Tuesday, January 26, 2010
When I first entered Pima Medical Institute roughly 3 years ago, I knew God was telling me that Pima would be the last 9-5 job that I would be working in until my writing took off enough to support my wife, Michal, and I financially. We've held onto that promise, even through the dark and thickening clouds that passed through the company during my stay there. When I was wrongfully fired on July 30th of last year, we both knew it was time to walk out the promise. To step out in faith. To claim the promise as our own.
Since being fired, I have treated writing as a business, because that's exactly what it is. I am constantly thinking of new projects, I do my best to be diligent with my day and responsible with the time I have been given. Michal, and I have surrounded ourselves with wise counsel, those who we know will hold us accountable and keep us on the right track. We tithe and we trust that God will come through, because frankly, if he doesn't, then we are sunk. But sometimes that's where we need to be. All of us. In a place where we have no choice but to rely on God to come through.
This coming Saturday, the 30th, marks 6 months since the beginning of this segment of our journey. I've done the math. We have over $1600 in bills every month, and that includes gas, groceries, utilities, rent, etc, etc, etc. Michal only brings in $1080 a month from her job. For six months God has sustained us when, looking at the numbers, we should have been knee deep in trouble by the second month. But God has been faithful. Friends, family, and the church have all been used by God to bring us provision and I am forever grateful for that. We don't rely on any one person or the church to pay our bills, but we trust that God can use what He wants to in order to bring about His plan.
There have been those that have told us we are crazy. There are those who have shaken their heads at us and asked us what we are expecting God to do. I simply state that we are expecting God to bring about his promise. He cannot lie. What He has said will happen, WILL happen. Yes, I wake up some mornings and wonder if I've lost my own sanity. If I'm crazy for thinking that a currently unknown writer such as myself can become a success with readers around the world. I do have my doubts, I am human. But I acknowledge those doubts to God and He helps me through them. Michal helps me see how frivolous doubting and worrying is when my time is better spent trusting with faith that God will come through, even if He is slow in doing so. His timing is rarely our own.
Just recently I came to a crossroads in my writing career and in my life. For the last six months, I have felt very strongly that both my novel series are to stay in my hands, the rights of both which I will always hold. But a contest came up that would give me the opportunity to win a publishing contract and a $15,000 advance. I am confident that I could win the contest with Black Earth: End of the Innocence, but in doing so, in signing over with a publishing company, I would be giving my rights over to another set of people, people who don't know me very well, people who may not believe in the structure of my story or where I am taking my characters.
See, if we were talking about one book, it may be possible for me to hand my rights and my 'baby' over to a publishing company and trust they would know what to do with it. But that's not the case here. See, I have two novel series, one of which I plan on running out to at least 12 books, the other which will go to 4 or 5. These series tie in with one another and so do all of the short stories and audio projects I am planning to release between them. So essentially, giving away one of my novels would essentially give away the whole span of things that I have been toiling over since I was twelve years old. I am thirty now. This is my empire, my world that I created, and it is a world in which God has weaved His own hand to give blessing and provision and creativity.
God is the impossible. And I don't know about you, but I can't bring myself to succumb to the old 'tried and true'. I stood for what was right in my old company and they found a way to fire me, wrongly at that. After which I decided to follow the calling on my life. And now that I am in the middle of this journey, I can't stop. I can't veer onto another path, one that might look significantly easier or quicker. I must stick to that which I committed to, regardless of the circumstances.
Someone close to me said what I am trying to do is the equivalent of pushing a snowball down a mountainside. It will take some time, but sooner or later, it will build momentum and become a success. It requires patience, endurance, perseverance and most of all, faith. For 6 months I have seen the impossible, and I trust that I will see it for another 6 months. Let's see where this road leads...