This post on bravery inspired me to divulge a secret.
We all have to be brave once in a while...but I'm not too great at it. My comfort zone is quite cozy, and I'd happily remain inside it if not for God pushing me beyond its parameters.
The other day, I was talking about publishing with two dudes (my brother and b/f). One of them said, "How do we know you really wrote a book? You won't let anybody read it."
He was teasing me, but he nicked the truth. I'm a tiny bit, maybe a lot, scared of people I know reading my book. I had no problems submitting the story to contests or my now-agent. That was easy.
But family? Friends? The people who've known me since I used to fall asleep on the school bus every morning?
My introvert heart doesn't want to be vulnerable.
Yet there's a bigger fear. The fear that I've announced my formerly secret writing life to the public and can't take that back. What if my book sits on editors' desks for weeks, months, years without attracting a contract? What if I have to keep telling folks, "Nope, my book's not published yet. I'm still waiting." Should I have kept my mouth shut a while longer?
I've never been good at waiting. Not when my family and I went on the twelve-hour road trip to Grandma's and not now that I'm twenty-two with the dream of being a novelist.
This summer has been a whirlwind, one I couldn't forget if I tried. The Sound of Rain was completed, sent to agents, and amazingly gained people's interest. God has blessed me with an awesome agent who commented on my Southern accent the first time we talked on the phone. (I didn't mention her, ahem, Northern accent.) He's let me final and win contests.
But autumn is coming...and I wonder if perhaps my progress will slow. It's not that I don't trust God; it's that I know He doesn't have to give me everything I want. I'd be a spoiled brat if He did.
I'm on a road trip, my destination publication.
Sure, I'm no longer sittin' at the house, but how many more hours are left before I reach Grandma's house? God's in the driver's seat, and I'm in the back, tapping my nails on the console. "Are we there yet, Lord?"
Nope, not yet.
It's easy to be jealous after reading another writer's tale about how elated she was to sign with her dream publisher. It's easy to let my mind linger on my doubts.
It's much harder to trust. To say, "Whatever You want, God. If you don't want me to be published, that's cool."
I have to be brave though. I have to give this dream over to Him every single day. I have to relax in the passenger seat and let Him drive.
This might be a long road trip. Perhaps I'll be waiting a little while.
But His plan is worth waiting for. He's watching over me and you. He knows our desires, and He knows what scares us. He knows what we need.
And He wants us to be brave and trust Him.