Guest post by Anne Perreault
There are days when I can’t get my mind around my own problems. I mull them over and over, allowing them to steal my joy. I permit myself these moments because I believe I’m entitled to them. After all, I’m very good at pity parties.
For me as a writer, I have had a lot of experience fussing and worrying about the publishing/writing process. After I finally submitted myself to God’s urging to write down the stories in my head, I found that the publishing process was filled with pitfalls and difficulties. It began when a “publisher” contacted me and told me that my story was great and that they wanted it. As you can imagine, I was over-the-moon excited. I hadn’t even inquired and yet they wanted me.
I grew a little chip on my shoulder until I realized that it was a bit of a scam. Publishing my book would cost me more than I would ever make back. I deflated! My husband suggested I look into self-publishing, and I . . . well, I wasn’t very gracious about it. I told him that I had no idea how to go about it, that it was too much work, that it wasn’t proper. Just like homeschooling, how could I publish my own work?
When I talked to another vanity publisher, I began to doubt:
Did God really ask me to write?
Was I meant to do this?
What’s the point anyway? My books aren’t ever going to be out there.
In a relatively short time, I had forgotten that God Himself had commissioned me to write. Worry replaced His personal word to me as well as the joy and excitement I should have experienced. I became so angry after the second publisher tried to swindle me out of my hard-earned money that I went for a walk in our “back 10” (that’s 10 acres, if you aren’t up on the lingo lol) and ranted at God.
Do you see how quickly one can go from praise to discouragement? I was so angry I wanted to throw something and have the satisfaction of it breaking. So I picked up a pebble. It makes perfect sense that a pebble would break on impact. When it didn’t, I really became mad and threw another, which also failed to give me the satisfaction of breaking.
How dare God! He was totally playing me! He had put me on THIS path and I, being the obedient servant, only wanted to please Him!
On and on it went. When I finally threw a clump of dirt that looked an awful lot like a rock, and it shattered, I felt vindicated. But I really wasn’t. I was still worried and anxious. I’d relied on me. God had to show me that He was with me in this process and that He would provide EVERYTHING. And I mean everything, from submitting to self-publishing, to not one but two editors, and the cover designer. It all fell into place when I finally released my worry and my thoughts of how the whole process was going to go.
God is there. His beauty is not in His commandments but in the mercy, grace, forgiveness, and love that are available through Jesus Christ.
Someone said recently that women need to feel safe and secure. Mmm . . . I’m like that. I worry about everything. On a scale of one to ten, I’m probably a seven on the worry meter. How about you? For me, it has to be a conscious decision NOT to worry and to remember:
I am loved.
He’s my Savior, I’m not.
The circumstances don’t matter.
I am good enough for Him.
He chose me.
He’s given me the ability to face my giants.
He will see it done.
When worry threatens to overwhelm, I can KNOW that He is Lord of the Universe who has me in the palm of his hand.
For the worries of your life, be encouraged. He knows what you are going through. He’s got YOU in the palm of HIS hands. You are His. He’ll make a way.
So, have I learned this lesson?
Ask me that when I go to publish. What usually happens is that the enemy starts to tug on the threads of worry and insecurity. The Deceiver does what he does best: deceives. And I have fallen into his trap numerous times. I’m up to ten published books now, and, every time, something big tries to derail the final process. It has taken me a long time to learn this because the devil is sneaky. He comes at me from different angles, attacking where I’m weak, and where I allow worry or fear to rule instead of resting in the One True God.
I was able to release my worry the last few times when the unrest started. I realized what was happening and took a step back, prayed, and asked for prayer. The problems didn’t disappear, but the worry and fear did. The last book I published was released and I wasn’t even aware of it! I had missed the 72 hours Amazon needed to review the files, and it went live without my fussing and hovering. So easy, so peaceful! Perfect. Because I didn’t have a chance to worry.
If we allow Christ to work through us, and if we place our worry in His hands, things change. I always wondered how Steven could stand amongst his accusers while they were stoning him and see Jesus. Or how Paul could shake off the dust after he was stoned and thrown out of a city and then walk right back in to preach again. I mean . . . HOW, Lord?
John 15:15 says, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” In one sentence, we have the answer to all our worries, our fears, our difficulties. My books will not miraculously find themselves on the New York Times bestseller list, my children will not spontaneously have a brilliant career, amazing spouses, and happy, productive lives. My poor husband’s health won’t change overnight (not that it can’t, but God is working something out in him too).
But I don’t need to worry about all that stuff. He’s the vine. I’m the branch. All I have to do is rest in that.
Be blessed. You are loved. You are beautiful.
You. Are. Enough.
Learn more about Anne Perreault and her books at Into the Light Fiction.