Early last fall God allowed several writing doors to close for me. Looking back I can see that He was giving me a much needed break from writing deadlines. Our daughter had been hospitalized and then in serious recovery mode for many months. While she recuperated our son had surgery that involved 5 weeks of wearing a wound-vac and home health-care visits. And, my husband and I both succumbed to various illnesses in the midst of it all.
When life interrupts, it's tempting to think that our goals will never get accomplished. And maybe they won't. Sometimes the things God accomplishes in us trump the goals we thought we had to meet.
And sometimes, God asks us to change direction.
Last November, I began to pray about writing goals for 2010. I once heard that we are guaranteed to miss a target we don't have, and I agree with that. But I always want my goals to be established by God. "Roll your works upon the Lord--commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and so shall your plans be established and succeed." (Proverbs 16:3, Amplified Bible)
As I prayed, I felt nudged toward a scary direction--a place I had no desire to go--and reluctance set in. While I didn't cross my arms and dig in my heels, I couldn't fathom going that way. So I simply didn't think about it. Much.
An interior wrestling match commenced. I ignored the nudges, God gently coaxed.
I said, "It'll be ugly. And painful."
God said, "My grace is sufficient."
"But I don't want to re-live it," I whispered.
"I'll be re-living it with you," He whispered back.
Slowly, God persuaded me.
Aligning my writing goals with God's unexpected plans for me this year felt daring, like stopping abruptly on a major interstate highway, walking across the median, and climbing into a new car headed in the opposite direction. Without a GPS.
And so, my writing goal for 2010 is established: 1,000 words a day, 5 days a week, until the rough draft of my memoir is finished. My goal is ambitious, and can only be accomplished through discipline, God's grace, and with the help of my prayer partners. It's definitely not not what I had planned. But it's absolutely what I'm supposed to do.
How about you? What are your goals for 2010? Can you share a time that God completely changed your direction?