Friday, April 27, 2007

Why Are Our Journeys So Different?

I just had to show you this gorgeous photo of the library where I work. I can say it's gorgeous because I didn't take it. The pro at our college (Sheron Smith) gets all the credit for that.

This photo fits in nicely with some deep and profound thoughts I've been having this week. Okay, actually I struggled yet again with publishing envy, but you'll be pleased to know that I overcame it pretty quickly this time around.

It all started with Miralee Ferrell's post last week. As a part of that posting, I visited Miralee's website and read her story of how she started writing and published her first novel. In February of 2005, Miralee received a prophetic word from a speaker who told her God wanted her to write and to publish. Miralee obediently started writing and learning the craft, and everything fell into place. Now, only a couple of years later, her first novel (The Other Daughter) is due to come out this October.

What an amazing story! I truly believe God does work this way, and I'm happy for Miralee. At the same time, I suffered a couple of ugly, jealous twinges. After all, as you know if you've read my story here, I've wanted to be a writer since I was seven years old, and I've been trying to publish a novel for 30 years. I believe that God called me to write just as he did Miralee. He even provided both of us with an agent from the same literary agency! And yet I wait, and wait, and...

In the midst of my little pity party, God reminded me of a few things. Miralee told us last week about her family's hard times, and their struggle to sell their home. I have quite a different story on that topic. A few years ago, God suddenly provided an opportunity for me (and my husband, of course) to move back to my home town. I interviewed for one job in that town and got it, so I was employed by the time we moved. Our house sold in about two weeks. Everything fell right into place.

And then there's my current job at the library. (You knew I'd tie that in eventually, didn't you!) Five or six years ago, I decided I wanted to change careers. I thought about becoming a librarian, which meant getting a master's degree--which meant coming up with a lot of money I didn't have. I prayed to God that, if this was what he wanted me to do, he would provide the funds. Precisely as I was enrolling in my first classes, I received an inheritance from my aunt which paid--almost to the penny--for the entire degree.

The day I graduated, I had a job interview with the library where I work now. One week later, I was officially a librarian. This may not sound that amazing to you, but there are folks out there who have looked for their first professional library job for years, or had to move across country to get one. I'm in a fairly small town that has very few entry-level librarian positions. God provided for me almost immediately.

So, I play up the areas of my life where I've had to wait. And I tend to focus on writing because it's so important to me. But in other areas, when the timing is right, things just fall into place. I guess my point is, we need to be careful about that envy thing. We're all on different journeys. When God leads us around a bend in the road or makes us just sit down by the ditch and wait for awhile, it's all for a reason. We'll all have to wait on something!