Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thoughtful About . . . The Right Thing

This may be rambling, so we'll have to see where I go with it--at the moment, I'm not quite sure.

There are times in life when we know absolutely what we have to do. Times when the Lord speaks so clearly, guides so strongly that we have no doubts. We recognize His hand, His touch, and when we obey, we feel His blessing.

Until we don't. What do we do then?

I've come across a lot of devotions and really beautiful essays by some kick-butt believers on this subject--and none of it really helps when you're actually in the doldrums. Without wind in your sails, you're just paddling along, and having someone spout some lovely lyrics doesn't always help and certainly doesn't keep your muscles from screaming. Right? So what do we do?

Right at this particular moment, I'm not there. But one of my dearest friends just talked to me last night about how her doctor diagnosed her with moderate depression. This didn't totally surprise me; just made a few things click, like, "Oh, guess that's why you said you weren't eating . . . or ever leaving your house . . . or . . ." Still, I'm one of those that thinks often times "depression" is over-diagnosed. Not that people don't have issues, just that drugs aren't the cure-all for them. And this friend feels the same way. She told her doctor, "Thanks. Now that I know this isn't something to brush off, I won't brush it off anymore. I'll pull myself together."

She also realizes she can't do it alone. She was telling me this at Bible study, which marks one of the first times she's gotten out to a church function in months, even though every time I talk to her, she says how she needs it. She's been going out everyday and making sure she's eating a balanced diet. She's praying and talking to her friends.

Will it "fix" her? I don't know. But I know she's doing the right thing.

But what about the problems me and my writing friends face so often? When we have one success followed by score after score of disappointments? When we know God called us to this career, when we followed His open doors, and somehow ended up here--with abysmal sales numbers and no direction for the future?

In those moments, it's hard to believe that we were ever right to begin with. Maybe we shouldn't have followed this path, maybe we made a wrong choice somewhere along the line. We've got these plans that seemed inspired, but is anything really going to help?

I don't know. I really don't. I think maybe sometimes God leads us to these barren places because we're not ready for the bounty. I think sometimes it's to teach us to rely on Him. I think sometimes it just happens because that's the way of the world--and in those times, it's not our part to question his leading to begin with, but to put our hand in His, close our eyes, and say, "If it's your will, let this cup pass from me. I really don't know how to deal with it. But still--not my will, but yours be done."

I'm not sure about the Right way to handle these times. But I know that every time I'm in them and cry out, "God, please! Send me something!" He does. Has it been huge contracts and best-selling numbers? Um, no. But it's been something just as good, if not better. It's been people who let me know I matter, that my words matter.

Time and again we're told that publishing is, when it comes down to it, a business. True. But writing is not. Writing's between the author and God, between the reader and God.

Remembering it--that's the Right Thing.


  1. Thank you for such a beautiful reminder cousin! I love your weekly musings :) thanks for sharing them with all of us!

  2. This, "Time and again we're told that publishing is, when it comes down to it, a business. True. But writing is not. Writing's between the author and God, between the reader and God." is awesome. Thank you.

  3. Stephanie, I think that was for you, LOL--it had very little to do with the rest of my post, but it was the most coherent thought that crossed my fingers this morning. =)

  4. I think the phrase Stephanie mentioned had more than one target, Roseanna. It struck a chord in me, as well. Thank you for sharing that!

  5. Oh, Ro, another reminder, and something I struggle with: I write for God. Don't expect or assume more than He wants. Easy to say, hard to do.

  6. Good thoughts, Roseanna. Its hard when we do the "right" things and it doesn't always seem to fix things at least according to our perspective. I guess the only answer as you say is changing our perspective. It seems to be in the quiet times and little ways that God speaks to us. I know sometimes its been the hardest things to write (maybe because they strike close to home emotionally or spiritually...or when God leads me to share something He is doing in my life on my blog) are often the things that are most rewarding. Maybe the humbling is Him teaching us so that we can reach out and teach others better through our writing. Just my thoughts.