When it Gets Hard

In a recent post on her blog, Karen Hancock, author
of The Guardian King Series, The Arena and The Enclave, commented on the
struggle she’s having as she works on her next book:

 “ … and this kind of
thing, the ideas, the modification, the sudden realization of
inconsistencies, the  major readjustments, the refinement – or the dumping
as unworkable and starting over… it’s all part of the hard work of building a
world for a novel. So… nothing’s wrong here. It’s part of the process and the
process is long, hard, confusing, frustrating, exciting, gratifying, rewarding,
never easy. Nor simple. Nor fast. It’s been like this before. Many times. I’d
forgotten that. Forgotten that I just have to keep plugging along, and be
patient, It will come, in time.”

Anyone who has worked hard and long on writing a novel can
relate to those words. They are true for all of us and I appreciated the
reminder that struggle doesn’t mean something is wrong or broken or out of sync
with the writer or the work. It’s just the reality that the process isn’t easy.

And such is life, even a life lived in and through and with
Christ. It’s just not easy because we live in a world ruled by forces that are
continually at work to cause chaos and disease and pain. We’re in the midst of
it, trying to cope with our own particular segment of it, trying to bring sense
to it, both for our own peace of mind and that of others. That’s the challenge
for writers of faith. Madeleine L’Engle has said, “The discipline of creation,
be it to paint, compose, write, is an effort toward wholeness.” Notice the word
effort – that implies struggle, the need for perseverance.

There are days when it can seem too hard, when the fatigue
and frustration make us just want to lie down and give up. That’s the selfish
streak in us, the streak that wants all the struggle to go away and life to be
always sweet and full of sunshine. But Christ calls us to a different attitude.
One that urges us to keep going, to do the work He has laid out for us. We are
assured that there is purpose in all of this process, purpose that affects not
only us, but those around us and those who will read our words. And, because of
Christ, there is even joy in it all.

So when it gets hard, know that it’s normal. Know you’re not
alone. We’re all with you. And so is the One who has given you this work to do.
Be encouraged by David’s words to Solomon – “Be strong and courageous, and do
the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, My God, is with
you. He will not fail you or forsake you until the all the work …. is
finished” (1Chronicles 28:20).
****

Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta
Canada where she is a pastor’s wife and mother of three adult daughters. She
was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel,
One Smooth Stone and also has two devotional books in print. Her work has been
endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan. Marcia’s
second novel, A Tumbled Stone was recently short listed in the contemporary
fiction category of The
Word Awards
Abundant Rain, an ebook devotional for
writers can be downloaded here.
Visit Marcia’s website