A friend of mine once said something along the lines of that surrendering something to God is dangerous, because He’ll use it to work in your life.
It’s easy for someone to say that they’re living for the glory of God, and easy to want to do it and think that they are. But living for the glory of God is more than saying you are, more than wanting to. It involves surrender, consciously giving Him everything in your life, no matter how small. For me recently, one of the ways I learned to consciously give Him glory was through my writing. It seems like such a small thing, but He still wants to work through it, to use it for His glory.
So I gave it to Him. And my friend was right; it was dangerous. He required it of me.
Most writer friends can’t talk to me for very long without hearing about The Masked Bird, the novel I have been working on for the last two and half years. It doesn’t take much longer for them to discover that it’s my heart book. Dig around a little more, and I’ll be frank and tell you that the theme is an extreme magnification of my own struggle. What few people know is that I hate it. You heard me right. I hate it.
The Masked Bird deals with the theme of anger and revenge. When I was told in the first draft that my alpha reader actually disliked the main character because there was no development, I discovered that my own, much smaller, struggle fit the plot I already had. With each subsequent draft, the theme continued to expand and grow in emotion, until I, even as the author, was connected emotionally as though I was the main character herself. And in a way I was. Even as her struggle grew farther and farther from my own, I saw myself in her, and despised it. My emotions became tangled in, even dictated by, the tale of my own making.
And when I gave it to God, I realized that it was time to step back. Not only to give my writing time to mature or to give the story a break before I began the next draft, but to disconnect myself. My story was controlling me, rather than me controlling the story. And with the dark themes running through the story, I felt like I needed time to mature as a person before I began the final draft. It means waiting patiently, and letting Him grow me through the wait.
So when will I go back? I don’t know. It might be next year, it might be in five, ten, or even more. And it doesn’t matter. It’s not my story anymore, it’s His.