For a person with a deficit in patience, this word, timing, is haunt-worthy. Timing can make my insides quiver so much with anxiety and fear that I won't wait long enough for perfect timing, but that the wait will be too long for me to stay sane.
With the tick of the clock a hair past midnight this last Sunday, I entered the year of my debut as a published author. Timing becomes a magnificent, frightful word as I think of all that needs to be done before my first book hits the shelves. I must time my writing and edits to be ready by deadlines. Working with two different publishers, I pray the timing of each edit and authorly duty lines up in a somewhat manageable way. Timing seems to be a fragile piece of my existence right now.
And I am totally okay with that. This is my dream. This is where I hoped to be at some point in my life. This is it. But mostly, I am okay with the magnitude of timing in my life because I've seen how God has used timing in a most perfect way to get me to this place. I reflected on my recent years, 2013 (when my first manuscript was shopped and rejected) up to the present day, and I wanted to share some things that I've learned during my wait, and maybe it's why I had to wait.
1. My Community was Built. I fell in love with my writer friendships. A bit dramatic? Maybe, but it's the truth. I connected with ladies who knew my heart as a writer, and allowed me into their lives in an authentic, Christ-loving way. I found hope in the writing journey because my friends held my hands and rubbed my back when all seemed lost. And in this, I grew not as a writer, but as a heart. My heart became soft for the needs of others and the value of authenticity in this short, precious life.
2. There was a Pride Monster, and He needed to kill it. Oh, Lord, if ever there was a pride monster, it was me. My gut reaction in every rejection, every criticism, every other person's success was a measurement against them according to me. Yuck. Do you know what the best way to kill a Pride Monster? Starve it. Even though I had my sweet friends and my agent encouraging me along the way, my heart was set on publication and I was not getting that. I wanted it so badly that I turned ugly when it seemed to slip through my fingers with every rejection. And I spiraled and I came up for air to those authentic friendships speaking Truth in love. God knew what He was doing when He built my community, and He knew He would use it to lift me up and tear down my ugly.
These are just three obvious reasons why I waited...why He made me wait (snicker)...I am sure there are more, actually, I can think of more, but I am sure there are more profound reasons for His timing to obliterate my own.
What if things went according to my plan? What would I do without these pieces along my timeline, refining me, preparing me, and growing me? How could I ever think that my plan and my control was adequate?
And as if I needed to be reminded about that fragile thing of timing and how it truly is not my own, even the publication dates of my novels seem to show Who is really in control. Go over to my extended post on this at my personal blog here, and learn the rest of the story. ;)
Have you ever looked back on your journey, and discovered just how perfect God's timing is? What are some instances that He's used to give you a glimpse at His plan for you?
Angie Dicken is a mom of four children and lives in the Midwest with her Texas Aggie sweetheart. An ACFW member since 2010, she writes historical, historical romance, and dabbles in contemporary romance. Her debut, The Outlaw's Second Chance from Harlequin Love Inspired Historical releases in September of 2017, and her novel, My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah from Barbour, releases in November 2017. Angie is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency.
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