Sometimes I get super frustrated when things don’t go the way I want.
I feel a little like a toddler who doesn’t get her own way — I secretly want to throw a little temper tantrum (and maybe I throw one internally anyway, just a little one).
This December was a good example.
First one of my kids got the stomach flu, right when my husband and I were supposed to go away overnight for the first time in years. Then just when we thought we were in the clear, my other two kids came down with it. At one point I was holding the buckets for both of them simultaneously. Nasty. Once we got through the worst of that (the sanitation process, the washing, the disinfecting),my husband came down with it.
In the midst of all that, both our cars needed work, our stand-up freezer conked out and the cat had a near death experience. My honey missed one Christmas and we had to reschedule a second. Nothing went according to plan.
Have you ever felt like that with your writing?
I have. I don’t mean in the sense of discovering themes or plot twists you didn’t anticipate. That’s all fun. I mean those times when all your timing seems to go out the window.
I’ve set goals I didn’t meet, missed self-imposed deadlines, tried to do things only to be thwarted at every attempt, run into obstacles that seemed to almost be put there by an invisible force.
It is immensely frustrating.
The crazy thing is though, that many many times, there ends up being a reason why my plans didn’t work out, writing plans or other plans. And almost every time I forget what has happened in the past, so it surprises me anew (short memory? slow learner? non-detail-oriented person?).
The reason why my plans didn’t work out? Many times, more times than I have kept track of, there was something bigger at work.
Let’s be clear. I do not believe in a Calvinist theology of God ordaining every little detail of our every day lives. However, I do believe that God steps in and…tweaks things when they need tweaking. Some things are part of the plan. I don’t think He cares if you eat a peanut butter bagel or cereal for breakfast, unless this has some impact on things. Lots of details don’t matter, but some matter deeply.
My encouragement to you is to look for the reasons why something didn’t work out. These reasons can be a while in coming, but they often will come, if you watch for them. If you cultivate an awareness of patterns and “coincidences” you might be excited as details start to pop out in greater relief for you. You might even start seeing them all over the place. I hope you can remember them better than I have!
Here’s a New Year’s wish for you in 2013 — I wish you productive, fulfilling, creative genius as you work in whatever arena you choose, and greater awareness of the way God is at work in you life (even if you don’t pay Him much attention. He is no stranger to unrequited love). Blessings!