Today’s discussion on K-Love Radio was about having it all. Having it all meant so many different things to different people. I listened for a while and then thoughts went to – what does it mean for me to have it all?
I immediately thought of my children and grandchildren. I want them to have healthy lives. I wish for them to have safe and loving relationships where they talk and listen to each other. Relationships should be a matter of compromise. Something that will work for both people. Not where one person is giving in to the other just to keep peace. Soon that person will resent the situation and wonder, will there ever be a compromise?
I thought of my husband. He is a truly good and loving man. He has quite the past. He was never without a girlfriend for any length of time. I sometimes wonder what sets me apart from all the others. Why is it special this time? When a woman is married to a truly handsome man, all she sees are her shortcomings. But I have to let that go. It isn’t easy, though, when I have gone through cancer and my body is now slowly healing itself. I have fallen head over heels in love with this man. He means everything to me.
Lastly I thought of Jesus and praying. I wish I could get it right. What is the right way to pray? Can I be sitting or do I have to kneel on the floor? My poor knees aren’t happy about kneeling. And how do I know when Jesus has heard me? There are a number of things I am praying for and this patience thing is for the birds. I want things fixed now. I know it has to happen in God’s time. He knows best. But there are times when I have said to God, I can’t handle any more. I just can’t. I don’t want to.
What would having it all mean to you? For me, seeing my children and grandchildren safe and healthy and in loving relationships. To be happy and content with my husband, knowing and trusting how much he loves me. And to know that I am a child of God. That nothing will happen to me that He and I can’t handle. Then I would have it all.
I wonder about me, at times. Well, maybe all the time. I wonder about my faith. I wonder about me being a good person. I wonder where is God in all of this.
I pray but not every day. When I do pray, it is for everyone around me. I don’t pray for me. Even though I am now facing cancer, I still don’t pray for Jesus to cure me from this cancer. But I do pray that Jesus stays with me through all of this because I know I can’t do it without Him.
I seriously don’t think I have the right to ask Jesus to heal my cancer. I don’t think I have the right to ask that because I know God has a plan for me and do I have the right to alter that plan, whatever it may be? I don’t know. I struggle with this.
I pray for my friend who has just discovered she has multiple sclerosis. I pray that God is with her and helps her. I pray for my children and that God keeps them all healthy and safe. I am proud of all my children. They fill my heart with love. I pray that God keeps Bill safe and heals him. Bill has issues and he cannot handle them on his own. I did not think I could love a man as much as I love Bill.
I pray for all those who are hurting and sick. I pray for victims of disasters and storms. I pray for this world. I can’t believe how horrible we humans are to each other and animals. But when something evil happens, there are kind people who do not think of themselves and step out to help others. I am encouraged when I hear and see those reports.
My praying is sporadic. Not consistent. Not every day. Then I wonder if God hears me when I do pray. Some times it feels like He doesn’t. Although many people say that He doesn’t answer right away. His timing is perfect. Does it say that in the Bible? Where does it say that? I really struggle with that because there are times I have thought that God hates me. Why do I feel that? I don’t know. I really don’t know.
Emotional. That is what I am. I go from being certain that I will beat this cancer and everything will be fine. Then the roller coaster of emotions takes me to the very bottom where I hear the whisper of I may die from this. I let myself ride the roller coaster because, at times, it is just so draining to fight it all the time.
I do feel blessed. I have so many friends that are praying for me and thinking of me. I cry when I think about all the people I love. I feel I don’t deserve it. I look at Bill and wonder how he could love me. But I know God is with me because every once in a while I will feel His hand on my shoulder. I feel that He is there and this fills me with determination. Whatever I have to face, I know I won’t be alone. Yes, I have my husband, children and friends who are with me. But in the deepest darkest moments, God is with me.
This past weekend I drove to Topsail Beach in North Carolina where I joined eleven other female Christian writers for the weekend. Lisa Carter and Alice Wisler started this writers’ retreat three years ago. I have gone every year, so far, and this weekend has done more good for me as a writer than I can say.
Alice and Lisa have done a phenomenal job of organizing the weekend for Christian writers. Alice always leads the devotionals and Lisa has given us a wealth of information on writing, getting to an agent, publisher and the marketing aspects of our books. We have had so many interesting conversations about the whole book writing thing that has gripped us.
Not everyone has an agent. Not everyone has gone the traditional route of finding a publisher. There are a few self published authors. Discussions, this year, have been on the changing climate for writers. The market is changing and publishing houses are changing their ways. Change has had to happen due to the demand of the public – the readers of our material.
The best part of this yearly weekend is the sharing and the love and support that comes from each woman at this retreat. Prayer is a big part of all our lives. Just knowing this is a safe and secure place to retreat to is a welcome calm in the storms of our lives.
Lisa strongly recommended that every writer should attend at least one workshop every year. I agree. Workshops, retreats, conferences for writers are a necessary charge for our batteries. I attended the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference two years ago. I will attend again this year. The first year I attended, I felt my head would explode with all the information from the workshops. But it was a wonderful, safe and secure place to attend. I could not believe how published writers, agents, editors, publishing representatives and authors were willing to share their experiences, their ideas, their recommendations to be a successful author.
To anyone who is thinking of writing a book, I say go ahead and take the plunge. It is said that everyone has one good book in them. I am so grateful to Alice and Lisa for their support, love and guidance. Thank you Alice and Lisa. You are both a blessing to me.