CreateSpace has been my friend this summer. They have this wonderful feature where you can get a proof copy of your un-finished manuscript printed for about $5.00, cheaper and easier to handle than printing nearly two hundred pages on my archaic printer. I have been plugging along on my devotional, When Hope Survives, grappling with concepts like this revelational thought that popped into my most recent pity party:
We look here for temporary substitutes to replace God
which ultimately only bring discontent, depression and despair.
The pitiful things that I replace Jesus with condemn me in themselves.
Real joy is found only in God.
The key to joy, then, is to look to Him alone.
Not exactly what I've been doing lately. Hence the reason why writing the theological parts for the book might be a bit of a struggle right about now. The cloud of discontent, worry and grief have overruled lately.
The recent triggers: a little brown leather ball and a different seventh grade boy in a white and purple jersey. Another home school year with only four names on the schedule again. Those baying dogs in their boxes in the back of the old beat-up hunting trucks that continue to pass by on our quiet road. The next fifty years of my life to look forward to with everyday beginning with the thought that my son is not here to enjoy them with and battling to sing the praises of God for that. Fighting my flesh to call this good, seeking God's ways rather than mine, reminding myself to rejoice in the blessing of suffering.
Some days I honestly can rejoice. I am able to keep my focus on eternity, realizing the gift of having my eyes opened to it. Looking around watching so many people living carnal lives, only desiring the next recreational excursion or new toy rather than looking forward to Christ's return when we will marvel at Him, when His glory will be revealed, when our souls will be fulfilled in His presence, when the accounting of our lives will be reckoned and the grace of God will be shown for how it carried us. The gift of suffering becomes clearer, then, as I realize that it brings with it the desire to focus on eternity.
The book is still a long way off from being worthy of publishing, even self publishing. I pray for the words to write, but fear writing them at the same time. To attempt to permanently describe God, a black and white representation of the Almighty... it's a scary thing. I tread upon the responsibility with great respect and patience.
But then at the same time I feel the need for it to be finished. Now. I see the desperate need for a reminder of hope. I see grieving mothers, friends, and people I've never met (besides myself) needing to be redirected back to the promises of Scripture, back to Jesus, back to the gospel, back to the source of joy. Not just for those grieving a child, but those walking any road of suffering. Trials consume a person. Blinders need to be removed so that hope can shine forth. The truths of God penetrate the darkness.
So I continue to pick up the proof copy, continue to edit, edit, edit and wait for the perfect words to flow when it's God's time.