Friday, July 12, 2013

God Said No by Vanessa Riley

Vanessa Riley

With beautiful prose, author Vanessa Riley shares words of encouragement with us today. Be blessed. 
~ Dawn

God Said No

I sit at my low window and draw the curtains open. Every handkerchief is tear-stained, and I seek a breeze to dry my face.

But the air is calm and still.

Alas, God has said no again.

The day is bright. The branches of the mighty oak framing my view revels in the shine and casts shadows upon my wrung hands. I should be outside with my oils and canvas, capturing the lilies on the pond, the thick greenery of the lawn. Yet, my artist’s soul is dour. My paints would be onyx or charcoal. I possess no light today.

With a dry spot on my wrist, I scrub my wet cheek. On my lap weighs the heavy letters of Your promises. I’ve no strength to open my Bible, or dump it from my skirts. I’m frozen in regret. What if I said…. What if….

Can any of Your words soothe my restlessness? I know You have plans for me, but what of mine?

Did You not know how much I craved the affection? It wasn’t a trifle to me.

Did You not care how I set my heart upon this dream?

Why let my mind to think, my soul to wish, if I am to be crushed when nothing comes to fruition?

Out on the lawn, a furry squirrel chases a rolling stone, no an acorn. As he seizes on the nut, it squeezes out of his paws and scatters to the pond’s edge. Undaunted, the animal makes a dash only to witness his prize tumble away. The acorn doesn’t float. It sinks, rippling the stagnant waters.

I am one with the varmint.

I turn away from the window. With a deep breath, I declare myself to be reasonable. I should chase a different nut and accept my lot, for You know what’s best.

But I am not so easily consoled. I wish to join the squirrel and reclaim the vision gone away, even in the murky depths.

My mind resounds with bitter memories, those times I forced my desires. Yet, in the wake of those disappointments, I still want my way now. I’ll admit to a poor track, missteps, but Abba, isn’t today different?

Oh, let me be Gideon. My fleece, my face, is still sodden with misery. Therefore, allow me to question Your hand.

Did my pleading for this cause, fall away like Abraham’s for Sodom? Was my dream truly so bad?

Can you not hear Habakkuk’s anguish in my voice? Have You forsaken me?

Is it so, Abba? Is it so?

The glazed glass rattles. A soft rush of air billows the gauzy muslin dressing the casement. Constant and steady this wind, this balm of Gilead, covers me. Hints of fragrant lilies and peppery heather fill my lungs, clearing my sniffles. I feel an embrace in my spirit. Thank You for not leaving me. I welcome this no.

Scratching noises.

A few feet away, my friend, the squirrel, has scampered up the oak and dances on a thick limb. His cheeks are pregnant, bulging twice the size of before. He's gathered other acorns. My brethren’s sorrow seems short-lived.

Chuckles gather in my throat. A glimmer of my joy has returned. Could it be Sarah’s laugh at impossibility? Yet, it is true. Abba, will You spin all my ashes to gold? I close my eyes and let the breeze stroke my countenance, tickle the beading of my collar.

Abba, my Father, my Provider, renew my heart to Your plans, Your ways. Amen.


I hope this helps when God says, “No.” Never doubt His plans for your life.

Jeremiah 29:11(KJV) For I know the thoughts (plans) that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.


Alas, God has said no again. Click to tweet.

I know You have plans for me, but what of mine? Click to tweet.

Abba, my Father, my Provider, renew my heart to Your plans, Your ways. Amen. Click to tweet.

Madeline's Protector

If all young men leapt off a cliff, Madeline St. James wouldn’t care. Yet a chance meeting and a bullet wound change everything. She must trust that the Good Shepherd has led her to marry a dashing stranger, Lord Devonshire. Can they forge a true bond before the next disaster strikes?


Even as she pursued engineering degrees, Vanessa Riley's love of 19th century history yielded a hunger to take as many Western Civilization credits as possible (two classes shy of a minor). Vanessa adores Regency times with its conflicts between Church and State, the clash of the classes, and the sweeping romances. Her mission is to have the world fall in love with powerful Regency heroes and heroines who battle for peace with a flintlock and a prayer. Vanessa writes from the comfort of her southern porch with a cup of Earl Grey or Cinnamon Spice.

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  1. This is not only poetic but brilliant and heart-touching, Vanessa. I went through this exact same thing earlier this year. Writing seemed so pointless. Suddenly the peace and creativity came upon me again. It was God and so subtle. I guess I expected a thunderbolt. My editor and I are now brainstorming a new book, I'm off to RWA in Atlanta to scope out YA workshops, and all is well. (BTW, thanks, Dora, for everything! I appreciate you more than I can possibly say.) Love to everybody out there, and God's peace, too.

    1. Thank you Tanya. It is a good thing to find peace in your writing and to know you are doing His will. I'm going to be at RWA too. I hope we bump into each other.

    2. Tanya, I can't believe I almost missed your comment! I'm soooo glad you're back in your writing groove. Love you back, sweet friend!! xxoo

      I debated going to RWA, but decided against it because we have so many trips planned in the next couple months. Wish I could have met and hugged you both!

  2. This is so lovely, Vanessa. I stopped by this morning and read this post, but I didn't have time to comment and decided to come back by and savor them once more. Just beautiful! Thank you for sharing your heart.

  3. We were talking about this very thing in a bible study this morning, and came up with the analogy of taking a cat to the vet. No amount of explaining will make the cat understand that what is happening is A) for its own betterment, and B) not catastrophic. Sometimes I think that's the way God is with us. That's when we need to throw ourselves at the foot of the cross and trust Him.

    Of course, you said it in a much more eloquent way, Vanessa! I hope to meet you in Atlanta next week. :-)


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