When I wrote Illuminated, I had been on a long hiatus from writing. I had kids to raise, and a home to run. My son was a preschooler. My daughter was in school. I was going to college for a degree in rehabilitation counseling. And then… A story presented itself to me.
At first, I was like, “I don’t have time to write, Lord.” I addressed Him because I know where my story ideas come from. It had been the Lord who had told me to put writing aside when my children were small. They needed my whole attention. More than I could give when I get lost in story worlds.
Set it aside for now, He’d said.
I knew, eventually, I would come back to it. Writing was my heart. It was one of my biggest giftings.
“I’m in the middle of essays and tests, Lord,” I reasoned.
“I don’t belong in the writing world anymore. I’m not part of a writer’s critique group. How can I…???” I argued.
His answer was: You have everything you need, Daughter. You know how to tell a story. You have the training. You have a computer. You have fingers to type. So, go with it.
The Lord normally doesn’t ask more from us than we can handle. If it seems that way, then know whatever we face, we can do so in His strength and with His help. Nor does he ask us to give more then we have on hand. Unless, we need to be stretched to develop talents or skills that need to be woken up!
Either way, He is the one who wants to provide what we need to follow Him. He glories in that.
This reminds me of the story of the boy with the loaves and fishes. He’d come to hear Jesus prepared to spend the whole day on that hillside. Maybe. Perhaps he was just out for a walk and liked to make sure he had food to get him through the day. Who really knows. Right?
I bet the disciples, who were exasperated over Jesus telling them to feed 5000 people instead of taking their sage advice to send them home, had plucked the boy from the group to make their point. “See, Jesus? There is nothing. Except for this meager meal of fish and bread. And the fish is cold, for Pete's sake!”
Okay, maybe they didn’t exactly put it that way, but that’s been my argument from time to time. I don’t “physically” have what’s needed to do this task, and what I do have is not up to par.
Here’s the thing… When God calls someone to do something, he equips those he calls.
The basket of fish and bread was all Jesus needed to accomplish his desire to take care of the people who had spent the day listening to Him. He provided the food so that the disciples could serve the people who’d come to listen to Jesus’ teaching.
Of course, as you can see, I not only completed Illuminated, I ended up publishing it and many more.
After I wrote the first draft, I met a Christian author in my area that mentored new writers. She invited me to join her critique group where I was able to get help on making Illuminated better. I published it, and over time, more people have shown up wanting to help me make the story better. They offered their help just because they enjoyed the book so much.
God provided everything I needed, including inspiration to write a whole six-book series.
So, if you find yourself feeling led to do something that seems impossible, don’t push that nudging aside. Open your hands. See what God wants to lay in them. What tools, what opportunities, what people he might send to help you along the way.
When God is involved with us, we can expect to encounter unlimited possibilities each and every day.
Jackie Castle is an author, artist and dreamer. She lives in Texas with her husband, two grown children and her dog, Banjo. She looks for the extraordinary in the ordinary in everything she experiences.
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