“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”-Isaiah 30:21”
I am not afraid to admit that this is my virgin attempt at article writing. I do not start this to add an outlet for my creativity, nor to keep in touch with the family that support me from afar. I started it for my writing, to get it out there for someone to see, and to fulfill the promise I heard so long ago, as one of my favorite verses says, from behind me, saying this was the way I was to go. So when the voice of God says write a book, I say, “Here’s two hours a day. I’ll write it down if you provide the story.” Thus, Seed of the Fallen was born.
While it is not my first attempt at my desired occupation, it is the first that has merit. I feel, a blessing upon its contents. After three years in the making, writing in the dark corners of my non-existent spare time and dreaming it night upon night, I feel the manuscript is finally complete. I have submitted it extensively for nearly 2 years now, and feel success is just around the corner.
God has a funny way of making it all work out.
It was October of 2010 when I found myself suddenly without employment. I was laid off by an email message that not only said my job was determined to be ‘unnecessary’, but my insurance was no longer valid and I was directed to the nearest unemployment office. The news wasn’t a shock, it was numbing. I had two young children who were still in preschool, I had car payments, Christmas was coming and then another blow. My husband had a two day stint in the hospital for diverticulitis, which amounted in nearly $8,000 in bills. Not to mention the fact that he is the root of our family and I was scared to death because if the illness wasn’t caught in time, it could kill him.
My days I spent mostly busying myself cleaning my already immaculate house, fixing meals from our decreasing store of food in the freezer, and keeping up with school time for my two then five-year-old twin sons, who were ahead of their age in ability. I buried myself in what I thought was important.
But I soon found out that what I thought was important was minimal, and God was trying to talk to me.
It wasn’t only the chores and the pencil shavings that kept me from talking back to God, but the incessant job searching, applying, interviewing and being told I was over-qualified and would be underpaid if I accepted the position. The weeks passed by and eased only as I realized that by the end of the week, if I had completed two contacts, I would at least qualify for the checks from unemployment and make a few more ends meet for the following week. It wasn’t paycheck to paycheck anymore, but day to day, and it was the most excruciating time in my life thus far.
There were times where I felt called to open my Bible, to ask for help from the pastor next door, to attend just one church service to find the solace I knew existed in the presence of God. But deep inside I think I was bitter, I think I resented the fact that while I hated that job, I didn’t deserve to be jobless. Not now, not when I needed the money to support my family. I felt like a failure.
I had job hopped since rejoining the work force after the premature birth of my sons in 2005. Customer service mostly and social foster placement. My heart ached to be filled, and the void was increasing with each unemployment check I received. It felt like each of those checks had a huge rejection red “X” on it saying, “Nope, not good enough yet.”
And I wasn’t, not yet.
I slowly came to terms with my position as unemployed. I became more creative with my sons’ education, more savvy with my online prowess, and even my cooking improved. Still, my heart sank because my children missed their friends, and my husband, God bless him, he could not support us all with only one income.
I remember I had called my mother crying, I was so disappointed as another job opportunity, at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, had declined me as a further candidate. She called me her personal Job, and it snapped me back into reality.
I didn’t have it nearly as bad as Job had it in his life. Each night I still check my sons’ breathing before I go to bed. I can’t imagine losing my entire family. We have so many luxurious, superfluous things in our lives, Job had everything stripped away. And yet, he continued to praise God, he continued on his walk with Him, because that is what we Christians do. We are tried.
We don’t just become Christians and *poof* life is a box of white chocolates (in my case) and we don’t have to fear or hurt anymore. No. It’s daily trials, maybe even hourly trials to try to walk in the ways Jesus taught us. It’s not easy, it’s the hardest commitment we can make. But it’s the best one, and in the end the fruits of our labors are to be commended and well rewarded.
I was determined not to be a Job to anyone, and finally started to listen to the voice in the back of my head. I dedicated two hours a day, during my boys’ quiet time, to writing 2,000 words a day. You’d be surprised how incredibly easy it is to let God lead you, especially compared to when you’ve been trying to deny Him access to your heart. The words flowed like honey from that teddy bear bottle, the story trickled into an entirely different direction, and I loved the fact that something, for once, wasn’t hard anymore. I prayed that I was completing what He set before me to complete. That was all I could do, and all I wanted to do. To finish something, and not be the failure I had felt I had been for so long.
Nearly 2 years ago on January 11th, I completed the rough draft, nearly doubling what I had written previously, in only two weeks. It was now a novel length piece and I was at peace. And on January 14th, I was offered a fabulous job with an extremely successful business at their corporate home office. I work there still happy, content and challenged everyday, but in a good way.
So when people ask me if I’m going to give up on my book’s publication, I cannot deny I have entertained the idea. But, what kind of Christian would I be if I said “That’s it, I’m done,” when that agent could be calling me tomorrow. Perhaps someone will see this article and contact me to read it. It’s a wonderful thing, the power of prayer and a stronger relationship with God.
I am learning a patient faith.