What a year 2018 has been. After a tumultuous 2017; two heart operations, cataract surgeries, and lots of time to focus on writing (thank you Lord), I eagerly awaited the New Year. Praying often about my calling to become a Christian writer, I had no idea what I was asking for.
I attended my first Christian writer’s conference in November 2017. Publishers and editors requested book proposal submissions for the manuscripts I pitched. I began this year with high expectations. I kept busy polishing my nonfiction book proposal, re-working a devotionals book idea I’d received guidance on, and applying lots of new writing tips. Before I knew it, mid-year arrived. Looking back, I saw lots of perceived progress. With little to show for it. A few submissions made to national and on-line magazines, a contest entry made, and a book proposal submitted.
Within weeks, it seemed the “well dried up.” No more writing, no new contests, no news from publishers, editors, or anyone else. I wasn’t even receiving rejections. Unable to understand, all I knew to do was pray. Father, I don’t know why you’re pausing me, but I trust you to let me know when your timing is right. Move me forward when you want and not when I think things should happen. That’s when the call arrived. “Come home quick if you want to see dad. Things aren’t good” my brother said.
Two months earlier, our dad fainted and broke his wrist. Six months earlier, he moved from the family home into an Independent Living facility. They provided help, served meals, and required much less activity. Now, it seemed, our dad was nearing the end of his journey. He had survived twenty years of heart procedures, complications, and a wide assortment of maladies and an equal number of medicines. Now, I was told he might only survive another month.
Closing out some consulting work, finishing up repairs around the ranch and postponing others, I got to Florida as soon as I could. I didn’t want to admit it to myself, but I knew this trip was my “final goodbye.” I called my sister to explain that with my wife’s health and dad’s wishes for no memorial, I didn’t see returning when dad died. I would opt to grieve at home with my wife rather than with my siblings.
On the second morning there, God revealed His plan for my life. I was not there to say goodbye to my dad. Instead, God had other plans. My job was to bring my dad back to Texas to live with my wife and me on our little ranch. At that moment, my fledgling writing career, my consulting work, the ranch I love, and many other things took a back seat. God changed my focus to helping my dad find the dignity, love, peace, and support he needed to live out his days.
Within a week my dad and I lived in the same home once again. Unlike over forty years earlier, we have a very different arrangement. My wife, dad, and I are learning to live in a multi-generational household. I won’t attempt to tell you it’s been easy. I assure you it’s been more of a blessing than anyone could have imagined.
In learning to care for an aging parent, God is teaching me more patience, self-control, grace, and mercy than I ever thought I could attain. Finding a semblance of balance in our new living arrangement, God—as He often does—released the floodgates of blessings in my life. My consulting business has picked up. I’ve had numerous articles published. My writing has found renewed interest with others; and I’ve been overwhelmed with new ideas for books, devotionals, and articles. My obedience to God’s guidance brought breakthroughs in every part of my life. All it took was two simple words, “Yes Father.” Click To Tweet
My prayer is that you also find your way onto God’s pre-ordained path for your life. When we walk in His will, it makes our journey so much sweeter. Faith is the reason for a Christian’s hope. We may not know what tomorrow holds for us, but we know in whose hands we are being held.