Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Cease Striving by Shannon Redmon

Most of us have ambitions, dreams and goals to accomplish in this life and writers are no exceptions. The world tells us ‘if we work hard, then all of our dreams will come true’ and perhaps there is some reality to that statement.

After all, many people achieve the American dream through hard work.

But what if God told you to stop trying to obtain your dream, would you be obedient?

These are the words He placed in my heart and in front of my eyes over and over again, the week of the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s conference.

“Cease striving and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

By nature, I’m an ambitious girl. I go after what I want where my career is concerned. So, when biblical instruction included ‘cease striving’ or ‘be still and know that I am God’ I panicked. Cease striving meant no appointments, no meetings, and no pitches.

I can’t do nothing.

Yes, you can and know that I am God.

Obedience won out and I submitted my dreams, goals, and writing to the One who created those very ambitions. Over the week at the conference, God worked in my heart and challenged my faith in Him. He renewed a hope within me. He confirmed my calling to write through awards, unplanned sidewalk meetings with editors, and new writing opportunities. I came away with an increased trust in my heavenly Father like I’d never had before.

He will do the same for you, but before we run off and lounge by the pool instead of writing, let me share with you what this concept is not.

Cease striving is not:

An agreement to be lazy - God called us to write and we must continue to write every day. He gives us the stories to share, words that can impact lives and draw readers closer to him.

A license to be a hermit - God wants us to talk with others and be connected to writers. We share a bond like no other. One of the best things about being still with God was the people I had time to talk to and relationships he brought into my life. Those friendships are invaluable to me.

Giving up - When we give up, we quit. This is not about quitting. God wants us to write, but more than anything he wants us to know him, to know his love. This is a time where we let God work instead of trying to manipulate every detail of our writing lives. He wants to encourage our writing, give us hope, but sometimes we steal those moments away.

Cease striving is watching and waiting for God to move in our lives and giving Him the glory when He does amazing things above all we could ask or imagine.

Time to change up the old worldly adage and give all our dreams and writing goals to God. He wants more for us than we could ever imagine.

One of the best things about being still with God was the people I had time to talk to and relationships he brought into my life. Those friendships are invaluable to me. #SeriouslyWrite #amwriting @shannon_redmon @MaryAFelkins

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.
FB: https://www.facebook.com/shannon.redmon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/shannon_redmon
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shannonredmon/