Monday, January 15, 2007

BE STILL AND KNOW THAT HE IS GOD!

I wrote 7,500 words Thursday afternoon and Saturday afternoon then spent Sunday afternoon tweaking/editing them. It's for my WIP (work in progress), a novel.

This is a "story of my heart," one that I knew I wanted to write six years ago. About a year ago, I began developing it and plotting it out.

This is an exhilarating stage for a novelist, though it's hard work. All of it is, in fact, the plotting and the writing. And the selling. And the marketing. But it's wonderful, all of it, to me, and I'm so glad God called me to write.

I thought I had the plot right; it's a complicated story. But last Wednesday afternoon, I realized it needed help. It needed retooling.

Milton and I were talking about it, brainstorming. He said, "Why don't you start it off with such-and-such?"

I knew he'd hit on something brilliant and told him so. Talk about exciting? This would be the icing on the cake, the creme de le creme.

The Bible says, "Behold how good, and oh how pleasant, it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity."

My paraphrase: "Behold how good, and oh how pleasant, it is for husbands and wives to dwell together in unity."

When things are flowing between you, when that unity is so...well, unified... that you feel like you're one person, not two, that's a good feeling. That's how I felt as we talked about the opening to my novel.

So now I knew how to write a new first chapter and set the story off in a new direction.

Hallelujah!

But because it's a complicated plot, I still had some quandries about how I would develop it and format it.

To further set the stage, for the last few weeks or more, I've had a real case of writer's block about this story; this is only the second time this has ever happened to me in my writing. Usually, I revel in creating stories. It's what I was born to do.

But I had confidence that God would help me.

We went to church that night. We were having our Annual Week of Prayer. Milton spoke briefly and told us to follow these two verses in our prayer time and ask God to speak to us:

1. Psalm 46:10 - "Be still and know that I am God."

2. Psalm 40:1 - "I waited patiently for the Lord."

As I was kneeling in prayer, the answer to this complicated plot came to me. It was like the proverbial light bulb had come on in a dark, scary room. Of course, I still had some plot points to work through, but I knew where I was headed and how the story would be formatted and shaped. God had clearly helped me. I give Him the credit for it. I was thrilled.

At the end of the service, Milton gave the opportunity for people to share what God had spoken to them.

One shared.

Another shared.

He said, "One more."

This is it, I thought. My turn.

A woman started talking.

I didn't get to share my revelation, I complained to the Lord.

Hold steady, He said. Be patient.

Well, the woman shared exactly what I needed to add to my plot (an idea, not real people or happenings).

I said in my heart, Thank ye, Lawde! (said with a Southern accent).

The next day, I sat down, and 5,000 words poured out of my heart. It was like an Artesian well in Florida. It just wouldn't stop. Hallelujah again!

Have you waited for something for a long time, like my novel that's been in my heart for six long years, yet it hasn't come about? Have you asked God for something that hasn't happened for you? And you feel like He promised it to you, yet He doesn't seem to be doing anything about it?

Ask yourself these questions:

1. Am I being "still" before God, that is, knowing He's God and He can bring it about?

2. Am I being patient?

Whatever it is, the Lord will help you. Hang on. Don't give up. Be patient.

And you'll KNOW THAT HE IS GOD!

5 Comments:

At 4:33 PM, Blogger Kaye Dacus said...

Wow, Kristy--I think the Lord was having the same conversation with me! I've been struggling that my WIP, my historical, doesn't have a cohesive spiritual theme. In fact, except for a few places where my characters pray about major decisions to be made, there isn't much spiritual content at all. I've prayed for direction with this and had the feeling God was telling me to "wait" on that and just keep writing the story. Then, yesterday at church, my pastor was speaking about being Transformed--that until we are transformed by Christ, we cannot expect to transform the lives of others. All weekend, I'd been filling out a questionnaire about my plans, goals, and purpose for writing--as well as my life. After much prayer, I boiled my life's purpose down to "being available to be used by God wherever he leads me to do his work" and for my writing to "touch lives through inspiring, entertaining stories." As I thought about how God had transformed my life and how he might use me to touch others, of course I came back to the fact I did not have a spiritual thread in my historical and about how the heroine's angst over her father's affection for the hero is a recurring theme. Did she need to learn to forgive her father? No, not really. Then the pastor started talking about how after Peter raised Tabitha from the dead, her very presence touched and affected the lives of hundreds of people--because she was a physical manifestation of the Father's love and majesty. And it struck me. My heroine's father's love for the hero is representative of God's love for us and the concept of our "adoption" as children of God. And this is what the heroine needs to learn.

So, by listening to God's answer to "be still" and wait, I was open and ready to receive what he wanted to show me--something I never would have come up with on my own! Isn't it amazing what he can show us when we just listen to him?

 
At 5:08 PM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Oh, wow, Kaye, what a great, great thing to happen! I can feel your exhilaration! Wonderful! And, it's so neat it happened while you were in church listening to your pastor. Spoken like a true pastor's wife. However, that's not why I said it. I was a churchgoer before I ever became a pastor's wife. I love having God drop nuggets to me in church, where it's still and quiet at times, whether they're nuggets for my personal life or my writing. I think that's why the Bible talks about "not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together" meaning with other believers.

Anyway, thanks so much for sharing a great story. I loved it. God bless--

 
At 11:32 AM, Blogger Patricia W. said...

I was determined to complete a manuscript I started plotting last October and penning in November. I lost my way. I wrestled and finally realized, like Kaye, the problem was that there wasn't a strong spiritual thread. I haven't gotten my answer yet--not completely--so I'm waiting. But I'm clear that I need to wait. While I do, I'm motivated to study more deeply so I joined an online Bible study group.

 
At 12:52 PM, Anonymous Joy said...

Hi Kristy,
I enjoyed this and it helped me right now! Just thought I would tell you I've joined a writer's group at faithwriters and just had an article receive a "highly recommended" rating! I write in a weekly challenge where they give you a topic to write on, and this year I set a goal to enter one each week. This was my first for this year! Out of 38 submitted, I ranked 4th! Needless to say, I was excited. Just wanted to share with you because I believe you have helped me in my pursuit of writing. Thanks! And happy writing...I just read your novella, Room at the Inn. Great!

God bless, Joy Mounce

 
At 2:52 PM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Thank you, Joy. It's GREAT to hear from you! I'm so happy you commented, and very happy for your ranking. That is wonderful! Keep writing. God bless--

 

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