Monday, May 1, 2017

When You're Looking for Your Door

We just got back from a trip to Disney less than ten hours ago, so forgive me if at any point this post seems a little delirious, but rather than a writing how-to, I really believe God gave me a word to share with all of you. I hope in this post you'll find encouragement for your soul and your journey.

I have an almost-two-year-old. He, as most two year olds, likes exploring and testing out his newly found independence. So when we were checking into our hotel, this meant he wanted to check every door along the hall to see if it was ours. While my husband fetched our luggage from the car, I held my little pal's hand and heard myself say--

"That room isn't ours. But we'll get there soon. Hold my hand, and I'll tell you when we're there."

Later in the trip, we decided to add a couple extra nights which meant a new hotel room. As luck would have it, we checked in suuuuuuuuuper late at night because we'd watched the fireworks and grabbed a late dinner. So we drove to the back of the resort (which is under construction) with seemingly no one around but a raccoon, and discovered the room we'd been assigned was not ready for us. The beds were unmade, towels were on the sink counter, and I was exhausted and grossed out.

We thought this room was ours. We thought it would be ready. But at the midnight hour (in this case, literally), we discovered we were wrong.

Now, I don't know where you are in your writing journey-- if it's just the beginning of the trip for you, or if it feels like the end. But I do know this. God has prepared a space for you. He's taking you by the hand, and He is leading you there. Maybe you're just checking in and all the doors look the same to you, like they did to my son. But I assure you, God understands the pattern in the numbers. And just because someone else got a room a little closer to the elevators, that doesn't mean your space is any less valuable. Maybe your room overlooks a courtyard. It's matched to fit your accommodations. So don't settle by barging through the wrong door.

Maybe, on the other hand, you've already done all that. Maybe God has led you to a space for a time, and that time has drawn to an end, and you're asking Him, "What's next?" because you feel like you're back at square one. And sure, God took you by the hand once upon a time, but what's to say He will do it again?

And just maybe, you've been given a room, and maybe you're relieved because you're exhausted. And as you open that door with a contented sigh, you realize this room was not ready at all. And you feel like curling into a little ball beside the raccoon (go with it) and crying because you're just so tired, and don't know how much longer you can keep going. But God is saying, "Just a little while, child. Take heart and wait for the right one."

Friends, we are not alone, nor do we wander aimlessly down the halls if we are creating with God. Maybe we don't know exactly where we're going, and maybe once we get there, we don't see the five star garden view we expected. But God is taking each of our hands with a love that's beyond any love we've ever known, and He's saying, "I've got a space for us to create together. Just hold on."

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.


Beth K. Vogt said...

Ashley: This has to be one of my favorite blog posts of all time. Not just one of my favorite Writers Alley blog posts, but one of my all-time favorite blog posts.
Why? Because I've gone around knocking on doors, asking, "Is this my door? Is this my door?" And sometimes I haven't liked my accommodations -- actually, I would have liked to find even a raccoon to curl up with.

Thank you for your encouragement to trust God and to remember that He is preparing a place for me.

And by the way, loved the photos of your trip on Instagram! You looked like you had so much fun!

Emily Conrad said...

Such a great post! Hurrying to share it now ;)

Heidi McCahan said...

Excellent post! I needed this today. Thank you so much for the encouragement. We also just got home from a Disney vacation, so I'm sending virtual chocolate your way as we plunge back into reality.

Ashley Clark said...

Beth, thank you for your kind words and your authenticity. I love you and your stories! I think sometimes those of us who are working toward publication forget that published authors (even the best!) are still working toward publication too. :D Thanks for sharing.

Ashley Clark said...

Thanks, Emily! :)

Ashley Clark said...

Heidi, thanks for your comment! Mickey-premium-bar-shaped chocolate, I sure hope! :)

Angie Dicken said...

Ashley...I LOVE YOU!!! Beautiful as always...just like you! <3

Cara Putman said...

Beautiful and what I needed to read. Thanks, Ashley!

Ashley Clark said...

Ang and Cara-- SO thankful to have you two on this journey! You're both irreplaceable!

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Ashley, I read this post this morning, after a tough start with my boys. And this is the first chance I've had to really stop by and say thank you. I love your analogy about the doors, and the truths you've packed into this post. I definitely needed to read this, and I'm encouraged by it. :) Thanks for sharing a piece of your heart!

Ashley Clark said...

Love you, Jeanne! <3

Cara Grandle said...

Well timed. A God-moment kind of read. Thank you.