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If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hijacking God's Agenda

I like to think that I'm a follower of Jesus Christ who daily submits to His plan for my life.
But I've noticed that, somewhere between my worship and prayers,
and my expectations for a satisfying answer or outcome for my requests,
my own agenda becomes apparent.

A few months ago I entered a writing contest.
I was really excited and happy when I found out that my submission had made it to the semi-finals.
As I waited the six weeks to hear if my pages would advance to the finals, I spent a lot of time in prayer about the outcome.
I told my heavenly Father over and over, "Lord, I want Your will more than mine. I know you're in charge of me, the judges, the outcome, everything. If I don't get into the finals I'll be sad, but I'll also know that You are working out your perfect plan."
Sounds pretty mature, don't you think?
But as the weeks went by, I pictured how great it would be if my manuscript got into the finals:
  • it would sure help me get the attention of an agent
  • I wouldn't feel so intimidated when I face an agent-appointment next time
  • It would look great on my resume
  • and on and on
My heart and mind had concocted my own satisfying solution.
Then my anxiety level began to rise.
Based on the images I'd planted of winning, I lost my peace about the contest.

Sound familiar?
I'm sure we all wrestle with these competing desires:
to walk close to God, pleasing Him in every way
to worship myself.

When I found out that I hadn't advanced into the finals, I felt disappointed and a little angry.
"God, I've walked closely with you on this project. . .  for years. I've worshiped you and sought to write a story that would glorify you. I've studied, practiced, improved, done everything I know to do that would make me into a great writer, and the story, great. And my story deserves (Deserves?) to get out there."

Do you see how my focus on God turned into a focus on me, what I need, what I deserve?

I had to get on my knees and confess my lack of trust.
Because everything that I write belongs to Him.
Every devotional, every article, every Facebook or twitter post.
Every novel or novella.

I belong to Him.
He does not belong to me.

His agenda wins every time.
Because He is Lord.
And I am not.

"Have thine own way, Lord
Have Thine own way.
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still." (Pollard/Stebbins)


  1. Hi Dena -

    It's so easy to use that God-given imagination in a wrong way, isn't it? When I think back to the early days of this journey, I can see I wasn't ready for publication.

    With each rejection/loss, I learn a bit more about the craft, the publishing industry, and my relationship with the Lord.


  2. Whether it's a success or a set-back, it's all about submitting to His plan. Susan, thanks for your comment.