Lisa at The Preacher's Wife is writing a wonderful study that I'm just now jumping into. This subject is timely for me lately. I hope I can keep up with her promptings. I have so enjoyed getting to know her.
Please visit Lisa to read the scripture and her application/discussion. Here are my answers to her questions:
1. I am going to present to you a little acrostic to begin our discussion today. What is your latest NLIP? (Not Like I Planned?)
The latest is probably not being published in a couple of places I thought I had a chance to be.
2. How did you react to your NLIP? Are you still upset about it? Happy about it? Baffled by it? Explain.
I am down about it, not depressed, not angry, just confused and a little sad. I've noticed that not being published beyond my little newspaper column is bothering me more lately than it used to. I'm trying to honestly study my motivations for wanting to be published. There are several "tricky" reasons possible. I want to please God more than anything, and if it's not meant to be, it's not meant to be.
3. Have you ever attempted to step into an area of ministry and found your desire rejected? Did this cause you to question God and yourself? Perhaps distrust what you perceived to be your calling?
Once I stepped up where there was a need temporarily. When we hired someone to do that ministry plus other ministry facets full-time, it was hard because there wasn't a smooth transition, and I felt a little jerked around. Now I'm glad it worked out like it did, but I felt offended at the time. It wasn't the right place for me permanently.
Regarding the NLIP above, publishing is more blurry to me. I thought
God gave me a certain amount of a gift for writing and a love for it since I was little, but maybe not. What I thought was a certain amount of talent, not great, but maybe above average, I have discovered to be quite common in the blogosphere. And my life has not been remarkable in a sense of having a lot to share with people. I'm confused about my passion, I guess.
4. Do you harbor any bitterness towards any individual or situation which you believe waylaid your best laid plans?
No, not really. When I read the last essay that was published in the place I wanted to be, I felt a twinge of anger in the moment. That's embarrassing to admit. But I certainly don't believe I was "waylaid" by a person or even the Enemy. I do know that editing is very subjective. And I do know that God orders all my steps. And I do know there are more important things going on in the world than my frustration about not being published. Um, for that matter, there are more important things going on in my dryer right now.
5. Have you had a life experience or trial that left you with a shaken faith because it ended in an NLIP? Please share if you feel free.
Well, there have been marital glitches and personal depression that I've dealt with over the years, but even during the depression, when God "felt" far away, I knew, I knew, He was there and that I was under his care. Just typing that fills me with thankful praise.
5. Based on Moses' response of faith to his own rejection, how will you re-evaluate your own experiences or look at future ones differently if a NLIP presents itself?
I guess I'll just keep taking this to God and asking if this is what he wants me to pursue or if I'm wasting valuable time that he would want me to spend elsewhere. He may want me to be persistent, or it may be a desire I need to die-out to. I just want to know what I'm supposed to do.