Thank you Patti for being my guest for these 31 Days of living by Faith and for showing us faith in waiting.
What Are You Waiting For?
…for an acceptance letter.
…for that phone call.
…for critiquers to finish proofing so you can send out the next great American novel.
…for the doctor’s report.
…for her to take her last breath.
…for your child to come to Christ.
Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
As a writer, I’m constantly waiting on something. This week, it’s a response from publishers. Next week, it’ll be my agent’s okay on a new proposal. Too often, I waste energy on what I don’t have and ignore percolating ideas because it’s just too hard to keep going with so many of my favorite nouns and verbs scattered about cyberspace, just waiting for someone to pick them up. How can I work when I need to support that tag-along friend named Waiting?
My dilemma’s no different than anyone else’s, as the examples above surely showed you. In this world, we will all wait for something. It’s the attitude with which we face the waiting process and the reaction thereto that will make all the difference in that climax and dénouement to our story. Speaking of stories, wanna read a sad one?
She couldn’t wait to…go to first grade, ride the bus, never again ride the bus, get braces, get the ugly wires out of her mouth, be a teenager, have a boyfriend, get engaged, get married, get pregnant, get skinny again, get the brats out of the house, get the kids married, get the kids back…get it…all over with.
You’ve heard enough about waiting and vow to stomp her into your rug with the rest of your ground-in dirt OR never go there. So what do you do next? How can you rewrite a scene you’ve been living for way too long?
In the Bible, God addresses our dilemma by painting a vivid scene and teaching a great truth:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1).”
Only with the Holy Spirit’s help can I persevere through hindrances (a slow or non-responding publisher, a delinquent endorser) and run with perseverance the life God has ordained for me. As a novelist sailing in the uncharted waters of 2012 publishing, I can choose to be shipwrecked by the waiting process, or I can hoist up the sails and write that devotional, send that encouraging e-mail, post a blog that I hope God will use to inspire others, or start that novel’s next chapter, though no one but God and my loyal crit partners may ever read it.
Are you a “can’t wait until I get to the next step” person or a “take it in stride and enjoy every moment” person? Does your “waiting” tolerance fall somewhere in between?
Does the Nike slogan, “Just Do It,” irritate you or get you off the couch more times than you would like to publicly admit?
What are you waiting on now?
At the age of fifty, Patti traded in her grade books for a writer’s pen after the Still, Small Voice encouraged her to novelize the story of her best friend. Patti’s first three novels, An Irishwoman’s Tale, What the Bayou Saw, and The Rhythm of Secrets, explore the secrets women keep and why they keep them.
Patti’s fourth book, Reclaiming Lily, a Bethany House title, transports readers to the steps of a Chinese orphanage, where two cultures and two women collide. Claiming writers as diverse as Francine Rivers and Jodi Piccoult as influences for this novel, Patti weaves a story of grace and God’s mercy with an insidious hereditary disease and a rebellious teenager. Reclaiming Lily transports the reader from Fort Worth to China to Boston in a quest journey of faith, of love…of Joy.
Currently Patti’s juggling three projects: a friend’s memoir, an 1860s historical romance, and a series set in Patti’s home town, Normal, Illinois. Patti soothes her itch to teach by leading seminars, facilitating writing classes, and speaking at women’s events. Patti and her husband, Alan, a college professor, have two grown children and a dog named Laura