Saturday, February 14, 2009

A New Direction

Starting in a new direction is exciting to me but scary at the same time. You, too?
For the past four years, I've felt God redirecting my writing life, calling me to a new direction: fiction. But I was afraid. Could I do it? What if I fail? Non-fiction is definitely my comfort zone. What if I don't even try?
In a tiny step of faith, I herded three other writers with the same dream into an online critique group. We four: Melanie, Michelle, Christa, and I, call ourselves "Novel Friends" and all put our toes in the ring at the same time. Since then, Michele and Chrisa have produced great novels,and Christa's has even been nominated for the Gold Medallion Award!(Watch for her upcoming interview on "Virelle & Friends." Sign up for that on my website.) Melanie and I have busy with non-fiction books that were first on our lists, doodling with our novels on the side. My two new books came out in 2008 with Moody Publishers, Meet Me at the Well and The Best Life Ain't Easy. I'm happy with them and have a full year of speaking scheduled ahead. This fall I've labored over a new book proposal to follow them, but a nagging unrest plagued me. What about the novel? When will I complete it?
Yesterday I spent time at the library trying to write my proposal again and realized something big and honest and a little frightening. I'll be miserable if I have to write this now and put off the novel yet again. I shared that with Steve last night, when simultaneously, Melanie wrote me about how Karen in her prayer group said she sensed I was going in a new direction after finishing the Best Life. Was it fiction? It really surprised me...another clear nudge from God.

This morning, Steve read me this old poem from a devotional we use and it was the confirmation I needed. Maybe you need it today, too.

"God is not in a hurry, dear!
The work He chose for you can wait,
If He’s giving you another task to do.
Or, if He call you from your work to quietness and rest,
Be sure that in the silence you may do His bidding best.

You cannot be a joy to Him, if thus with frown and fret
You turn at each new call of His, to find new lessons set.
The old familiar tasks were dear, and ordered by His hand;
But come and tread another way: it is as He has planned.

And yesterday He led you there; and now He wants you here;
And what shall be tomorrow’s work? Tomorrow will make it clear.
So patiently and faithfully let each day’s course be run;
God is not un a hurry, dear,
His work will all be done."

--Edith Hickmann Divall

That was it. I’m happy to say the decision is made. I’m turning to the two novels I need to write. Even if I appear unsuccessful, I will be obedient. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement, and your honesty. I love it when you write back.
Are you sensing a new direction in your life, too? Maybe it's small, like the new haircut I got yesterday, or it might be bold and wild, like moving out of state. Why not share it with your best friends and ask them to pray as my friends have for me. Then, buckle up. Sniff the wind for change. Something very God is in the works!
His best to you!