been waiting a long time, but my first novel releases Nov. 1 from Choose NOW Publishing. Just like there’s always a new goal, I suspect there’ll always be more waiting–and working–for it. Like the others have said, that’s where we grow and learn.