Proverbs 29:18 says, "Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law."
The Message says it this way, "If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.
God has a plan for your life. You may think you know exactly what that plan looks like, or you may be overwhelmed by what feels like a lack of clarity. But chances are that if you're reading this, you are called to be a writer. You may have doubts or feel discouraged, but those things don't take away your calling.
I think all of us, at one time or another, doubt our calling. Especially whenever circumstances seem to confirm our worst fears... we've been waisting our time. We began to listen to the voices that say no one will ever read these stories, that our efforts don't matter, that we'll never change the world. That we've spent too much time away from our families, too much money on books and conferences that aren't going to make a difference anyway because we'll never be published. We don't final in a contest, and suddenly we take the criticism a little too close to heart, believing we are worthless as writers.
But think of your favorite author. What if she had believed she was worthless as a writer? Maybe she did believe that at one time. Maybe she had more rejections than you have and faced even more criticism. Did you know Robin Jones Gunn was turned down by 10 publishers before she finally found someone who wanted to publish the Christy Miller Series, which has now been in print for twenty-four years. Twenty-four years!
Take a look at what she wrote about this on her blog: "It took me two years to write that first Christy Miller story - a mere 160 pages. I wrote and rewrote the book many times over as I learned from the girls in our church youth group what they liked and didn't like in the story. During that time I sent the opening chapters to a total of ten publishers and all ten turned it down. Many of them said they didn't see a market for teens." You can read the rest of that story here: http://www.robingunn.com/christy-millers-birthday-talk-production/
Did you catch that? Many of the publishers said they didn't see a market for teens. But thank God, Robin saw something they didn't. She caught the vision God put on her heart, and she held on. And that vision continues, even today, to touch the hearts of readers and change lives. In fact, that series is one of the reasons I am even writing this blog. Christy Miller's story is what drew me to Christian fiction as a teenage girl, and I don't know if I would've discovered the genre and opportunities ahead of me if it hadn't been for Robin.
Let's talk about three different aspects that affect our vision in our calling.
So often, things start off well and we have forward motion, with a clear goal and vision in mind. But over time, other things enter into our perspective. And little by little, these things cloud our vision. Just like actual vision can grow clouded over time, we lose sight of what is ahead of us, and often this process is so gradual that we don't even see it happening. Before we know it, we've allowed doubts, insecurities, and criticism, as well as concerns regarding things like time and finances and relationships, to cloud the clear dreams God has set out before us. What has come into your life that has blurred your sight of your goals? How can you cast those things off, cleaning off the lenses of your life like a pair of glasses?
Sometimes our vision is more than just clouded. Sometimes we feel as if we can't see at all. But the thing is, our vision is still there. It's just behind the barrier of our closed eyes.
When big things happen to detract and pull us from our goals, it can be very easy to just shut down. Have you ever been rejected by an agent or publisher you really thought would be a good fit? After things like this happen, we all feel like giving up. The problem here is, the vision is still before us. We're just choosing to look the other way. And so long as you are turning your head away from your vision, you will never be satisfied in life. It's time we realize God has not made a mistake in calling us to the writing life. He has put this joy, these dreams, these stories in our hearts, and part of our job is to hold on. We will never see His plans, nor see them realized, if we don't first open our eyes.
Only when we recognize the things that are hindering us will we be able to cast these things off and live in freedom, seeing clearly the vision He has cast for our lives. But until we get our perspective correct, until all we see is Christ, we will never know true freedom. And the incredible thing is, this is the place where we find the most beautiful stories of all: stories of redemption, of love, of hope, of peace, of dreams.
Have you ever felt like your sight has become blurred? How can we move past these hindrances to see our goals clearly and "catch our vision" again?
Ashley Clark writes romantic comedy with southern grace. She's dreamed of being a writer ever since the thumbprint-cookie-days of library story hour. Ashley has an M.A. in English and enjoys teaching literature courses at her local university. She's an active member of ACFW and runs their newcomer's loop. When she's not writing, Ashley's usually busy rescuing stray animals and finding charming new towns. You can find Ashley on her personal blog, Facebook,Pinterest, and Twitter. She is represented by Karen Solem.