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Several weeks ago, when everything seemed to be falling apart, I was sitting at my desk praying. And I felt strongly that I needed to read Psalm 119. I can’t say that kind of thing happens to me all the time. But it did this time.
Psalm 119, for those who may not be familiar with it, is very long.
I read but nothing “grabbed” me. I continued reading, feeling dutiful. Until verse 76 popped me between the eyes.
Psalm 119:76 – Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant. (ESV)
Now, if that verse didn’t give you chills, I can understand. It seems like a verse I would normally have read and just kept on going.
But when I read it on this particular afternoon, my mind immediately went to a verse I have quoted over and over since my writing life began.
Psalm 138:8 – The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. (ESV)
I sat at my desk stunned.
Nothing had changed. My circumstances remained chaotic. My plans lay in ruins. But my heart felt secure.
So, as the rest of the month disintegrated around me, I thought God had shown me that He had other plans. And I was okay with that.
But regardless of whether the manuscript was going to be submitted for the contest or not, the revision still had to be completed before I could do anything else. So I pressed on.
When I had the “opportunity” to spend the day in bed last Sunday (as in, the nurse said stay in bed all day), I wrote. All day.
And as of today, the re-write is done. By done, I mean, done for now. We all know nothing is ever truly done. But, the manuscript is finally in a place where I can submit it to the agents who requested it at Blue Ridge.
I sent my contest entry off an hour ago.
I’m under no delusions. I don’t think I’m going to win the contest. I don’t think I’ll even place. And that’s not put-on false hypocrisy. That’s a writer’s reality. I’ll probably need to write for quite a few more years, churn out several more books, attend quite a few more conferences and learn more than I ever imagined existed about the craft of writing, before I’ll finally produce a manuscript that is publishable.
But finishing in time to submit to Operation First Novel was important to me. And sometimes God, in his steadfast love, reminds us that He knows where we are. That He knows what is important to us. That He gives us our dreams. That He keeps His promises.
There is no logical explanation for the fact that I finished today, just a few hours before the deadline. If September had been “normal” I might have thought I had done this in my own power.
As it is, there is only one thing I can say.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Eph. 3:20-21 KJV)