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.
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.