“Why don’t you ever have time for me?”
My heart stopped and I turned to my nine-year old daughter as she burst into tears. I gathered her in my arms and we talked. She had needed me when she came home from school that day, but I was glued to the computer screen, and had only given her a vague “uhuh” when she started to tell me what was on her heart.
A short time after that, a man stood up in a congregation and said, “What you are doing is good but your obsession with it is not.” I knew immediately God was speaking to me. I knew my writing had become an idol in my life. When I needed comfort, I wrote. When I was afraid, I wrote. When I was angry, I wrote. I went to my writing instead of my God.
So I prayed and God answered. Stop writing fiction. I didn’t like that answer but when I eventually gave in I asked God to please, please take away the stories that continually flowed through my head. He did. For over two years. I continued to write devotionals and articles for a local newspaper, but no fiction.
Then one day I was chatting with a woman about abortion. She asked, “Can you imagine what it would be like for someone to discover that his mother had tried to abort him?” I did imagine. A character began to take shape in my mind so vividly I knew God had released me to write his story. I prayed and then I wrote. That novel, One Smooth Stone, won the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award. And I wept, not just because of the award, but because of what God had taught me.
He taught me that if I am obedient to Him He will bless me in ways I could never have imagined. He taught me that a strong “no” may seem harsh but will always be given with loving intent. He taught me that He intends “to prosper (me) and not to harm (me)… to give (me) a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Father in heaven keep me close to you, so close that I will never again put an idol in the place that you should hold. Thank you that I can know your plans are always best. Amen.
Marcia Lee Laycock writes from Alberta Canada where she lives with her pastor/husband and two golden retrievers. Her three daughters are often fodder for her writing. She is a columnist with Novel Rocket and her devotionals are widely distributed. She also has three published novels and several ebooks available.
This article is an entry in the MAI devotional writing contest.