Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Put on Your Combat Boots: Fighting the Lies We Listen to in Our Writing Lives

I recently started a new story. I’ve been loving the plotting with My Book Buddy, the new characters became “friends” before I even began the writing stage. Even though I was editing a different story, this is the one that has been in my thoughts for months now. So it was time to start it, past time really.  

Then came those distractions: a massive sinus infection, a gum infection, a root canal. Schoolwork, housework, writing…I fell behind in all these areas.

When does discouragement hit the hardest? Oftentimes right after (or right before) we head through the starting gate AND right before we break the ribbon at the finishing line.

I was in both places. I was just starting my story AND I was just at the finishing gate for another school year.

Are you starting a new project or about to finish something significant. Your first completed rough draft? Your first work in a particular genre? Are you about to start editing on a challenging story?

Listen to what a wise Alley Cat said to me this week:

I've always, always found that whenever I try to implement change or new goals, I hit resistance straight away. I really think the devil likes to discourage us at the start, before we have any momentum going.

Highly frustrating, but you know, I'm trying to see it as an encouragement. Why would Satan go to such lengths unless he felt threatened by what we're trying to accomplish? Be encouraged. What you're doing matters, it's worthwhile, and you will overcome. Tomorrow's a new week! Cheering you on, sis! We can do this!”

Another Alley Cat had this to say about fighting the enemy:

 the closer we get to our God-sized calling, the closer fear perches to our hearts because it is an enemy that gets stronger as we get closer to our purpose.

If you are in a place of doubt or discouragement, God wants to remind you of his promises to you. His word is what will counter the lies we listen to, so instead of my own I want to provide you with a few verses. I hope at the end you’ll stop by and add a favorite that God has spoken to you. We can increase each other’s arsenal for fighting this battle.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:13) Jesus, you are working in me through my writing life to teach me and grow me into who you want me to be. You are sanctifying me and you are not finished with me. Thank you that in spite of my sin, my daily failures to follow you and be obedient you are faithful to forgive, as I come to you for cleansing you transform me day-by-day. Thank you for your continuing work with me.

Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; (Romans 12:6) Jesus, thank you for the gifts you have given us. Humble us to always remember that these gifts are from you and you alone and give glory to you alone, not being puffed up in any gifts or abilities. Lord, thank you that you have gifted us each uniquely. Help us not to covet another’s gift but to exercise our  own gifts. Help us to not let fear hold us back from ministering our gifts in the ways you desire us to. Lord grow our faith in you.

As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (1 Peter 4:10) Lord, you have given us so much. Your atonement for us, the grace that you give us daily. It is overwhelming. Lord, help us to use all you have given us and all you have done in us to serve the others you have placed into our lives. I pray that our writing may be a vessel used by you to bless others. Help us to serve you in every aspect of our lives moment by moment Jesus.

And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:4) Lord, thank you the things you allow into our lives in order to grow us and help us to be more dependent on you. Lord, help us to endure not only in our writing but in every aspect of our lives. Help us to continue in obedience in the things you have for us. Lord help us to be content in all circumstances and open up our eyes to realize all we have in you. Thank you that you are on the throne daily interceding for us that we may stand firm in God’s will. Mature us and help us to live in the full assurance of faith.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7) Lord, teach us to be obedient to you in our writing lives, in every aspect of our lives. Show us areas where we are failing to submit ourselves completely to your authority. Forgive us for our disobedience. Thank you for your Spirit that allows us to stand firm in you. Show us how to resist the lies we are believing. In Your Name, Jesus. Amen.





What Scriptures have helped you in the battles you’ve faced in your writing life? 



5 comments:

Karen Schravemade said...

Wow, Julia... Incredibly powerful scriptures and prayers.

I'm humbled. And thankful for how God works. He sure has a sense of humour. Who would've thought when I shared those words with you last week that I'd be in dire need of them myself just a few days later? My attitude so quickly turned around from being at peace with my current roadblock (and seeing it as that, a temporary hold up) to having frustration at boiling point as I realised the hold up is going to last a lot longer than I expected.

I needed this reminder. And the dose of humble pie in God using my own words to convict me. ;)

Julia M. Reffner said...

Karen,

God uses my own words very many times to convict me. I think its part of the writing life and maybe another reason why Satan wants to keep us from writing. We'll pray for each other to keep strong in this battle, Karen.

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Julia, how did you know I needed this? I'm really trying to finish this pass on my first story, and I got discouraged with my second story. And, my writing time is seriously reduced with two active boys home for summer. I'm looking forward to re-reading and praying through this post. Thank you so much for sharing it!

Melissa Tagg said...

This is awesome! Phil. 1:3 is one of my favorite verses ever. I love that God never starts something he doesn't plan to finish. And that applies to our writing lives, for sure. :)

Julia M. Reffner said...

Jeanne,

God seems to have me post things I most need to learn. I SO know what you mean about periods where it is more difficult to find writing time. I'm sure God will bring you the right scriptures for this summer's challenges.

Melissa,

Me, too, so encouraging especially in times of failure. I'm so glad he's not finished with us yet.