Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so he may run who reads it.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay.
I have some ropes in my hands. The ropes are tied to my responsibilities and the roles I am meant to accomplish in this world.
Life is a tending of ropes, I suppose, in one way or another. But some ropes require more strength to hold onto.
One rope I hold is a book I’d like to finish and have published. I’m trying to figure out how to make my dream of authoring this book come true.
I’ve done okay with it so far. I strained to drag that rope up the mountain of planning the book, writing a book proposal and sample chapters, and miraculously finding a literary agent. (That all took almost three years, though.)
My proposal has gone out into the world of publishing houses and I have been waiting to hear back.
Do you like waiting? I loathe it. Waiting is definitely not my favorite.
Last night, Morgan and I quietly chatted after our house had fallen at last into the quiet glory land called All the Children Are Now Asleep. I updated him on my book progress. There is good-ish news and there is bad-ish news. But there is no great news yet.
The truth of the matter is that everyone really wishes I were a bit more famous, so they would know for sure that my platform would automatically sell thousands of books.
I’m simply not popular enough.
“Chin up, baby,” my biggest fan told me.
“I’ll put my chin up tomorrow. Tonight I just want to feel this,” I said. And I rolled over and let my soul remember.
Because this feels painfully familiar. It has been many, many years since popularity has so directly affected my success in life. I must count all the way back to my middle school days to find feelings like those I now face.
Middle school was a dreadfully intimidating place for an introvert like me. There was such a heightened sense of longing back then. Longing for acceptance, for identity, for my dreams to all come true. I was so happy when middle school was over, when the path seemed clearer again. The longing could take a backseat again once a plan was in place.
All these years later, I know a few things about the longing I didn’t know when I was twelve years old, though.
Today I know that Jesus did not teach that we were created for fame and success. We weren’t even made for the more shallow soul-places of acceptance and approval. Should we achieve some kind of place of cultural influence- if we make it to the “in crowd” of whatever sphere we have chosen- that success will never satisfy our longing for Him, for His dream of loving us forever.
That longing is what makes me write. It’s the place all our dreams are formed.
The longing for God is a gift to us, as painful as it may sometimes be, and it proves we were born to belong to God.
Our belonging is not connected to the ropes we hold, the responsibilities we must tend, or the success or failure we attain in the world’s opinion.
Our circumstances can neither justify our belonging nor negate it. Achievement and blessing do not confirm that God is our Father, and neither does failure expose us as those rejected by Him.
What happens to us is simply what happens to us. The goal of it all is to see and feel and hear God With Us in the happenings.
Waiting and suffering are often God’s way of dividing our true self from our circumstances. I wish we didn’t need these lessons, but without them, we would never find our way home to Him.
And so I must open my hands and receive the waiting and the rejection as a gift from Him as well.
It would be easier not to write this book of mine. It would be simpler to accept that I am not as popular as I need to be to author a book. I could move on with my life, love my husband, love my kids, love our church, and read more books that other people have written. (For heaven’s sake, there are enough of them in the world, aren’t there?)
But I heard God tell me last year that this book was the way through.
And what is life really about except finding our way through?
Through childhood, then middle school and the complexity of our immaturity.
Through high school and college and all the biggest decisions we make so early in life.
Through family ties, marriages, parenthood, midlife, and our aging years.
Through seasons of sorrow, celebrations of joy, and the days that seem a bittersweet mixture of the two.
Through our dreams, whether they are fulfilled here in this life or later down the road in the life to come.
I am God’s daughter. I am His beloved. I am also a person trying to write a book. I am trying to be a good woman, a faithful wife and mother, and worthy of the love I have received.
I may not succeed. I may never be famous enough here on earth to see my words in print.
But my chin is up, because I wasn’t actually made for success or popularity or to write books.
I was made to belong. And that rope has bound me to the One who can never be taken away from me.
He has promised me that He will never let go.
All of our dreams will come true one day. It is only a matter of time.