Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Is God Telling Me to Stop Writing? By Emily Conrad

Introducing Emily Conrad, one of the rock star regular contributors to Aspiring Author Tuesdays for Seriously Write. She's got a unique voice, one that breaths encouragement and authenticity. She weaves spiritual truth into the common challenges writers face.

I know you'll be blessed by her posts each month.

Is God Telling Me to Stop Writing?

By Emily Conrad

Suddenly, my throat was tight, my eyes watery, and my resolve gone.

I’d gotten a glimpse of how long the road is to my writing dreams, and discouragement over writing pounced. I was tempted to quit.

The day prior, I’d asked God what He wanted for my writing. I jotted down things I can do to further my writing career. It was a short list that amounted to little more than: I can try.

I followed up with a list of things only God can do:

*Only God can supply the words.

*Only God can open the right doors.

*Only God can see the future to direct me in the present.

*Only God can give me the strength to do all things.

All of this (and more) means He’s the boss of this writing endeavor.

And as the boss, only God can fire me.

If you’re a Christian, He’s your boss, too.

This mindset isn’t unique to me. You’ve probably heard it before, as have I.
It’s encouraging right up until discouragement hits hard, and we’re left wondering if this latest discouragement is God’s way of telling us to move on. 

How do we know?
We go back to His Word and learn about who our Boss is and how He operates—and we’d do well to notice, too, who our enemy is and how he operates.

1 Thessalonians provides a nice glimpse of both our Boss and our enemy:

Satan hinders (2:16)
Satan tempts (3:5)
God loves (1:4)
God chooses (1:4)
God approves (2:4)
God empowers (1:5, 2:2)
God tests (2:4)
God calls (2:12)
God avenges (2:16, 4:6)
God sanctifies (3:13, 5:23)
God is faithful (5:24)

Notice Satan’s list is far, far shorter than God’s, and it lacks the power of the verbs associated with our Boss. Looking at these two lists, I identified that the voice of discouragement and condemnation wasn’t my Boss asking for my resignation.

So, instead of quitting, I pictured myself sitting in my Boss’s office, talking through my problem and asking Him what to do.
When I faced setbacks while working in an office, I did that with my human bosses. Funny, my bosses never once said, “Well, I guess you should resign.”

(Okay, actually, when I was a teenager, a trainer did say something like that to me, but that’s a different story  https://emilyconradauthor.blogspot.com/2016/08/stick-with-it.html)

Generally speaking, good bosses don’t do that. Good bosses have hired their employees for a specific purpose that they know those employees are qualified to carry out. Good bosses set their teams up for success. When employees hit a roadblock, a good boss is going to do everything in their power to help their team overcome.

God is not only a good boss, He’s the best.

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. And God will exalt you in due time, if you humble yourselves under his mighty hand by casting all your cares on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:5-7 (NET)

When you work with Him, He’ll promote you at the right time, in the right way. In the meantime, don’t let discouragement or anything else dismiss you from the job He’s given you.

Emily Conrad writes Christian romance and a blog to encourage women of faith. Her debut novel, Justice, released from Pelican Book Group in 2018. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two rescue dogs. She loves Jesus and enjoys road trips to the mountains, crafting stories, and drinking coffee. (It's no coincidence Justice is set mostly in a coffee shop!) She offers free short stories on her website and loves to connect with readers on social media. 
Connect with Emily:

Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she's pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it. Brooklyn can’t bring herself to name the father as she wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake. If Harold Keen, the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake's coffee shop, has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both. Can Jake and Brooklyn overcome the obstacles thrown in their path, and finally find the truth in God's love and in each other?

27 comments:

  1. Love this post, Emily! Thank you for this timely encouragement!!

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  2. Very encouraging post, Emily - - thank you! You've posted some excellent Scripture references too - very helpful.

    1 Peter 5:7 is my ALL-TIME favorite verse (I even have a print of that verse hanging in my hallway---love it!).

    Blessings as you write for Him, Patti Jo

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    2. I love having Scripture around as art. The reminders of God's truths are so helpful! Thanks for reading. I'm glad you were encouraged!

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  3. Fantastic post, Emily, and welcome to Seriously Write! So glad to have you. Thanks for sharing your encouraging and oh-so-relatable story with us!

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    1. Thank you, Annette! I'm so excited for the opportunity to join the contributor team! I'm glad the post was encouraging.

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  4. Wow! I so needed to hear this right now! I hadn't thought of looking into the distinction of how God communicates what He wants us to do versus how Satan tries to stop us. You've given me a lot of food for thought from Scripture, clarity for discernment, and loads of encouragement! Thank you!

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    1. I'm so glad the post was helpful! 1 Thes. has a lot more to say about who God is, if you're in the mood to dig and expand the list :)

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  5. Great perspective. Haven’t we all thought we should quit. I have. But then God comes along and says not now.

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    1. I do think considering quitting is pretty universal among writers--and those with other dreams, too. How good that God intervenes!

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  6. "When you work with Him, He’ll promote you at the right time, in the right way." Thanks for those encouraging words, Emily!

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    1. You're welcome, Dawn! I'm happy to share what God is doing in my life!

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  7. Great post, Emily! I love the list you made of what both God and the enemy do.

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    1. Thanks, Katie! It had to be God prompting me to do that, because I don't think I've done it before.

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  8. What a fabulous reminder to keep on keeping on. I’m copying your list of what God tells us and posting it in my office.

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    1. So glad the post resonated with you, Janyre! That list was pretty eye-opening for me, too.

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  9. Welcome to Seriously Write, Emily! Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

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    1. Thanks, Terri! I'm so glad to be contributing here!

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  10. Wonderful post! Thank you. God did ask me to quit my writing, but it was for a specific season -- when I had babies/toddlers. He knows where we need to focus and when, and he knew at that stage, with my personality, writing would consume me too much. But unlike the work of the enemy, perfect peace accompanied this temporary lay-off. He was gracious to completely take away the desire to write for that time ... and to revive it a few years later.

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    1. What a wonderful testimony, Denise! I'm so glad you shared that. Yes, it is possible that He would assign us elsewhere, but I love how you were carried by His peace in that time. His grace is sufficient!

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  11. I love how you always put things in prospective, Emily! And it's always a blessing when you share your writer-journey. Thank you!

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    1. And you're such a blessing to me, Robyn! Thanks for reading!

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  12. Oh I LOVE this Emily! Especially the part of picturing yourself sitting with God and asking His advice. We (translated I) need to do that more often.
    Thanks for sharing
    Good luck and God's blessings
    PamT

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    1. Thanks, Pam! I think you can say "we" in that case--most of us could use more time in God's office. I think I'll spend some time there right now myself :)

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  13. Thank you for this reminder, Emily! This is exactly the encouragement and reminder I needed. I love your perspective. What a blessing!

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that! I love when God brings just the right post to just the right person! Thanks for reading!

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