I’m not trying to start a cult. I promise. But as a writer, my job description could include demigod.
The other day, I was hashing through my current project, a family based series. As I stood in the shower—one of a mom’s sacred moments alone—my mind sifted through the master timeline. Boy meets girl. They fall in love, get married, have children. Their children meet special someones, and the cycle continues.
Along the way there’s romance and heartache, mistakes made and lessons learned. There are moments of beauty, self-sacrifice, and surrender. One of the joys of being a writer is that I rarely get bored. I can feel the emotions of each story and watch them unfold like a movie in my mind.
While brainstorming possibilities for the last scene of the final book, my eyes may have gotten a little misty, and not from the shower water. How beautiful to see where my characters begin and what they become. In the first book, my hero starts as a frustrated, broken young man who wonders if his sins have disqualified him from God’s plan for his life. He’s longing for love and purpose. By the end of the series, his dreams have become reality, and then some.
As water rushed over my head, it hit me. I have the thousand-foot view because, well, I created it. Is it not the same with God? I squirm around and whine like my two-year-old daughter. I don’t get enough time to write. I can’t afford to go to a conference. How long will it be before I get published? And all the while, I imagine God smiling, totally at ease in my frustration, because He sees the final product. He knows the plans He has for me.
It’s all giggles and grins when I’m in control. Characters can’t simply meet, fall in love, and stroll through life hand in hand. Where’s the story in that? Insert more conflict! Make them suffer from disappointing choices or the lies they believe. However, it’s not so amusing when I’m the one making wrong turns or stumbling over ruts in the path. Thank God He’s not flustered by the conflict I create for myself, or the trouble others create for me!
In the same way, I delight in taking my characters down paths they never expected, catching them off guard and dropping them in a place better than what they planned for themselves. I love writing the moment they win. The hero gets the girl. The heroine finds her soulmate. The kiss at the end. In real life, the Lord gives us the best happily ever after.
If I could sit down with the main character from the first book in my series and tell him anything, it’d be this: Don’t worry. God’s got this. All you need to do is surrender and trust. There will be hardship along the way, tragedy even. But keep your focus on Him, and He’ll see you through to a more amazing place than you ever imagined.
Now, to take my own demigod advice. It’s my prayer that we’ll remember God has the thousand-foot view. What do you long for? A spouse? To find purpose and fulfillment? Breakthrough in your relationship with God? Maybe it’s healing, or hope. No matter what happens in the years to come, God has secured us in the palm of His hand and at the center of His heart. Life may not unfold the way we expect in the timing we want, but hang in there. His love is deep. His plans are good!
Beth Olsson, in a pen cap, is all about Jesus, her Viking, and their two adorable babies. If you know what it means when she says her childhood heroes were Laura Ingalls Wilder, Anne of Green Gables, and Jo March, then you get it! All kidding aside, they’re still her heroes. Beth started creating stories as early as she can remember, staying awake well after bedtime dreaming up daring characters and precarious situations. As a writer of contemporary romance, with a dash of suspense, she believes the best stories weave the raw beauty of real life with unbelievable adventures.
A proud resident of Kansas City, Missouri, Beth enjoys world travel, genealogy, and sitting around the dinner table for hours, talking about both. The best souvenir she ever brought home was a husband from Sweden. Like any good writer, she has a love affair with chocolate and coffee, but it’s a lifeblood connection with Jesus Christ that keeps the words flowing and heart beating. At the tender age of fourteen, on a tile floor in Costa Rica, she surrendered all to the one she calls Lord. Through life’s twists and turns she’s thankful for this steadfast foundation every day!