I spent several hours yesterday writing a chapter for a book I’ve been working on for years. I haven’t written anything new in quite a while, although I have spent a lot of time editing what I did have down. Many, many hours over the years working on this book. I confidently said, “two chapters away from done!” and got to writing again and was very pleased with the way the Holy Spirit smoothly wrote a whole chapter in those few hours I gave to Him yesterday. When I was finished, I went through the painful process of saving my work. I say painful because I have always went above and beyond to save my work to multiple places so that I don’t lose it. I’ve read horror stories of authors getting careless and losing entire manuscripts. I can’t even wrap my mind around how awful that realization is. Or I should say I couldn’t … I found out yesterday. Didn’t have to wrap my head around it, because it became my reality completely without my permission.
I opened my online files to peruse some of the older chapters to fine-tune them, which I do often because when I’m not writing, I still like to be moving forward on them. I was shocked to find that the chapters I had saved were not the last version I had revised and saved. Not even close. They were old. Like, the first draft of each chapter. I was sick! I was so upset. I just sat there dumbfounded until sobs overtook me and my kids looked at me like I had lost it. They both immediately got concerned and began to hesitantly inch toward me asking me what was wrong. I couldn’t even say it. My book, what I thought was very polished and almost finished, was gone.
I can’t even express the feeling of despair that hit me. How am I going to start all over? I’ve been writing on this one book for five or six years. I’ve put so much time, at the expense of sleep and fun and food, to write this book that I felt was God’s divine plan for my life. I just knew I was going to get it done because He gave me a vision for it, burned it into my heart and fed it to me line by line … how could this happen?
I looked up into Heaven and this intense peace settled over me. My spirit all the sudden had a calm reassurance: He’ll do it again. All the sudden, I just knew it wasn’t up to me this time. It’s God’s work. All I have to do is be obedient, He’ll do the rest. He’ll inspire and teach and work through me. For the first time in writing, and aiming for finishing a book, I have this deep sense of freedom in it. It’s His. I don’t have to carry the burden of producing something for Him. He is going to produce something through me.
Perhaps there are others out there who are starting over. And maybe it’s something much bigger than writing a book. Maybe it’s starting over in a new place, with new people, or with a new purpose. Whatever it is, you recognize the anxious thoughts: “How am I going to do this?” May I suggest you place that burden on the Lord, and allow Him to carry you. While nothing is more daunting than starting over, it can be a beautiful thing. Each new beginning comes with fresh wisdom and a fresh opportunity to embrace God and invite Him to walk with you. He can enable you to do what He is calling you to do. Peace be with you!