THAT kind of YEAR
After I returned from my Christian Writer’s conference last week, I've been busy working on something God had placed it in my heart. A 5000 word short story for an Anthology by Australian Writers to raise money for Breast Cancer research. I enjoyed writing it; especially the many hours I spent editing the story. You see, the aspect I enjoy most in the entire creative writing process is the editing.
Many writers tell me they dislike editing. I love editing! I’m glad I do. It makes all that time I spend on it very enjoyable. I have great fun wielding my Editor’s pen - reading and re-reading each successive draft, chopping a word here, changing a word there, removing a chunk here, re-writing sections, pruning, refining.
I've just had a birthday. Birthdays make me reflect on my life. New beginnings are fun aren’t they? No matter what’s occurred before, beginnings spell hope. Beginnings mean the past may be wiped clean; scrubbing out white chalk marks on a blackboard or erasing black ink on a whiteboard. As I looked back on the year that was past, I realised I didn’t understand a lot of it. It’s been that kind of year. When black became white and white became black. When bewilderment kicked in. When I was unsure where I was headed in life; wandering around in a maze, surprised; finding it hard to find my way out.
My fibromyalgia has been pursuing me relentlessly all year; a fast runner who plays chasey with me. It’s been hard to rejoice through times when fibromyalgia’s pain and exhaustion caught up with me. I know many others who suffer with bouts of ill health – and I know life is not easy when dealing with chronic illness. This past year with its surprises and question marks must have a reason behind it – God’s ways always make sense even when my little brain can’t understand His purposes.
Was He teaching me to rejoice in difficult times?
Was He teaching me to please Him rather than to please His world?
Was He showing me how to be content through all circumstances?
Was He producing the fruit of the Spirit in me?
Just as I need to wield my Editor’s pen – God too will have good reason for using His pen and paintbrush with flourish. He is my Creator. He didn’t sit back after He created me. He went to work showering blessing after blessing upon me. Proving His love for me. Showing it in a million ways. He painted bright colours over my cracks and has been busy remodelling my character; helping me become a better person today than I was yesterday. The truth is, God’s not only a life giving Creator, He is also a life changing Editor.
The reason I like wielding my Editor’s pen is not because I am mean. It’s not because I like to scribble with my red pen. It’s not because I have nothing else to do. I like editing because it helps transform my story into the best it can be. Full stop. No hidden agendas. No flaunting of power. No weird reasons. Only love. Love that propels me to create a story that will bless God’s world. And so too with God and His purposes for me.
He might not always give me what I ask for.
Instead He gives me what I was created for.
He might not explain why He acts as He does.
Instead He pours His relentless love over me.
He does not remove all the challenges I face.
Instead He brings me closer to Him through them.
He doesn’t seek to be popular with all His Creation.
Instead He seeks intimacy with those who turn to Him.
Yes, it’s been that kind of year. A year of taking one step forward and ten steps back. Of stopping. Of starting. Of asking “Why?” and ‘What next?” The truth is that we all need that kind of year from time to time. Because you see, it doesn’t mean God doesn’t care. Or that He isn’t sharing my pain with me. It’s been that kind of year perhaps because my God was wielding His Editor’s pen. And the comforting truth is that His precious Father-heart of love is behind His pen.
Perhaps He’s changing me to reflect His image to His world.
Perhaps He’s preparing me for a future in His kingdom.
Yes, it’s been that kind of year. Should I mope? Should I moan? Should I cry? No – it’s been that kind of year and I can rejoice. I can praise Him with a glad and joyful heart, because it’s in ‘that kind of year’ that He draws me close to Him; it’s in that kind of year when He changes me into all He’s created me to be. It’s in that kind of year I will bear mature fruit that will bless His world and bring glory to His Name.
“But all of us who are Christians have no veils on our faces, but reflect like mirrors the glory of the Lord. We are transfigured by the Spirit of the Lord in ever-increasing splendour into his own image.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
May you and I become like Jesus.
May we reflect His amazing love to all the world.