|A Favor by Edmund Blair Leighton|
I've always liked August. It holds my birthday, after all, and has traditionally had lots of other fun things going on. But on the other hand, it's the end of summer. The start of school. For any household with kids, August signals a change in seasons, even though the heat of summer's still upon us.
This year, when the page in the calendar flipped, it kinda got to me. I looked down at the project that had been my primary goal, and I see that it's not all that far along. And that feeling of failure swamped me. That feeling of What have I been doing? How have I wasted my time?
Then I remember that I haven't been twiddling my thumbs. I've been editing a lot, which is great and necessary. I wrote a novella that I'm excited to get to use for promotion between the first two books of the Culper Ring Series. And I got a good chunk done on another project.
A project that got stalled, perhaps even nixed for good. Which thought still brings me a pang.
I'm a writer--I know rejection well. I've had to put aside countless projects over the years. But for some reason, this one still gets me down now and then. Primarily, I think, because it's intertwined with a couple other projects in my mind, which have also been stalled. Put on hold. Which they've been on so long that they've gone from "paused" to "stop."
I'm not sure I can really explain this echoey sigh that fills me when I think about these things lately. I can see where the way things have fallen out is without doubt for the best. I can see that the Lord has His plan in it and have to nod at the wisdom.
But still there's just this sense of loss. Lost dreams. Lost time spent on them when I could have been working on the project that's a sure thing.
I have to trust there, though, too, don't I? Trust that that time spent was for a purpose too. That it wasn't wasted.
The funny thing is that I have no problem looking at the years spent on that pile of books in my computer that are unpublished and give them a thumb's up. Because I learned from them, because they made me who I am, because I still hope that some of them will have their day. So why can't I look at the month and a half spent on these projects the same way?
I'm really not sure, but it's something I've been giving to the Lord again and again. And again, and again, I have to remind myself that I haven't failed. That I'm doing just fine, thank you very much, on my primary project.
With mere weeks left in my "free" time this summer--or at least before the home school year starts--I can't help but number my days and try to figure out how to catch up with where I wanted to be. But the real task here isn't to write a chapter a day and edit two books for WhiteFire. The real task is to lay these stalled dreams on the alter and trust. Trust that lost dreams and lost time and lost motivation are all part of God's plan for me to find something better. To find His path for me. To find Him in new ways.
It's hard, when those echoey sighs billow through me. But then . . . trust always is.