This is true of writing too. Are you looking back at past successes and feeling wistful for those exciting times? Or maybe you're feeling paralysed by the past - not having achieved all you'd hoped to. "But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3 warns us not to dwell too much on the past whatever it holds. The years pass quickly, as they warned us they would. It's fine to look back but only so we can look forward more hopefully.
If we allow our writing to define us, we will always have regrets. The highs and lows of the writing life - plot lines, submissions, waiting, refreshing that inbox - must only be part of our lives. A big part, it is true but nevertheless not the whole. Just as the partner, children, career should never be the whole.There's also home and work and being kind to friends and strangers. Going out and helping others and teaching Sunday School or drawing up the coffee rota. Do these things have as much value in our eyes? They do in God's. He calls us to be faithful with all the gifts we have, and to trust that He will bring along the right opportunities at the right time.
"But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in your hand" Psalm 31:15
The light is going, the street lamps are on. I seem to have spent all day, on and off, assembling these random thoughts. Whatever season we inhabit, in writing and in life, let's galvanise each other to embrace the memories, give thanks or grieve, and refocus. '"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future...You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."' Jerem, 29:11-13
Writers are seekers, always looking for new ways to describe and express things. When we do this well, it brings us huge satisfaction. Looking back at where we've come from, moving ahead with hope, as Christian writers we are ultimately truth-seekers. We will find God's presence and direction in writing and in life, when we seek Him with all our hearts.
Deborah Jenkins is a primary school teacher and freelance writer who has written articles, devotional notes and short stories. She has recently completed a novella, The Evenness of Things, available as an Amazon e-book and is currently working on a full length novel.. Deborah loves hats, trees and small children. After years overseas with her family, who are now grown up, she lives in south-west London with her husband, a Baptist minister, and a cat called Oliver.
To look at the book, please click on the link