April 28, 2018
“God now knows I can be trusted.”
A friend spoke those words a couple months ago during a call in which he discussed his current entrepreneurial pursuits. He is extraordinarily gifted in his chosen craft unrelated to writing. Weeks after that conversation, I’m still thinking about his words.
They were not arrogant proclamations of some spiritual superhero who acts as if he’s God’s gift to the world. Rather they were humbly – even shyly – spoken by a person awed that his pain had a greater purpose than he’d ever imagine.
They were testament to the fact that while God knows everything and everyone and knows at what point we’ll come to complete reliance on Him, He also knows whether we walk in God-driven integrity.
WHAT ABOUT ME?
My friend’s words sparked self-reflection.
I agonized with whether, I, too could be trusted?
The answer: yes.
In the past two decades I’ve walked away from writing and come back into the field a different person. As I’ve walked the path, pursuing publication and attempting to follow God’s lead, I now realize all my foibles, heartaches, disappointments and myriad other issues had purpose. God was bringing me to the place where He could trust me with His ultimate goal for my life and writing.
Not everyone gets there.
Sometimes people take detours as they compromise integrity and God’s plan for money, fame, or some other reasons. Others stop hoping, dreaming, and pursuing destiny. Then there are those – like the renown biblical character Job – who trust God in plenty and success, and in adversity and lack.
If you recall the story, it’s not a pretty one. No one would ever, ever volunteer to experience the agony that Job experienced. But like him when we submit to the process we emerge as those God can trust with wealth (natural and spiritual) and influence.
In my case, God can trust me with:
- Pursuing only projects he directs me to. Over the years, I’ve turned down lucrative projects because I felt God say, “No. Let them pass.”
- Helping those who could not help themselves. By nature, I’m a giver and helper. But there have been times over the years when God has directed me to help people even while I had a need. I’ve done so, believing – and fervently hoping – that God would meet my needs anyway. He always has.
- Getting the work done. After a dozen kids’ books I’ve learned some things about persistence, work ethics, editorial relationships and other aspects of working with publishers. I’ve also learned some things about myself – not all pleasant – and have had to self-correct in order to succeed. Those lessons are crucial now as God moves me into various directions in this season.
- Using, but not, loving money. I always tell people that working for millionaires – or those who generate millions in monthly billing – made me realize the limitations of money. It’s a tool I try to use it but not love.
- Being inconvenience. I can help others when it’s not convenient. This is a biggie. Over the years, I’ve gained a reputation as a writer who is willing and resourceful enough to help people with diverse writing projects. In the past few years, especially, I’ve also learned that I can help when it’s not convenient.
- Working when I’d rather play. I’ll work when I want to play. As writers we must sit and work. Non-creatives often don’t understand that, and that’s OK.
- Forgiving others. Unforgiveness will tank a writer’s creativity, effectiveness, and close the door on divine opportunities. I’ve had many, many experiences where people have mistreated me and did not give me the respect deserved. I had a choice: forgive or harbor bitterness. I chose to forgive.
- Remaining flexible. Rigidity makes for unpleasant interactions with clients, editors, agents, and others. It also leads to creative constipation – the inability to produce because we’re stuck on our own ideas or ways of doing things. I’ve learned to be flexible when God tells me to focus on one project when I want to write another; to focus on an audience I never dreamed of writing for when I had plans on writing for another, and in other ways. It has also meant being flexile when I’ve wanted to cut people or organizations off, and God wanted me to remain connected. As a result, I’ve grown and developed as a writer – and, more importantly, spiritually.
- Remaining prayerful. Our faith and integrity will be tested — often. I remain vigilant, asking God to guide me, keeping me grounded in biblical truths and principles.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
When my friend called me I was knee deep in a writing project and rushing toward deadline. But I stopped to chat. Doing so afforded me an opportunity to celebrate his testimony, and receive updates on things I’ve prayed for him for years.
But something else happened when I talked to him. I received inspiration as a writer.
That’s something else God can trust me with: to capture inspiration from the many wellsprings of life and infuse them into my writing to not only encourage myself, but to also inspire my readers to live more fully and abundantly.
What about you?
Can God trust you?
Have you submitted to the process of creativity, including the valleys and mountaintop experiences?
Have you learned to yield to the Spirit of God, more than your personal desires or others’ demands that conflict with what you’re hearing from God?
Can God trust you to pour into others even when you need refreshing?
Answers to those questions may help you determine why your creativity is stalled, why you’ve missed opportunities, or why suddenly you’re experiencing amazing answers to prayers and increased writing opportunities.
God provides a path to trust, but we must follow it. Doing so yields more benefits than we can ever recount – in our lives, our readers’ lives, and others we come into contact with on the road to publication.
Lisa A. Crayton is an award-winning freelance writer, multi-published author, conference speaker…and more. She loves helping writers, and challenging them to achieve their goals and dreams! Meet her at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference in July. Connect with her on Facebook.