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Monday, April 23, 2012

Waiting

Charles Stanley said "Our willingness to wait reveals the value we place on the object we're waiting for."
How hard is it to wait? Depends what we're waiting for. As humans we innately feel we need to do something to 'push things along.' Just sitting back and truly waiting is not in our nature.
My cousin Brenda's baby son is now up to about two and a half pounds. He was born six weeks ago weighing 1 lb 6 oz after Brenda developed HELLP syndrome 6 months into her pregnancy. I know what she is waiting for - the day Gavin is big enough and healthy enough to come home.
My son offered to loan me his copies of the Hunger Games as I must be the last person in America to read them. He brings me book #1 and I devour it. Now I have to wait until another friend he has loaned the books to finishes #2 and #3. It is so tempting to just buy my own. Nope, I'll just wait.
In January I entered one of my books (actually just the first 15 pages of it) into a thing called the Genesis contest through American Christian Fiction Writers. It is a truly wonderful contest as the entries all receive individual critiques from multi-published judges, a means by which we can improve our writing skills. In the midst of all that happened in my life over the last few months, I pretty much forgot about Genesis, all the while becoming more and more discouraged about my writing. I wasn't to the point of giving up yet, but I was feeling terribly sorry for myself, thinking my writing would never measure up to standards and lacking the incentive to try.
I did not semi-final (the top 20%) when Genesis results were released last week. I didn't even have a hope of such a thing so I wasn't disappointed. I only wanted to summon the courage to enter, which I did, and then use the critiques to improve. But, for some odd reason I did not receive my critiques in the timely manner many of my author friends did. For nearly a week facebook pages were filled with my friends lamenting over their scores, trying not to be discouraged by the critiques and the usual 'helpful comments.' It takes time. It's a process. Someday you'll get there. Keep trying. Just wait. a few of the people even posted their scores. Being my first year I wasn't very familiar with the scoring system which is the average of a numerical score given by 3 judges with 100 points possible from each. I was terrified by some of the scores that were shared, dipping down into the thirties and even twenties. I hadn't received my critiques and came to the conclusion that I didn't want to receive them. I knew I would never be able to handle the discouragement that would come with the low scores I most surely would receive.
So, my scores arrived today. I debated not opening the email. I finally clicked on it when I couldn't stand it anymore. I was pleasantly surprised. Very pleasantly. No, I will not share my scores here, but they were much higher than 20s or 30s and the comments were so encouraging.
Moral of this story? Waiting is hard. No way to get around it. But giving up is not an option. God always comes through in His time, which by the way, is not the same as mine. I've seen it time and again. At just the point I get so discouraged I don't know how to climb out of the hole, He sends His encouragement to counteract, tell me I'm on the right track and to keep on waiting.
I may never win a writing contest or see a book with my name on the cover, but even so I know I'm traveling the path He's set before me. My only job is "Wait."
Isaiah 64:4

2 comments:

  1. Excellent post, and I agree! I had an email conversation on this very thing with someone a few weeks back. She's been writing for maybe three years. Oh, how that must feel like such a long time. And yet, in this business, it's really a very shot time! We've all heard the stories shared by published authors--those who wrote 8-12 novels *before* their first contract.

    Love ACFW and all the support they offer all authors. :)

    Blessings to you and your writing, and I pray God will show you how to utilize the comments provided by the Genesis judges.

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  2. I've become a follower, and I've pored over your blog - I'm moved to tears in some spots, nodding my head emphatically in others, and feel blessed by your perceptions of writing, life, motherhood, and the challenges life gives. God bless, and keep up the GOOD fight!

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