I'm Listening

As far as I can see, the New Year is the perfect time to talk about blessings. Those I have already seen, and those I hope for. I can see God walking through my life, his fingers leaving trails of light like sparks.

People I’ve met, doors that opened. The fact that I didn’t give up on writing. Although I wanted to.

This past year I met some wonderful people at Mount Hermon. Writers like Sharon Hinck, Rebecca Luella Miller, Jeff Gerke, Rachel Marks, Randy Ingermanson, John Olson, Cathy Carlton Willis, T.L. Higley, Camy Tang. Editors like Mick Silva, Andy Meisenheimer, Shannon Hill, Nick Harrison, Denny Boultinghouse, Karen Ball, Andy McGuire.

I had the opportunity to work with some talented people, including writers like B.J. Taylor, Cathy Carlton Willis, Rebecca Luella Miller, Tera Hansen, Wendy Dixon, Rebecca Razo, Meryl Schoenbaum, Melissa Quinlan, Jickie Torres, Hillary Black, Jacqueline deMontravel, Erika Kotite, Abella Carroll; photographers like Jaimee Itagaki, Franklin and Esther Schmidt; art directors like Shelley Baugh and Elena Oh.

I had another year at the helm of Victorian Homes magazine.

And I finished the book that I dedicated solely and completely to the Lord. Resurrection. I didn’t want to write any more, felt like I was already doing something important as the editor of a national magazine. Then I heard a small voice, that very quiet voice that God uses to get your attention when the rest of the world holds still.

It said, what if I wasn’t using my gift the way I was supposed to? What if I got to heaven and found out that I had buried one of my talents? What if the blessing I had been hoping for wasn’t what I expected; all because I thought that I was already “doing enough?”

Tough question. Made me sit up. Made me think. Wasn’t real happy about the idea that heaven could be less than I expected, just because I got lazy.

So I guess you could say that I made a deal with God. Okay, I said to Still Small Voice of Big Important God. Okay, I’ll write another book. One more. I’ll go back into that closet for another year, that dark place where I sit alone, unnoticed, unimportant, silent and ignored. For a whole year. Just me and the keyboard.


But this time I’m going to write it for you, God, I said. So that means all the other rules are thrown away. I’m not going to write the way one expert wanted me to, years ago. I’m not going to write it the way the books say I should. I’m not going to write for the CBA market, I mean, everybody knows they don’t want Sci-Fi. And I really don’t like writing supernatural fiction. Demons are creepy. That’s what I was saved from, I really don’t like hanging around with them for a whole year. Ick. I have trouble sleeping when I write about them and how is that an honorable pursuit?

So, Sci-Fi it is. And I’m going to write the most beautiful language I can, I’m going to delve deep inside my characters, even if other people don’t want to read an internal book, even if everybody in the world wants plot-driven pablum. I’ll have a plot, sure. But it will be stitched on the skin of my people, tattooed on their flesh. They will be the story. The world will be their landscape.

I broke the rules. I finished my book. The year is over.

And I can feel God moving through my life, his fingers like sparks, setting my horizon ablaze. His smile. His heat.

I write for God’s pleasure. I live for his voice. And I wait; I always wait, for his blessing. It’s the New Year, the perfect time to set goals, make changes.

My goal. To listen more carefully to that Still Small Voice. And to always be willing to obey. Even if it means sitting alone in a closet for a year.


Camy Tang said...

I totally enjoyed meeting you, too! You're one of the funnest people I met at Mount Hermon last year! I'm glad it was mutual!

Merrie Destefano said...

You are the Queen of Fun! And on top of that, you're very sweet!

Yes, Mount Hermon was way too much fun last year. I know we are supposed to go there to learn and network, but the late night laugh-fest at the lounge was worth the price of admission!

Blessings on your books--

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Merrie, what a BEAUTIFUL post! I really love your use of language. It seems so ... natural!

Great thoughts expressed greatly.


Merrie Destefano said...

You're so sweet! Thank you for the compliment--I really appreciate it!
Keep up the great work on your blog and hopefully we can get together at Mount Hermon this year.