Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Knowing vs. Feeling

After conference exhaustion can be a big factor for a lot of writers. For writers who are pitching a book to an editor or agent and have been working for months on proposals and finishing the book, it's a stressful time. We’ve sacrificed our leisure time and stolen hours we should have used for other things—sleeping, for one—in order to work until we’re bleary-eyed coming up with prose that, for lack of a better term, sings. For months we’ve dared to believe that we’re called of God. Then, we’ve attended the conference, gone without sleep, met with our peers as well the editors and agents in the hope that we’re keeping a divine appointment, praying that God will use us. Afterward, we traveled long hours to get home to find our loved ones clamoring for time with us.

Many published authors also find the conference to be stressful as well as a joy. Many are teaching workshops, leading a late night chat, others are spending whatever stolen hours they can catching up with old friends and new ones we don't often get a chance to see. Many nominated for an award. Then, there are those who are involved in the planning and the running of the conference.

I had a great conference, but when I came home, I found my vision a little sharper. Why hadn’t I seen all that clutter piling up? How had all those dust bunnies multiplied so rapidly?

Sound familiar? I was exhausted physically and mentally. My body felt like it’d declared war against me. The enemy isn’t stupid. He knows when and where in my thinking I’m vulnerable. I might as well have been wearing a “kick me” sign.

That’s the reason we don’t live our lives by what we “feel”. We’re to live them according to what we “know”. By what God has said. His Word. While our emotions are valid and very, very real, they also can be liars. As a teenage girl, I sometimes didn’t feel my mother’s love or support. Does that mean she didn’t love me? Of course not. My emotions were lying to me. At different times of our lives, we don’t feel God's love and wonder if He's turned his back on us. the Psalms are full of King David's cries of anguish.

Emotion. Combine that with a lack of healing, or anything else we think God should provide and doesn’t, and you have a major doubt. Fear, even.

The day after I received “the call”, I was so happy, I knew I’d never again doubt my calling. Wrong. At times when I was in physical distress I said there is no way I can do this. But, I know what God’s Word says. Romans 11:29 says, “The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” That's the Logos Word of God. But, if I don’t know for certain I’m called, logically, I can't hang on to that as mine. What I need, then, is a Rhema, a Word from God specifically to me and my situation.

Now that's a specific promise or statement of God I can hold on to and rely on just as I rely on God, Himself. Even when my emotions are telling me otherwise.