As a writer, it is inevitable that life will interrupt. Whether it be piles of laundry and your kids reminding you they had to wear the same pair of underwear three times this week (hasn’t happened yet this month, but we’ve come close), or it being something more dramatic.
For me, it has been the latter. Rather than give a play-by-play, here is an overview of what August 1st to October 1st looked/looks like for me. (Stick with me, I promise there is a connection in there for you.)
The Chaos of My Life
- Small Weekend Writer’s conference
- Unexpectedly bought a house (We’d given up on finding one.)
- Pack the entire house by myself (Umm… not even half-done yet.)
- My mother-in-law who lives with us had mobility issues resulting in hip replacement surgery (and lots of caregiving that is getting better but still not done yet)
- Husband traveled out of town at least four to five weeks of the last eight
- I am sole transportation for everyone
- I am the popcorn kernel for my son’s Cub Scout troop (What was I thinking?)
- Preparation for American Christian Fiction Writers Conference – write a proposal, make a one-sheet, order business cards, edit my manuscript, revise synopsis, write blurbs for other story ideas, write thank you notes and encouragement cards (super important to me)
- Close on the house five days after I return from ACFW
- Move into new house
- and now I have found out my dad has to have a heart cath and possible stent. At the moment we don’t know when the surgery will be, but pray with me that it isn’t while I am at ACFW. I am driving five other people to Nashville so it isn’t like I can just back out.
Needless to say, from August to October, I have been a bit overwhelmed… kind of like trying to outrun a T-Rex in a Geo Metro. (Do they even make those anymore?)
Responding When Life Interrupts
So how does a writer (or any person) respond when life interrupts and the chaos presses in so hard that you just want to hide under the covers and never come back out?
Two of the easiest and hardest words: Trust God.
God knew the timing of all this. He knows that I have no strength on my own to deal with this. It is more than I can handle. Don’t believe that hogwash that God won’t give you more than you can handle. He will. But only so that you must turn to Him and rely completely on Him to get you through. We cannot face the struggles of this life on our own, but He can fight the battles for us.
I wish I could give you a trick to trusting God more, but honestly, the only “tricks” I can give you is to (1) have an open communication line with God and to (2) keep His Words in sight and mind as much as possible.
Don’t worry about long or even formal prayers. Toss a few words out, even if the only one you can form is Jesus. We are so blessed in that the Holy Spirit intercedes for use and gives the words that we cannot form. That One Name can communicate so much.
Then there are the moments you are so angry and frustrated you can’t see straight. Vent it out to God. I promise He can handle anything you dish out. He already knows what you are thinking and feeling and I guarantee you that He would rather you come to Him than shut Him out.
Sometimes I have literally broken out laughing like a crazy woman because if I didn’t, I would cry. And you know what? God gets that, too. He’s even been gracious in sending me little moments of real laughter. (Send me all the corny jokes you’ve got, people!)
God wants to be there for you. Don’t shut Him out when you need Him most. And I am completely honest here. There have been weeks where I have thrown my own temper tantrum and told God I don’t want to talk to Him right now and I don’t want to read His word. I know it probably hurt Him, but He didn’t turn away. He just held me and patiently waited until I came back. It happens, but it doesn’t make Him stop loving you or wanting you.
I just want to leave you with some verses that I have clung to during this overwhelming time. May they help you on the days you have no strength left to give. If I can be praying for you, please let me know. Contact me privately, or leave it in the comments. As always I covet your prayers. I leave for ACFW in six days and my world hasn’t stopped shaking yet.
“I brought you from the ends of the earth and called you from its farthest corners. I said to you: You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you. Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you: I will help you; I will hold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:9-10
“You do not have to fight this battle. Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. He is with you Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Tomorrow go out to face them, for Yahweh is with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:17
“I call to You from the ends of the earth when my heart is without strength. Lead me to a rock that is high above me.” Psalm 61:2
“For You are my Rock and my Fortress, You lead and guide me because of Your name.” Psalm 31:3