Right in front of my little ranch house, under the picture window, is a long, narrow, flower bed. It bakes in the afternoon, is in shadow all morning, and suffers from the combined debilitating forces of oak leaves and concrete foundation.
I planted daffodils there. (I’m not much of a gardener.) The first year nothing happened. The next year some sickly, pale leaves struggled through. The year after even fewer thin, pale, straggly leaves whimpered in the sun.
So I dug the bulbs out. And then I covered the whole flower bed with river rock from the back yard. River rock looks healthier than sallow leaves in weedy dirt!
The spring after the river rocks took residence a weird thing happened. Two daffodils popped up—and bloomed!
And this year? Well, see the picture! A lovely little row of pretty, pale, miniature daffodils nod their sweet heads in the breeze.
Obviously I didn’t get all of the bulbs out when I attempted to transplant them. (Did I mention I’m not much of a gardener?)
When the little baby plants had full access to the sun and the rain and the world, they just couldn’t survive. As soon as they were sheltered and protected by the rocks, they flourished.
The publishing world can be a difficult place for a new writer to flourish. Like my flower bed, the confines are narrow—there are only so many publishers and agents and only so many contracts given out each year. And the independent route? Even narrower! Sometimes it feels like “Amazon or Bust.”
Negative reviews can be like those acidic oak leaves, making our little patch of “earth” seem inhospitable. And the hard work of writing, learning to write, and rewriting can make you feel like the creativity has been sucked from your spirit, the way that the concrete border around my flower bed leaches into the dirt compromising its fertility.
But if we as writers give our lives—even our writing careers—into the care of the Rock, Jesus our Lord, He will shelter us and protect us.
Isaiah 26:3-4 says, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.” And Jeremiah 17: 7 and 8 say, “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.”
I pray that we can all trust the Lord with our writing, in the same way we trust Him with the rest of our lives. Take shelter in the Rock, because Jesus wants to bless our endeavors is his time, and in his way.
Traci Tyne Hilton is a wife, mom, children’s ministry junky, and the author of the Mitzy Neuhaus Mystery Series, available in eBook and Paperback at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. http://www.tracihilton.com