Thursday, February 08, 2007

All in Good Time

Posted by Lynne

Synonyms include: faith, hope, conviction, confidence, expectation, reliance and dependence.

In previous blog entries, prior to and including this week's themed entries on trust, we've written a lot about this five-letter word. As a writer you hope you can trust your instincts as a storyteller. You struggle with your conviction to trust your characters as they reveal the way their story should be told. You must be confident in the face of conflicting feedback from trusted readers. There is a quiet expectation that trusted readers will love your writing. There is beauty in the reliance and dependence that can be found among fellow writers, and in writers' group.

But what about the connection between trust and faith?

I've always been a person to do things quickly. As a child, in order to get outside on a beautiful summer day, I'd make my bed by simply pulling up the spread. In school, papers came back with red letters careening across the top of the page with an oft repeated phrase, "slow down."

Even in Kindergarten I was looking ahead, focused on the future. I remember once saying to my mother, "I wish I was in first grade." She said, "Don't wish your life away."

When I told her I couldn't wait to be married and have children, she said, "All in God's time."

My religious faith is important to me, a central part of my life, as it was my mother's. My faith challenge has always been to take my time and relax in the moment. Trust the journey. Sometimes I struggle with enjoying the ride, because I'm working so hard to focus on arriving at my chosen destination. Don't get me wrong, keeping your eyes on the prize and being determined to get where you want to go is important. Certainly the theme of another set of posts. But trust and faith and time are strongly linked for me.

When I started writing fiction, it was the first thing I'd come across in my life where I intrinsically and completely allowed myself to enjoy the writing, letting it come at its own pace and in its own time. When I started my novel, I believed it was for me alone, and I had no expectations related to publishing it. When I joined writers' group, my goal was to immerse myself in learning; I enjoyed relying on my new writer friends to teach me. In the absence of the hope to be published, confidence that I was a strong writer, or expectations to be the best--I found what I'd been looking for; what my mother had been talking about.

I'm still learning--and liking it--that a work-in-progress is exactly that. It's not ever really finished, you simply decide when you will no longer edit it. With writing, I'm learning to trust the process, take my time, have faith that when a work is done, I'll know it. I've come to believe that trust is faith. And I'm starting to trust my mother's words --with writing at least--not Lynne's time, in God's time.


Melissa Amateis said...

Great post, Lynne. I've had to learn to trust the Lord with my writing - that "it" - meaning "the call" - will happen in His time, not mine. And that has also enabled me to learn lots and lots of patience!

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Ah, yes. The link between faith, trust, and patience. That is a subject unto itself, isn't it? Thanks for your kind words. Lynne

Anissa said...

Beautifully said. Bravo!

Like you, I just wanted to write. Still do. It's for me, first. Sharing it with others is just an added bonus. And publication...well that's a new dream that is something different altogether.

Therese said...

Hi Lynne, what a thoughtful post!

I like your equation of trust and faith--it's true in just about every context I can think of: religion, writing, marriage, parenting, friendship...

Because I was raised by parents of two different religious faiths (who chose to practice neither--none, really), I developed a somewhat intellectual skepticism about religion. But I have found, over the years, that certain spiritual beliefs are univerally true. This fascinates and delights me--as I consider myself spiritual but not religious.

My husband and I have this saying, which we use in good times and bad: everything will turn out pretty much the way it's supposed to.

Trust, and faith.

Patry Francis said...

This certainly describes my experience. It took a long time, but seems to have arrived at exactly the right moment.