Sunday, December 7, 2008

Author of the Month: Guest Blog From Eva!

Wait on God. Ever hear that before? Not bad words if you are the one saying them but not so much fun if you are the one hearing them!

Or, how about this one: Maybe that's not what God wants you to do. These words, spoken when you clearly have heard God whisper to your heart, can be just as frustrating as hearing a friend or family member say, "Well, you just have to wait on God."

Waiting on God as a writer can be tough. We writers often refer to our works as our "babies." Like human babies, these gems take time to develop. If its rushed, the birthed result is not everything it could be. Ask any mother who has given birth to a premature infant. It takes months and sometimes years for that precious little one to "catch up." Or, if you've ever taken part in a butterfly garden, you know that if you try to help the butterfly "escape" from his crysalis, you will--in fact--kill it. His wings must unfurl slowly. They must stretch out on their own, then soak up some sunshine before they flutter and fly, bringing delight in the wake of their wings.

I remember when I was nearing the birth of my daughter Jessica. I was huge, swollen with fluids, hot, and quite frankly sick of being pregnant. (I was sick the whole blasted time!) I called my husband at work and told him, "I don't want to do this anymore!" I cried like the baby I wanted born. My husband said, "What do you want me to do?" to which I replied, "Make it happen!" He laughed and said, "You aren't even due yet!" And I said, "But I'm so close!"

Within days from these whined words, I held my precious newborn in my arms. The timing was perfect and so was she.

I shared with Miriam the idea20for Reflections of God's Holy Land almost as soon as it took its initial root in my heart and mind. We put together a proposal and began shopping it with publishers. As good an idea as this one was, no one was interested. Quite frankly, I was flabbergasted. How could these publishers--these editors--not see the value of this work? I began to make deals with God...and, in turn, attempt to make deals with the editors and publishers. Not that it did any good, mind you. But I tried. It was as fruitless as saying to my husband, "Make it happen!"

Everything within its season. Miriam and I dropped the idea amongst kind "wait on God" phrases from friends. (At least, I got them!) In late 2005 I was contracted to write a bible study for World, an imprint of Thomas Nelson. The ink had barely dried on the contract when World folded and the contract was sent to W, another imprint. The editor there told me she wasn't familiar with my work and could I give her a few days to look over some of my work. I said "Sure." (What else would I have said?) A few days later I received a call (or maybe it was an email...but I think it was a call) from my agent. The editor had found some articles I'd written in 2002 after my 10-day press tour in Israel and was wondering if I'd be willing to drop the bible study idea for a book about the Holy Land. Her vision of the book was almost exactly what Miriam and I'd envisioned in 2002!

God gives us ideas--we writers--and then he says, "Wait. Not quite yet. I have a plan. Can you be patient for a minute? Can you trust me? Wait...."

In our case, Thomas Nelson--the largest Christian publishing house in the world--saw merit in an idea sparked at Tel Hazor, Israel, mentioned for the first time along the Old City wall of Jerusalem and then nearly forgotten by its two authors. But God had not forgotten. He was waiting for the gestation period to come to completion, the baby to form all its fingers and toes, the wings to unfurl and soak up the sunshine.

I tell you this because you might have that great idea you just know God has spoken to you. But, so far, the birthing pains haven't begun and you are beginning to wonder if they ever will. Well, I'm here to declare to you: if God spoke, and you heard, he will! Just wait. You'll see.

Thanks, Eva! Wonderful thoughts and I'm so glad you shared with us!

Happy Reading!



Kim said...

This was a HUGE blessing to me today! Thank you Eva - and Deena!


Rel said...

Lovely thoughts and a gentle reminder! Thanks, Eva and D!