The book has been living in my heart and head for at least a year. The collection of short stories includes travel experiences, dancing adventures (both sacred and secular), lessons from grandchildren, healing from painful places that have been with me for years, elf tales (don’t get me started) and unexpected ministry opportunities like my blessed journey as a radio host at KUHS in Denver. So why have I not written it? Every part of my being is screaming, “It’s time to set sail.”
What is keeping me tied to the dock? Good question my friends. Good question.
There are a lot of reasons I suppose. I am so busy. I don’t think I can write another book. My first one, “Dolores, Like the River,” did very well, has ministered to hundreds of people, and has taken Keith and me all over to meet people and hear their stories of recovery, hope and new life in Christ. Will another book do the same? I doubt it. Besides, I am so busy. I have other ministries to attend to. I am so busy and oh man, I am just so busy. Picking up the pattern?
The simple answer here is that I have been busy alright. I have been busy saying “No” to God. The Bible is full of stories of people who said “No” to God. Does not really work out well does it?
But in reality the truth is this: I, little Miss fearless, more guts than brains, insatiably curious, can do anything – am afraid. Yes, I publicly confess. I am afraid. There it is and there you have it.
I discovered this just about two weeks ago. Eureka, now I had my answer. So I began to analyze what the fear was all about. That would buy me another month or so of prime procrastination time, I figured.
In our morning time together, I put this before Him and in my wisest posture I set about to discuss the problem with the Wise One. Ah, but God was having none of that. He very clearly told me I am not to spend another minute trying to dissect my fear. I am to acknowledge it, hand it over to Him and let go (actually it was more like, “Let’s go”).
He told me this is not my work – it is His. Then He reminded me that the gifts I have been given are that – gifts. He will use them to His glory. He pointed out that I am busy because I choose to be, thus avoiding this assignment. He gently reminded me of people like Father Abraham, Peter the Apostle and our good friend Jonah who all looked at God and asked, “Ah, can I get back to you on that?”
Eventually through Scripture reading and devotional conversations in my time with the Lord, the light did break through. And I realized that even though I am not like the famous ones in the Bible, their reasoning was very similar to mine. Like them I was suffering lack of faith and was spending way too much time hanging out with the trip-up twins – doubt and fear. I also know I lace a lot of arrogance in the fabric of this truth because what if I fail? That will sure look bad for me.
God says this is His work. He is responsible for the outcome. He will put the words, structure and all the mechanical pieces into place. He will complete this work. I am to show up and use the gifts and resources He has given me. That’s it. That’s all. God does not fail.
Still not knowing if this was my idea or His, I decided to test the waters. I sat down with my husband, explained my idea, and then shyly asked if it would be okay if I did the book writing thing again. Please remember folks, this really takes a team effort to do something like this and the family absorbs sacrifices on many levels. His answer? “Thought you would never ask. How can I be of help?”
I ran the idea by several of my trusted author friends and asked for honest input. One of my friends put it in the best words so far, “Wow, that is really cool.” I love that response, don’t you? He said it with such enthusiasm, it made me smile all over.
I called an editor, met for a meal and laid the project out along with a potential timeline. She said, “Yes, and yes.”
I approached four beta readers, asked if they would read the work after the editor has finished and give feedback. Not one refused. In fact they were all tickled to be part of this process. One had been asking for months when I was going to write another book and did I have something he could start reading.
Finally I went to the publisher who produced “Dolores,” and shared my idea. They were thrilled to work with me again and the woman I talked to said it was an original and valuable idea to help others.
Okay, okay I get it. I get it. It seems to me, especially while in devotional time with our Lord, that no one felt “No” was an option. The team is in place, ready and set to go. That team is headed up by my number one fan, Jesus the Lord. So, here is another question for you. If yes is the answer from all voices, how did I even consider “No” would be in the mix of options. There is not time to figure that out now. I must be about getting on the ship with the rest of the crew. Anchors are up and we are off.
Because this project will take so much time, I may not be blogging very often. I am so appreciative of my faithful blog readers and I ask for your prayers as we move in this new direction. And please, please, please keep in touch.
So here we go with many things ahead, new seas to navigate and lots of hard work. We’re not really sure what is before us. But we definitely know that the word “No” is behind us and back in port.
Copyright August 2016
Laura L. Padgett
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