Here we are in the “dog days of summer,” that time of year when temperatures are at their highest and rainfall is at its lowest. The once colorful spring and early summer flowers are now showing wear from the heat. Grass is languishing from the midday sun—although dandelions and sundry weeds are thriving in the midst. Many of us are beginning to look forward to the cooler weather, the start of the school year, and perhaps even the holidays. After which the cycle will begin again, and we’ll turn our thoughts to the coming year.
Our writing lives are much the same.
Once the seed of an idea has been planted, we begin to nourish it with the gentle waters of faith. The belief, and the ambition, that we will be able to flesh it out. That God will help us see it to the end. To enjoy the harvest.
As our story grows and matures, breaking new ground, we marvel at the potential beauty of the collection of words we’re accumulating. The delicate tendrils of plot and character intertwine, and we realize—we hope—that our story has the potential to touch others.
But then, just like in the “dog days of summer,” without warning, the rain stops.
We have reached the middle of the growing season when our faith begins to dry up. The burning sting of fear, or procrastination (which is no more than fear in disguise), threatens to take away the possibility of our harvest.
We find ourselves looking ahead, perhaps to another project, another season. We sense there can be no budding beauty in the diligent work of our hands, our heart. It may have lived for a fleeting moment within us, but others will never see it.
Perhaps we become so discouraged we convince ourselves we are not really writers. How could our words ever touch someone? We must have somehow misunderstood the calling God gave us.
The dark clouds begin to roll in, and we look heavenward, asking for understanding, nourishment, guidance from the Creator of all.
And then He reminds us of the many times He has confirmed our course. The mentors who told us we had talent . . . the research source who “coincidentally” crossed our path . . . the best friend who encouraged us.
We look into the clouds again, and this time we see the rain coming down. Perhaps the timing is not what we had expected. Perhaps it’s too late for blooms to fully mature this season. But the roots of what we have planted have taken hold. Deeper roots. Roots that will preserve the perennial beauty of the things God is working through us.
And we know that He has sustained us for another season.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV
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As a writer, Kathy Harris is blessed this year to experience a harvest. It was less than twelve months ago when she signed a contract with Abingdon Press for her debut novel, The Road to Mercy, which will release in September 2012. To learn more about Kathy, visit her website at www.kathyharrisbooks.com or her blog at www.DivineDetour.com.