by Elizabeth Goddard
I just sent in a completed manuscript to my editor. My deadline is today, June 30th, so I made it! But so far I’ve never had to ask for extra time. I hope that remains the case, but I work hard to make sure it happens even in the middle of some serious struggles lately.
I guess you could say I’m driven.
In addition to the manuscript I must include front and back matter, which includes a scripture, dedication and acknowledgements and a “Dear Reader” letter. I’ve shared an excerpt with you on occasion, and in fact, in my last post, “Why I Write,” I shared an excerpt from the “Dear Reader” letter in my latest release, Deception.
One thing I’ve learned after so many novels is that my trials and struggles in life come out in my stories, metaphorically, that is, and in ways I don’t even realize. So writing the letter at the end is as much for me as it is for my readers. As I read through this particular story multiple times, editing and polishing, I looked for the spiritual thread, or something that would resonate with readers. Something that resonated with me and I found it. It’s what God has been teaching me the last few months, which is nothing new but more of a reminder.
Somehow I lost my way.
Has that ever happened to you?
Here’s the excerpt from my letter on this manuscript I just turned in—no title yet! But this is the third book in my Wilderness, Inc. series.
I pray and sometimes wonder if God hears me. I question His silence or the answers that come in ways I hadn’t expected. I realized, too, that I felt so emotionally and psychologically bruised that it was palpable in a very visceral and physical way. Then I pictured myself in a river, fighting to survive and bumping into the rocks and branches and becoming bruised for my efforts.
And then I had a light bulb moment—I had an epiphany—if I would simply stop fighting that which I could not control, and “go with the flow” as we so often hear—then I wouldn’t be so bruised.
Shouldn’t I know that by now, considering everything I’ve experienced in life? But I needed the reminder and a saw the Bible verse pop up somewhere (probably Facebook or yeah, my Bible, actually) that nailed it.
Psalm 46:10 in the King James version of the Bible reads “Be still and know that I am God,” but is more aptly translated in the NASB version, “Cease striving and know that I am God.”
Cease striving and know that I am God.
Yes! That was exactly it! I’ve been striving too much. Are you a striver too? Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “strive” like this:
Wow. NO wonder I feel so beaten down. I’ve been working so hard to control the course of my life, fighting and battling all the obstacles, when I’m not supposed to. All I need do is pray and believe in and trust God.
Friend, is this you too? Are you striving and it feels like a battle that’s left you bruised, emotionally and psychologically? Don’t do it. Just let it go. You can’t control it anyway.
You belong to God. Trust Him and let the river take you where He wills.
BTW, I’m so excited to share that Buried and Backfire of my Mountain Cove series are 2016 finalists in the DAPHNE DU MAURIER AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN MYSTERY/SUSPENSE! Add to that, this week it was announced that Submerged (Mountain Cove) is a Carol Award finalist! I LOVED writing these books set in stunning southeast Alaska–the perfect setting for adventure, suspense and romance! Order the series today and get it on your eReader for the July 4th holiday weekend!