“They’re still working on that?” My older son said as we passed the busy construction site on our drive home.
“It takes a few months to build a big grocery store.” Every week day we noted the popular chain store’s slow progress. The building’s skeleton was up, gray and brown and yellow. Portions of the parking lot were paved, but dirt and debris still piled among the construction vehicles.
“Maybe we should wait by the front doors.” My younger son pressed his forehead against the window.
I bit back a smile. “You’d get really hungry. It’ll probably be another month or two before they open.”
I explained that if we went away on vacation for a week, we’d be surprised how quickly the store had progressed when we got back. As it was, we saw it every day, twice a day even, so the building process seemed so S-L-O-W.
The conversation was familiar now–the boys commenting on the store’s terribly slow-to-them progress–and me reminding them that things take time.
Time to build. Time to grow. Time to learn.
And each time we talked about it, the Holy Spirit pressed that truth on my heart, too.
Building something worthwhile and meaningful takes time. Patience. Frustration, even. It’s a brick by brick by brick operation, whether it’s a marriage, a friendship, a career, a building, a family, or a publishing career.
Looking back at my writing path over the past six years, *now* I’m thankful for each frustratingly slow brick. For each word I’ve written then deleted, because that meant it wasn’t the right word. For each disappointing contest score, because that meant feedback that has valuably and positively shaped the way I write.
Mostly I’m thankful that God didn’t give up on me when I’d almost given up. And that He always directs my eyes back to Him, because He’s the reason I write and the Creator of any talent I possess.
How silly it would’ve been for us to park in front of the half-built grocery store, waiting for food that wasn’t yet in the store. So too would it have been pointless to expect to be published when God knew I wasn’t ready. My stories weren’t ready.
Christian writers, publication isn’t the journey. Christ is the journey. Publication is an amazingly cool added bonus that I look forward to one day (soon). 🙂
“..that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.” (Colossians 1:10-12)
So, there’s a birthday tomorrow. Ugh. It might be mine and it might be a new decade and I might hide my head under the pillow all day in denial.
When you’re a kid, which I still think I am in the deep part of my brain, 40 seemed so A-N-C-I-E-N-T. I mean, they didn’t even sell birthday cake candles in packs above 25. Did they?
But as I prayed about and wrote this blog post, I realized something that eased my heart. I realized that each moment, hour, week, and month–each of the past 40 years (GULP)–God has directed, protected, forgiven, blessed, and guided me. And I wouldn’t trade a moment of it.*
(*Unless I could be 34 again. Ah, 34. Now that was a good age.)
No really, I wouldn’t trade those moments. They’re mine and they’re precious and they’re highly imperfect and God’s grace is all over each of them.
So, here’s to 40. Here’s to trusting God’s plan and His timing are best. I hope and pray you can, too.
Now, where’s the cake!?