Thursday, July 6, 2017

When Doing Means Finishing What You Started



I intended to take the entire week to do what God has been wearing me out about not doing. Instead, I have two days, but this time, I'm taking next week and the next if needed.

When God says do something, you have to do it. Especially if it takes you a while to get to the doing.

Back in 2014, I took a break from medicine for a few months to finish a couple of writing projects. I never went back. 

I finished The Waiting: When the Answer to Your Prayers is Delayed and Your Hope is Gone. I wasn't happy with the back cover, so I never actively marketed the book. You can't judge a book by it's cover, and it's nowhere truer than with that book. I'm delighted with the front cover and the inside. If you haven't read it, I recommend it. (You can follow the link to my online store)

Before I finished the first project, I had started a second. My first novel. God gave me the story. He gave me the help I needed to hone my fiction skills. He molded the story into a better form, then molded it again, over and over. 

Within a year, the book had placed in the top three in a national fiction-writing competition. I was on my way. Or so I thought.

I hired a well-known editor to help me polish the story and learn what I needed to know. It has taken me nearly two years to get it done. Truthfully, I abandoned the process when I went to Global last summer. There wasn't time for everything, and I struggled to get the new ministry up and going. I couldn't do it all. 

I could have continued to work at it on the weekends, but I didn't. Not really.

I'm on the final edit now and it's hard. I want it to be right. I want readers to stay up at night to finish the book. I want them to save their copy and pick it up again over the years because they love the characters. I want it to be the "go to" fiction when a reader wants to read something they love.

Yeah. Big dreams.

Dreams never become reality, however, unless you do the work required. Not long ago, I wrote about the Shouting Scripture. In the last few weeks, James 1:22 has worn me out. "Doer = Author," it screams. 

I get it. 

I posted the verse on my office whiteboard. I recounted it every day. I scheduled time to write. 

I'm finally doing it. 

Yesterday, I announced to Sam that I was taking an office day at my computer. "I guess that means leave you alone, right?" When Sam is bored or worried or afraid or has scary symptoms, he comes to me, and I want him to do that. 

On writing day, however, it usually means repeated interruptions. When I'm in the middle of a sentence or a thought, that interruption may mean the sentence or the thought is gone forever.

"Leave you alone..." Put that way, I wasn't sure what to say. Finally, I said what I meant. "It really does, Sam. If you definitely need me, call. If not, I'm writing until at least 4 pm. It's the same as if I'm at the office. I'm out of reach unless you need me." 

Sam sighed and complied. He only interrupted my writing once when he was worried and afraid about his symptoms. I talked him through and he went back home to eat and rest.

I made it to the half-way point yesterday. I'm taking another day to write today. This time, I'm being obedient all the way to the end.

Last week, I gathered supplies and packed care bags for homeless people. Being a doer, this week, means sitting at the computer and pressing on as I complete the edits, make corrections, and fine-tune the work God's given me. 

Doing, for you, may mean something entirely different. Regardless, we must be about our Father's business, so stop delaying and get going on whatever God has impressed you to do.

Be more than a hearer on a pew. Be a doer who takes what's heard and puts it into action.

"Be doers of the word, and not hearers only..." James 1:22  

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In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: How God Used Jumping Hay Bales to Meet My Needs

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