It’s been quite a week!
This past Saturday, I took a wee trip into the past—and the setting of my next novel—at Fort Tejon, California, with their monthly Frontier Army Days Living History event. I used the magic words “I’m a writer” and watched as the floodgates of the interpretive staff’s knowledge and even the doors of the inner archives opened. The reenactors were so very gracious and helpful in sharing their expertise, and even invited me back to participate myself in their living history event another month. I might just take them up on it—how else to better describe how my young officer’s wife protagonist would actually feel as she learns to cook over an open fire in southern California’s September heat?
I’ve felt a bit overwhelmed the last few days, things have been hopping so much writing-wise. The research trip to Fort Tejon. Emails flying back and forth after that, including a connection with a woman who knows a descendant of one of the Paiute Native Americans unfairly held near the fort from 1863-64. A phone meeting with my agent. Responding to an invitation to speak to a class on faith and writing at my alma mater—the day after I get back from the ACFW conference the end of this month. Trying to get ready for ACFW.
Whew! Is this really my quiet little life? But all these things are blessings.
The trouble is, sometimes when so many things start happening, especially in a positive way, I tend to try and run on my own strength. Maybe I subconsciously think that if this many opportunities are opening up, it must be because I am somehow strong enough and wise enough to warrant and thus handle them. And slowly and subtly, I loosen my grip on the Lord’s hand and try to wobble forward on my own—a strategy that will only lead to falling flat on my face.
I can be so silly sometimes.
“I’m a writer” aren’t magic words. Those connections and open doors at Fort Tejon, along with all the others I’ve been given in researching other novels, are gifts from the Lord, nothing else. With my natural shyness and sometimes awkwardness, it’s a reminder of His grace that He’s opened so many doors for relationships and learning for me, giving me the courage make phone calls and approach strangers and pursue leads into the unknown to research the stories He’s put on my heart. I can only gather that He really does want them to be written, that He has a purpose for them, and lessons to teach me as I study eras and peoples, good and evil of the past I probably never would if not for writing these manuscripts.
And it’s only in His strength that I’ll be able to juggle all these writing balls He’s been graciously tossing my way this month, without (hopefully) dropping any. Unless He thinks I need even more humbling. 🙂
So often I need to be reminded of what Jesus told His disciples, comfortingly wayward and human as they were, the night He was betrayed to His death:
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” ~John 15:4-5, emphasis added
When things get busy, do you ever find yourself relying on your own strength? What helps you keep your eyes on the Lord and lean on Him? Please do comment and share!