Friday, October 14, 2016

Don't Be Afraid To Rewrite Your Story

I'm working on a new book, and I have to admit that, from the very beginning, this story has given me grief. In the beginning stages, I struggled with plot, characters, settings and how to weave each of these elements into a story of intrigue and excitement. For days, I struggled with writer's block, unable to write a single word to bring the story to life.  I've written and published sixteen books, and this has never happened to me before.

Finally, after days of frustration, I began to write, and the words flowed from me. Though I was excited that the writer's block seemed to have been broken, I still couldn't seem to get excited about the story itself. Still, I didn't want to lose my momentum, so I continued to write and to do my best to create a story that readers would love. Unfortunately, after I had written nearly 2/3 of the book, I realized that the story had taken a drastic turn, and I was not happy with the direction it was headed. The character development just wasn't there. The plot appeared stilted and forced. All in all, it seemed like the entire thing was a disaster!

After pouring out my feelings to Jason, he gave me some profound advice though it wasn't particularly what I wanted to hear at that moment. His words to me were this: "Don't be afraid to rewrite your story." The truth is, I'm not afraid, but I am frustrated. I don't want to rewrite my book. I don't want all of the work that I've already done to be in vain. I hate the thought of starting all over again and of possibly discovering that the story still doesn't work. So, I guess I am afraid – afraid of failing again.

Perhaps you know exactly how I feel. No, you may not be writing a physical novel, but you are writing your own life story. And maybe that story has taken a drastic turn, and you're not happy with where it is heading. Like me, you may have struggled with writer's block, unable to tell your story. But then, one day, Jesus came into your life, and your story began to flow like never before. You were excited and had high expectations of how your story would play out, but then, you realized that your story was heading in a new direction, and you were not happy with the results.

It is to you I say, don't be afraid to rewrite your story. Yes, I know there are some things in your past that cannot be changed and even some things in your present that cannot be altered, just as there are some elements in my story that cannot be rewritten. There are things that were set in motion in the previous books, and now I must follow through with them. But that is not to say that we cannot retrace our steps and discover where our story took a wrong turn. I still have to discover where that point is in my book, but looking back on my own life, I now see that my life lost its direction when I allowed fear to replace my faith.  Knowing that, I can go back to that place and begin a new story – one built on faith in my God who has always met my needs and will continue to meet my needs.

Here's the tough part. It's not enough to simply want to go back and rewrite our stories; we must be willing to allow the stories to play out the way God sees fit, not the way we expect them to play out. I have been trying to force my book to play out the way that I wanted it to instead of allowing it to go where it needed to go. And in that, I've made a mess.

So, you see, the truth is we are not the ones rewriting our stories after all. We are handing our pen to the Author and Finisher of our faith and allowing him to write our story as He deems worthy. I'm not saying it will be easy or that it will be painless, but isn't a good story worth it?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some rewriting to do!

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. -- II Corinthians 5:17

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