Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Weight of a Dream by Emily Conrad

During my senior year of high school, a couple of our varsity basketball stars stood in my art class with their arms twisted at odd angles as they struggled to keep their hands aloft.
In theory, the challenge they’d accepted was simple. Clasp a spool of wire in your right hand. Extend that hand straight out from your shoulder. Hold it there for three to five minutes. If memory serves correctly, the wire weighed 2-3 pounds.
The boys thought it would be easy, but they soon learned the heavier the weight and the longer the wait, the more difficult holding it away from the body becomes.
Surrender to defeat becomes a tantalizing out.
Compared with a spool of wire, the dreams of writers are heavy material. And the years of waiting and working most writers face dwarf that silly challenge of enduring for a few minutes.
I would know. Back as that challenge happened in high school, I was already writing. I may have even been querying agents already. If not then, I started shortly after.
At first, the waiting was more about possibilities and potential success. Each query and new manuscript was exciting. I may as well have been one of those boys with their arm extended, thinking the weight wasn’t so heavy and the wait wasn’t so long.
Oh, but it was.
I was seventeen then. My first novel was published at thirty-five, and I’m still carrying dreams.
Through the struggle, I’ve learned the secret to surviving the wait is to hold the weight close to the body—to the body of Christ.
Jesus calls us to writing, and He’s our key to flourishing in any way. He is the vine, we are the branches. We must hold our dreams close to Him, allowing Him to do with them as He chooses.
But we don’t have to do this alone. Imagine if those basketball players had made a team sport of keeping that spool of wire aloft. With enough teamwork, they could still be holding that weight aloft.
Here’s how one Biblical team handled just such a challenge:
Whenever Moses would raise his hands, then Israel prevailed, but whenever he would rest his hands, then Amalek prevailed. When the hands of Moses became heavy, they took a stone and put it under him, and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side and one on the other, and so his hands were steady until the sun went down. (Exodus 17:11-12, NET)
God was with Israel in that battle, but Moses was still called to hold his hands aloft. Similarly, when God calls us to writing, He’s with us each moment, but we’re still called to a persistence that proves difficult—impossible, even—if we try to do it alone.
As writers, we need critique partners who help us improve, pointing out what we can’t see for ourselves. We also need friends and family to lift us up with encouragement and prayer.
Through prayer, study, and fellowship, many hands carry the burden. With all of this support, we can persevere, ready to carry the weight however long the wait stretches, steady until the sun goes down.
When God calls us to writing, He’s with us each moment, but we’re still called to a persistence that proves impossible if we try to do it alone. via @emilyrconrad #writingcommunity
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. 
Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/justice-emily-conrad/1127841580

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