Recently, I whined about this to my good (poor) friend Penny. In the course of the conversation, I said this:
"It is very much a huge mess.
I've been praying about it a lot.
It's still a huge mess."
Penny said: "Praying doesn't necessarily make the mess go away, just makes you more able to handle the mess. :P"
I replied “yeah, I know,” but what I had said and what she said stuck in my mind. And it’s made me think.
I still remember the events that made me give, give, and re-give my writing to God with something like awe. It really is an amazing thing, especially my first realization of: “I couldn’t have written that on my own.”
As I often say, “I couldn’t write something that beautiful, because I’m not that beautiful.” The idea is a freeing one, at first. You think of phrases like God’s words through my fingertips and if this only makes You happy, it’s still worth it. The real-life application of the latter of those phrases took me a long time to learn.
But there’s another component.
As I’ve worked on this draft of Forest of Lies, I have felt especially blessed in finally being allowed to work on it. I tried unsuccessfully for two and a half years, and I wonder if during those years God purposefully held me back, letting me grow as a person and as a Christian before I tackled the final story edit.
But as I work on it, I feel a huge responsibility. God has show me time and time again how Draft III has glorified Him in spite of its faults. As I work on correcting those faults, I’m terrified of somehow snuffing out the heart of this story, that somehow it won’t touch people like it has anymore.
As I also wrestle more thoroughly with its tangled and messy themes of Truth, Love, true Christianity, and awe-inspiring Forgiveness, I am more worried about getting something wrong. This has been especially evident as I struggle with two crucial scenes: the showdown and the denouement. They bring these themes voice in a way that has to carry the weight of the entire story. I want these scenes to have no unnecessary elements, no preachy lines--all realness and rawness of the human condition and sacrificial Love.
Because of that, I have been writing in my prayer journal over and over again: “God, I give this to You. This is Yours.”
And it is His.
But He’s not necessarily going to come down, point a finger at my screen, and write it for me. I got a snippet of who He is when writing Forest of Lies’s showdown--one snippet out of 45,000 words.
I need to write. Without fear.
I will pray, and I will search, and I will try to make this story as true as it can possibly be in a fallen world coming from a fallen but redeemed human. But writing for God doesn’t mean plot problems with supernaturally unsnarl or I will always know where to go with the themes He puts in my heart.
Mostly, it means that whatever good comes out of my fumbling attempts--I give the glory to Him.
Does anyone else struggled with real-life application of Soli Deo Gloria?