Wednesday, October 21, 2015

It's Not Too Late

This week, I was thinking about Sarah, and how she wanted to have a baby so badly. We see God's promise to her in Genesis 18:10-15:

"Then one of them said, 'I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.

Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, 'After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?'

Then the Lord said to Abraham, 'Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.'

Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, 'I did not laugh.'

But he said, 'Yes, you did laugh.'"

Sometimes when I read this passage, I want to have a little heart-to-heart and say, "Sarah, what were you thinking? God himself appeared before you, spoke to you, and gave you this promise. Why didn't you believe Him? Why did you think it was too good to be true? Why did you laugh, trying to protect yourself from the promises of God?

And yet, I look to myself as I say these words, and I have to repeat them. "Ashley, what are you thinking? God has appeared to you, spoken to you, and given you a promise. Why don't you believe Him? Why do you think it is too good to be true? Why do you laugh, trying to protect yourself from the promises of God?"

Can I get an "amen?" :)

Three chapters later, we see this beautiful verse:

"Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him."

I believe that someone reading this post today needs to hear that God has not forgotten His promise to you in this writing journey, and He will fulfill what He has called you to. Like Sarah, maybe you feel like it's taking too long. Maybe you've grown disheartened. Maybe you feel like the wait has been a cruel joke.

Honey, I understand. I've been at this a long time, and I honestly thought publication would happen by now. Can we just get real about that? When we get our expectations high, and then, like Sarah, the years go ticking by, and eventually, we're no longer even of "childbearing age"... well, the doubts begin to stir.

Doubts like, "Did I even hear you, God? Or did I make up this calling?" "Have I done something wrong to keep my dreams at bay?" "Did you forget your promises to me, God?" and, like a child on a road trip... "How. Much. Longer."

But amazingly, God is not late in fulfilling His promise. Did you catch that in Isaac's story? The Bible says that the child came at the very time God had promised. Wow. I'm reminded of the verse in Ruth that says, "Who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?"

Friends, God has not forgotten you. He has not taken a break from your life. He is at work even now, establishing your "royal position" for the time He has prepared for you. Do not despise the day of small beginnings. Do not forget that before a baby may be born, a pregnancy must be endured. A woman must labor with the pain and fatigue of impending, life-altering joy.

In other words, before the promise may be fulfilled, it must be fed. It must grow, and grow strong within our hearts. And on that sweet birthing day, we will look back at all the ways God has been preparing us all along.

You may feel like Sarah today. Old. Forgotten. Weary of the waiting. Doubtful.

That's okay.

Because God is in the business of life-giving when our dreams run stagnant. Trust His promises to you, and pray for His breath in your writing dreams.

It's never too late.


Ashley Clark writes romance 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.


Allison Family said...

Thank you for your encouragement today!

Ashley Clark said...

You're welcome, Allison! Thanks for coming by!

kaybee said...

Thank you, Ashley. We all need to hear this. I know I wasn't READY for publication earlier in my career. God had too much to teach me. And I had too many valleys to walk through. And I had to have a lot of iron sharpened on me. I take heart from Sarah's story, Jacob serving seven years for Rachel, the Exodus from Egypt and other Biblical examples of people waiting and the time being right. On a more concrete level I take heart from author Martha Rogers, who signed her first contract when she was 73. Thing about writing, there is no such thing as Too Old.
Kathy Bailey

Angela said...

Thank you!

Angela said...

Another thought...The Writer's Digest theme for the November/December issue is "It's Never Too Late!

Your post is very timely (-:

Ashley Clark said...

Kathy, great references. And Martha is such an inspiration!

Angela, I had no idea! What a cool coincidence!

Unknown said...


I had to wait a full day to respond, as this post hit home, not only because I share Sarah's name, but because I had just been served a whopping case of "Nope" again.

I'm not foolish enough to believe God promised little ol' me a book contract, but, I believe He's leading me down a path. I'm not going to lie and say I don't have doubts or times I just want to quit; it would be easy to delete it all and have a new project. But it's the times God stops on the path to encourage me - like through this blog - that make the journey worth it, no matter how long the wait.