Author Jennifer Slattery joins us today for a guest post on Trusting God’s Call. Jennifer writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her teenage daughter and coffee dates with her handsome railroader husband.
Let’s welcome Jennifer!
Tell me, how fervent are your worries? How often do you find your thoughts creating tangled, anxious rabbit trails, all of them ending in one location—unpublished land?
Before I got published, I naively thought all my concerns would somehow vanish once that first contract came. That manuscript I loved so much and had poured my heart into would hit the shelves, and then viola, a career would be born, and I’d be Snoopy dancing my way to ever-increasing sales.
What I found, however, was that my anxieties only grew, for then they were fueled by reality, like:
Some 200 MILLION people say they’d like to one day publish a book.
About six million Americans will complete a book in their lifetime.
There are over 32.8 MILLION titles sold on Amazon.
That’s a lot of books to compete against, isn’t it? No wonder we authors are so anxious and insecure!
That is, if we’re looking at the numbers.
If we’re focusing on Christ and His mission for us, however, none of those statistics matter, nor do our results.
We know this. The challenge comes in keeping our mind there—on our eternal mission; on why we do what we do. To do that, we’re going to need a little help.
This morning, as I was reading Scripture, I thought of the Christian writer’s unique dichotomy of needing to sell to stay employed but also needing to stay faithful to their call. In Luke 12:13-35, three phrases stood out to me and helped center my thoughts and my heart.
The first came at the end of a parable Jesus told about a rich farmer. This farmer had a great deal of wealth, but remember, no social security, health savings plan, or 401K! Seeing all his wealth, he determined to build bigger barns in order to store it all.
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’
“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” (Verses 20b-1, NLT)
Life principle: Make my relationship with Christ and obedience to Him my first and most often focused on priority, otherwise, my books are merely noise.
The second power phrase came a bit further down when, following His parable, Jesus transitioned into a discussion on worry. (Which I don’t think was a coincidence. He knows why we attempt to “lay up treasures”!)
“And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. 30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. 31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.” (Verses 29-31 NLT).
That word, dominate, really stood out to me, because that’s what worry and fretting does, right? But God calls us not to be consumed with ourselves and our plans, but rather, with His.
Life principle: “Seek the kingdom of God above all else.” When we do that, He takes care of everything else.
It’s a trust thing, isn’t it? And when worries and insecurities rage, it can be hard to trust, but our trust grows with practice. By choosing to stop our fretting, reroute our thoughts, die to ourselves, and live for Christ, moment by moment.
Trusting that the God who calls us to full surrender will indeed perfect that which concerns us.
Where are you today? What areas in your writing journey cause you to feel most anxious? What verses have helped you refocus your thoughts, efforts, and heart on Christ and His plan for you? Share your thoughts here in the comments below.
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.
As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution propel her north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. However, he’s dealing with a potential conspiracy at work, one that could cost him everything, and Jacqueline isn’t sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. Then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must she relinquish her chance at having love again in order to be restored?
Read a free, 36-page excerpt here: http://issuu.com/newhopedigital/docs/slattery_sampler/1
You can buy a copy here: