It never fails.
Every time I think I’ve begun to figure out this crazy adventure called life, it takes an unexpected turn, and suddenly I realize that I really don’t know much of anything yet.
Every time I start to feel comfortable with the things I’ve done, the place I’m at, and the direction my life seems to be going in, it suddenly changes.
And every time, it’s when I’m starting to rely more on my own knowledge and experience that God reminds me how inadequate they are – and brings me back to Him.
Have you experienced this? Have you ever felt like you were finally settling into a comfortable routine – only to stumble across a fork in the road? Have you ever made plans and had them blown apart and scattered without warning?
If I had to guess, I’d say we’ve all experienced this at some point. We’ve all had plans go astray and things happen in our lives that we didn’t necessarily want or ask for.
As regular readers of my blog have noticed, this is exactly what happened to me over the past month. Thank you to everyone who reached out to me with messages of concern, encouragement, and then understanding when I explained that the plans I’d made for September and October were apparently not what God had intended for me.
Not that they were necessarily bad plans, just not the ones God made. And that’s okay. I’ve learned many times over that God’s plans are far superior, and lead to blessings I could never have dreamt of. Even if they’re uncomfortable, they’re always worth it.
But for those wondering where I’ve been and what’s going on with Cabin Girl’s publication process (of which I promised I’d send out a timeline for by the end of September…), I apologize for my sudden disappearance.
Originally, I’d planned for the first two weeks of September to be my heavy blogging time. I’d plan and write a bunch of posts and schedule through October to let me focus on Cabin Girl afterward. And that went well! I actually planned a blogging schedule through the end of 2021 and prepped enough posts to get me through September.
The last two weeks of September were then going to be my fiction writing time. My time to go through Cabin Girl and figure out exactly what needed to be done before publication, write out a detailed timeline, and send it out to my street team so that October could be my heaviest fiction writing month yet this year.
And that’s where it all fell apart, haha. Due to family emergencies, sickness, and full-time work hours, any extra time I had at home was spent helping out with family or trying to get enough rest from busy days and not feeling well. In terms of writing and blogging, I think I managed to keep up with the bare minimum and continue lesson planning for the writing class I teach on Fridays, but that’s just about it. (Case in point, I’d originally planned to release this post Sunday).
And once again, I’ve had to remind myself that God knows best.
We all know what it’s like to have our plans disrupted – probably especially in the past couple years. And I believe we all understand how it feels to suddenly be thrust outside our comfort zones. I’ve always struggled with sudden change, especially when it puts me behind where I think I should be. And that’s where I’ve learned I have two choices.
I can either sulk and stress and try my very hardest to cling to the plans I made – or I can lay those plans down at Jesus’ feet, listen to Him and trust that His plans are truly best. Even if I don’t see what they’re leading to. Even if they hurt or make me uncomfortable. Even if they take me into places I never expected or didn’t necessarily even want to go.
Thankfully the disruptions this past month were tiny compared to what they could have been. My family is still safe and together and comparatively healthy (is anyone ever completely healthy during the cold months?). Not being able to blog or write fiction is an extremely small sacrifice in the big picture. And one month is just that – one month.
And so I’m choosing to be thankful for the good things that came out of the disruption. The extra time with family. The extra work hours. The people I’ve gotten to know better and the new experiences. And now I’ve had such a long break from any kind of writing that I’m just itching to jump back into it – right in time to prepare for NaNoWriMo!
God – of course – knows best.
So with that said, if you’ve been waiting on a response from me – whether about Cabin Girl, guest blogging, my street team, beta reading, or anything else – please accept my apology for the delay, and know that I’m striving to catch up on those things again.
While I can’t say exactly what the rest of October holds for me, it does seem to be winding down from the recent craziness, and I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to work out a more regular way to write again in the midst of the new schedule.
Something God’s had me relearn often is that He doesn’t promise or even necessarily encourage comfort in this life. But He does offer us opportunities to grow. And those opportunities – uncomfortable but necessary for growth – often pop up right when we least expect or even least want them. If we embrace those opportunities, we’ll always come out the other side better equipped for the plans and work He has for us.
While I’ll continue to work on my goals, I’m also continuing to watch for the learning, growing opportunities that God offers. And I look forward to the plans God has in store!
Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
(Proverbs 19:21 NIV)