Work in progress

I am a work in progress, a WIP.

I don’t know what God is going to do with me, but I’m sure He has a plan. Walking by faith is kind of like taking a step into a dark room, don’t you think?

If you’re like me, you’re kind of afraid you’ll bump into something, so you reach out for something to hold on to. You just aren’t sure what you’ll grab. Uncertainty is a scary place.

Right now I’m walking by faith. I have no idea where I’m going. I’ve written a complete manuscript. I’ve followed all the rules. I’ve poured my heart into it. I’m invested in conferences and workshops. I’ve made myself vulnerable. Now what?

Several years ago I found myself in a similar place—but I reached a dead end. Well, maybe not a dead end, but my journey didn’t take me where I expected to go.

Back then I sent out clips of my work to several Christian magazines, and I didn’t have to wait long before I received responses. Lots of them! Before I knew it, it seemed I was freelancing every spare moment. I lived on the adrenaline rush.

I still thank God He gave me so many wonderful opportunities. I met famous people, went to fun places and even saw my stories on the covers of these magazines. But I wonder if I lost focus of why I was supposed to write. The story wasn’t about me. Did I make it about me?

I think I was most excited the day I received a letter from a premiere music magazine welcoming me as a freelancer. I had dreamed of writing for this magazine for quite some time, and I was THRILLED my dream had finally come true. But it didn’t. For some reason, the magazine never again responded.

Did I get lost in the shuffle? Did I make a social blunder? Did I make God mad? I often wonder if God allowed me this disappointment to temper me, to keep me humble. I’ll never know. 

During this same time I also interviewed for the editor position for a new magazine located in Nashville. The interview lasted three hours! I thought I had a pretty good chance, but the magazine never launched. So close, yet unreachable.

And while we’re on the subject of disappointments, I can also add to the list the trip to New York City I won—but never received. Every week the Tennessean sponsored a contest in its Weekender section, so I entered and won the weekly contest—a free tee shirt and something else I’ve long forgotten. I was so excited.  My win made me eligible for the grand prize, a trip to NYC to see a Broadway play!

When I received my confirmation letter that I had won the grand prize, I was thrilled! But I never received it. The publication changed editors, and my information was lost. No one had any record of my win.

So here I am again, walking the bumpy road of publication. Back then I never dreamed of having the passion I possess today for writing for young adults. (I’ve never left high school. I’m still teaching in the same school I graduated from. I guess it’s only fitting.) Is God giving me a second chance?

This time around I want to do things right. I want to keep my focus on God. I want His will to be done, not mine. But I still find myself yearning to see my name in print on the cover of a novel. I want my dream to be validated.

Solomon prayed for wisdom. I’m praying for contentment and humility. I know what I want. I know how badly I want it. I pray, however, that God will change my heart so that what I want is what He wants for me.

I am a work in progress.

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  ~  Philippians 2:3-4

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9 thoughts on “Work in progress

  1. Hello Teresa, I very much enjoyed reading your post,it seems as though you’ve had a rather exciting career!

    I’d like to respond to the question posed in this sentence,

    “Walking by faith is kind of like taking a step into a dark room,don’t you think?”

    Actually no, I don’t…here’s my reasoning.

    The Hebrews 11:1 definition of faith calls it the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen

    this is my definition of what that means,

    “Faith is that state of being in which we’re able to find present comfort in the arms that have held us up all along, and future peace based on the past and the present.”

    I don’t see faith as being a blind thing, but instead as being much more real than the promises this world has to offer which can come and go in an instant!

    I pray that God will give you the desires of your heart!

    • I’m so glad you responded to my blog. Your comment about faith has made me think all day. Right now I can’t see where God is leading. I know He has a plan, but I can’t see it. I don’t have to see it to know there will be solid ground under my steps. I just wish my faith would mature so that I can be bold, not hesitant. 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. You are so right in that faith offers us lasting truth while the world offers us illusion. I often find myself praying “Lord, help my unbelief.” I don’t want to doubt even when I feel doubt creeping in. I pray God blesses you.

  3. 1 Timothy 6:6
    “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

    I don’t believe that means for us to be sedentary but rather calm in the assurance that God has His best in store for us as His children. We have to trust that He will bless us in the way that brings Him the most glory. So as you take Him at His Word, I pray He will give you touches of encouragement and glimpses of success as He continues to guide you into the dreams He has planted within your heart.

  4. I went to Lifeway today and perused the YA fiction. There wasn’t much there, but what I saw looked good. I ended up buying Beth Moore’s new book So Long, Insecurity and Sigmund Brower’s new book Flight of Shadows. He is one of my favorite authors! I hope to get a lot out of Beth’s book. In fact, I’m just about to jump into it right now. I need it.

  5. I love you! It’s always when I need encouragement the most that i read your words and am brought to tears. You are such an inspiration. God does have a plan for you. Just be patient. It will come. I know, because it has taken me ten years to almost make my dreams come true. In two more years, I plan to be teaching right there with you! Keep the faith, Teresa. You are a rock to me, and my inspiration!

  6. WIP, yes that is all of us. The road to publication..hmm. Some of us must pay our dues. My current WIP is a three book project (non-fiction, bible study and devotional) – Sometimes it is hard to separate one from the other. Frustrating but not debilitating. All in all, a joyous endeaver.

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