Tuesday, February 19, 2019

When The Doubts Come...

By Shannon Redmon

We stare at the blank page. Nothing creative comes to mind. Our fingers don’t move…and if they do, our sentences somehow sound like words from a primary reader off the grade school library shelf. 
Then the doubts come. 
Along with the lie the enemy uses to invade our thoughts, he discourages our ideas and binds us in a prison of emptiness. In this time of insecurity, we may pout a bit, stomp our feet, and even question God’s calling on our lives to write. 
Just like Thomas. The Bible says he doubted. 
All his buddies were in the room when Jesus showed up, in His beautiful resurrected form. But Thomas was not there. Maybe he was at his house with his family, working a job or lying in bed with the covers pulled over his head.  
Either way, he missed out on the glorious moment. An event his friends experienced without him. Can you imagine how he must have felt when he dawdled into their meeting place and everyone was so excited, talking over each other to tell him the good news?
He probably couldn’t fathom all the commotion, confusion and elation. Not to mention his regret of not being there. 
A whirlwind of emotion would’ve bombarded him, but did he ever wonder…why didn’t Jesus show up when he was there?  
Talk about doubt. 

Jesus, who knows all men’s hearts, chose a time when Thomas wasn’t with the group, to present Himself and breathe the Holy Spirit into their lives. But Thomas didn’t receive such a gift. Not yet anyway. Instead, he refused to believe until he could see and touch Jesus. 
Thomas doubted. 
“Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” 
John 20:25 (NASB)
Did Thomas fold his arms across his chest or stomp his foot when he said those words? Was he ready to quit being a disciple or forsake the very calling Jesus placed in his heart?
We’ve all had those days. Our writer pals meet and exceed their goals, excited to tell us all about their achievements. God works amazing victories in their lives. While our hearts sing for them, we wonder if God overlooked our efforts. Showed up for our friends and neglected to remember us. 
Do we say, unless I see…? 
♦︎A publishing contract.
♦︎An agent.
♦︎An award.
♦︎Or fill in the blank with whatever amazing moment that’s passed us by and say

 I will not believe God called me to be a writer.

But God does not give up on His children, modern day or past. 
If Thomas needed the presence of Jesus, then Jesus he would see.
A week later, Christ showed up and Thomas was there. The Messiah instructed His disciple to touch His nail scarred hands and place his hands into His pierced side. Then He gives Thomas a command. 
“Stop doubting and believe.” John 20:27a 
Jesus directs us to do the same. When the blank page hits and the words will not come, Jesus patiently waits for us to seek Him not just the story He gives.  
Try these things when the writing doubts appear:
1.    Make sure to open every day, every writing session in prayer. Spend time with God, not just to be a better writer, but to be His daughter, His son, His child. To know Him. To understand the height, width, depth and breadth of His love for you. 

2.   Believe He is present. In fact, He’s always with you. He never leaves. 

3.   Know He’s a big God and He can provide everything needed for your story, newsletter, blog post, social media marketing effort and even our pouty requests.

4.   Write the doubt away. Even if the beginning words seem elementary, get them on the blank page. A story is never written unless we start somewhere.

Our God, creator of all heaven and earth, will supply His words, His creativity, His story to flow through you. After all, He knows the hearts of those who will read your novel and how best to draw them close.  
So, stop pouting and write! 


Shannon Redmon remembers the first grown up book she checked out from the neighborhood book mobile. A Victoria Holt novel with romance, intrigue, dashing gentlemen and ballroom parties captivated her attention. For her mother, the silence must have been a pleasant break from non-stop teenage chatter, but for Shannon, those stories whipped up a desire and passion for writing. 

There's nothing better than the power of a captivating novel, a moving song or zeal for a performance that punches souls with awe. A rainbow displayed after a horrific storm or expansive views on a mountaintop bring nuggets of joy into our lives. Shannon hopes stories immerse readers into that same kind of amazement, encouraging faith, hope and love, guiding our hearts to the One who created us all.   

Shannon Redmon’s writing has been published in Spark magazine, Splickety magazine, the Lightning Blog, The Horse of My Dreams compilation book, Romantic Moments compilation book, Seriously Write blog and Jordyn Redwood’s Medical Edge blog. Her current fiction novel was selected as a top three finalist of the 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest and she is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.  

Connect with Shannon:  
The StoryMoore Blog, named in memory of her father, Donald Eugene Moore.