Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Courage to Trust in God's Delays

And the Lord answered me:“Write the vision; make it plain upon tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seem slow, wait for it;  it will surely come, it will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:2-3).

Mid October I shared in a blog post that an opportunity for me to publish my devotional book, Seeking the Light of God’s Comforter, When Challenges Dim Our View, had come into my life. On November 17, I signed my book contract! Yes - it is all real now and progressing!

There were some major aspects of the book texts I felt a need to complete before signing my contract. There were  Acknowledgements (so many people to thank), an About the Author page (that was a challenge), and I still had a handful of personal property release permits to get so that my personal photos, taken on another person’s premises, could be published without any concern about liability. People who said they would endorse my book needed to be alerted that the time had finally come and then get their words to me. 

It has been an intense number of weeks but finally, I felt I could in good conscience, sign the contract with Redemption Press. I clicked the send icon, I heard from the publisher, the texts I sent are on their way to a copyeditor. I soon will meet my project manager whose name is Amber! She is bound to become a very important new person in my life and surely a friend! 

It was a significant day for me as one of my hopes, when an early retirement from teaching was necessary in 1992, was to write inspirational non-fiction. The hopes were that it would be published to be of value to others. I had begun another manuscript but a severe health set back in 2005 shoved that ambitious effort onto a shelf. What emerged out of that turn in my road was the invitation, 3 years later, to write devotionals for Rest Ministries, an online Christian site for those living with a chronic illness. The book to be published is a compilation of some of those writings. And a future goal is to get back to that original manuscript. 

As I have thought of the blessing God has brought with the signing of the contract to have the devotional book published, I’ve been led to look back on all the delays that were needed to get to His right time and place.

I was reminded, not only of the Habakkuk verse that heads this blog posting, but of an article I wrote that was published in 2006. I am posting that article below for surely it means a lot to me now and it may mean something to you if you are in a waiting time.

Living in the Questions

Nearly 20 years ago, I cut out a piece in a church bulletin and tucked it among other bits and pieces that have meaning to me inside my Bible. To the best of my recall, it was written by Chuck Swindoll. The paper upon which it is written is so small, there have been times I could not find it when purposefully looking for it.

“It is your future.
Don’t back into it.
Don’t grope into 
its mists blindfolded.
Put the hand of your faith 
into the Hand of God.
Get used to His voice.
He warns you of dangers 
and of strangers.
He leads you to experience 
His prepared future.
It does not disappoint.
There is always more
 for those 
who walk with Him.
He straightens question marks
 into exclamation points!”

Many questions about my future were present when I first read these thoughts. More erupted over the ensuing years including the continuing daily challenges with vertigo, cancer, follow-up treatment, and an early retirement from my teaching career. Somewhere along the trail of my life I got to thinking more deeply about the message this bulletin excerpt presented and I came to a conclusion that brought me encouraging perspective.

What could it mean to really live within the questions in my life? A question marks the spot of a seeking moment. It stops me. I want the right answer and I want it now! Often, I discover that the right answer requires a different timing than my insistent now. In such cases, all I can really do is wait.

I picture the literal configuration of a question mark with its curves and swirl. It actually is shaped like the outside of a human ear. What if I were to crawl right into a question mark? This would curl me into the fetal position, quietly waiting upon the Lord. I would need to depend upon him much as I had to during my own gestation time. When the answer is ready, the birthing takes place and reconfigures the  ?   Into an  !  . Right timing—God’s timing. Right answer—God’s answer.

My Bible and the various meaningful bits and pieces I have tucked inside it serve to remind me that there will always be questions—but eventually there will be answers. If I choose to live in the questions, curled up securely where I can listen for God’s voice and directions, I cannot wander far. I'll be near enough to hear his voice exclaim the answers when his time is right.

?   !   ?   !   ?   !   ?  !

photo: Lynn's desk


  1. Your relationship with God is longstanding Lynn. You so intensely review the events and aspects of your life in terms of God being right there at your side. It reminds me David, God's friend. He got published too. Congratulations my friend.

    1. Colleen - what comfort we each have in knowing He is ever near and also waiting to show up with those exclamation points -- reminds me of how you waited to adopt your precious son, Christian!

      xo Lynn

  2. This makes my heart so happy, Lynn! I'm so glad this is working out. So many more will be blessed by your words like we have been already.

    1. Lisa - how nice it feels to know "I make your heart happy"!! It is quite the journey that has unfolded and is still unfolding. I did hear from Amber ( mentioned in the posting) as she emailed me today post the posting of the blog entry. She is gong to be a joy to work with - God surrounds us with just the right folks when we are walking with Him - just like our meeting all those years ago via RM. And hwere we are - still supporting one another. How good it is - you make my heart happy!

  3. Congratulations Lynn! I am so happy for you and love how God will being using your adversity to witness to others.
    Blessings over your project and to you,

    1. Patti - what a joy to have you visit my blog AND make such a kind comment of support. I receive your blessings with much joy!

      Hugs to you -

  4. These Habakkuk verses are just perfect for the journey you've been on Lynn!
    Trusting in God and His timing can be hard at times, but when we see things finally unfold, we understand why the journey was important too.
    "Put your hand of faith into the hand of God" - AMEN - such a great quote.
    Continuing to rejoice with you dear friend.
    Love, Fiona

    1. Fiona - how I have loved that Habakkuk verse for so many years. It takes on its own flare for those of us who are called write!

      The little blue paper on the far left side of my desk photo - just above the journals, is the Habakkuk verse. I keep it there even though I am not always at the desk when I write ( as you know ) but I wanted to be sure to include it in this photo - one that will be in the book. The journals are the ones - some of the ones - I kept when I was in Oxford and you know how those were wonderful days and so good as I reflect on the timing of when those opportunities came to me. Other traasures are tucked in known best to me and God of His faithfulness.

      Your friendship and support is always appreciated - as are you.
      Love, Lynn

  5. I am so happy for you! Congratulations! What a beautiful way to spend your retirement. (even though it has been awhile for you). I pray that everything continues to fall into place for the book. Blessings!

    1. Thank you, Mary!

      You watch out for you never know what God may be doing in your life now that you are retried. May He surprise you with the joys of new ways to serve Him.

      I appreciate your kind comments and that you stopped by to say "hello" and "congratulations! What a joy!

      Love, Lynn

  6. Lynn,

    When I read the first part about your book my eyes immediately swelled with tears of joy; I had been praying for you to come upon this moment for quite some time and I am so glad that it has finally arrived. I also needed that Habbakuk verse and the encouraging word with it; sometimes it seems that what we are waiting for will never be reached but we have to keep hope and keep faith for the best is yet to come with God! Congratulations, my dear friend, I can't think of anyone more wonderful to receive such a blessed opportunity and I can't wait to see your book on the shelves. Also, I love looking at the beautiful photos you share in your posts, thank you for that.

    1. Ah, my sweet Shelby!
      Leave it to you to get my tears flowing with your dear words and your ever constant support and care. Yes - that Habakkuk verse is one to hold close. I mentioned above in a response that it is typed out and "in this photo" - right at the lower left corner by that journal.

      I know that each of us go through our own times of trials and wonderings about our life events but we can hold onto the promises we "know" are true when our "feelings" may lay us low. Faith and trust in the One who does know what He is doing - and the visions (promises) He has for each of us are well worth the wait.

      We keep believing that His best will come forth be it now - or what we are being prepared for later and into eternity.

      This is a photo I did for the book and for a devotional titled "Promises, Promises" and every thing IN the photo has personal meaning to me and from parts of my life where I have seen God's goodness to me.

      Love you so much - xo Lynn


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