What an amazing God we serve! I tend to use one scripture as the focus for my works in progress;
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.
Realistically, even though that scripture fits in every aspect of life, I can’t use it for every book. I’m a linear kind of person when I want to be, well, not exactly, but I’ve found I am more productive in my writing when I write in a linear fashion. For me that means, praying, plotting, praying, plotting . . . Once I get to the actual writing, I like to have a scripture in mind that will encompass my story. I can’t seem to actually write words until I know what that scripture is. So I spend a lot of time praying and chewing over ideas. If nothing comes to me, then I don’t move. It’s probably a mental block, but I just can’t seem to move. Since I’m participating in NaNoWriMo not moving isn’t an option unless I want to fail. Yesterday was day one. I should have written 1667 words, but I didn’t. I didn’t move. I couldn’t move. Today, being day two I knew I had to do something. But what?
I didn’t know exactly what I was going to pray, I just knew that I had to. God was calling me to at that particular moment.
As I bowed my head to pray, I felt led to read Psalm 71. I read it over a few times and a particular passage kept popping out at me.
Psalm 71:19-21 Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things. Who, O God, is like you? Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me again.
Such a beautiful passage. I believe this passage was given to me for my story. I can’t go into the details because they are top secret, but I can say both my hero and my heroine suffer many troubles, physically and spiritually. Their honor will be questioned. Their faith in God will be questioned, by members of their congregation as well as by themselves. Through it all they will continue to praise God and in the end they will be restored.
NOW, I feel released to write!
The following is an excerpt from my hero’s journal that I wrote several months ago.
Fragments of Hope
Reverend A.C.’s Journal
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that confess his name.
July 30, 1856
How shall I praise thee now? Easy it comes to the lips when circumstances are like butter on a warm piece of bread. Yet, when the cow refuses to let from the teat and the churn breaks, how is it I am to praise you oh, Lord? How is it that I shall confess of your goodness when the bread is stale and weevils nest in the caverns?
If honesty is to be had betwixt us, I do not feel an utterance of praise is possible. Especially when my natural inclination is to shake my fist and rail at the injustice of my circumstance.
Alas, I will not. For I know I will wallow in the cauldron of self-pity, even if only for a moment. Perhaps tomorrow, when my tears have been shed and my mourning complete, I will arise with the sun and praise your Holiness-for I can not help recall your word, O Lord.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”