Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Laboring Contractions

I wonder if you've ever tried to wrap up five months of your life in a folder and a paper clip?  Tonight that's the way I feel in completing a personal goal--another chapter in the book I've been writing.  What a struggle to deliver a finished product!  So far, this chapter has been the hardest.  Ordering of ideas into a cohesive whole, transition sentences and paragraphs, flow of thought, rewrites, tears, and more rewrites--all part of the gestation process.

I'm learning that writing is much like labor pains in childbirth.  Stasi Eldredge refers to this analogy several times in her book, Captivating.  And I say, amen to that sister!  And this is only one chapter. I cannot imagine the sense of satisfaction at completing an entire book.  However, I do have a good feeling about this chapter and think my editor might be pleased.   I'm still a long way from the finished product, but am encouraged in accomplishing this milestone.  

I've always supported the thought that anything worth having takes a lot of hard work.  And just as bonding occurs between mom and baby when they go through labor pains and delivery, so bonding builds as my writing must go through such pain to deliver.  It gives me a new appreciation for all the books that line my shelves.

But now as I move on to the next chapter, I sense another contraction.  Can this be accomplished within the time frame I've set for myself?  Sometimes the goal seems insurmountable.  When I was two weeks overdue with my first child, someone told me, "this too will pass," and I've never forgotten the impact of that statement.  At nine months pregnant it seems the baby will never come, but it is inevitable.  And now as the years fade the memory of that long wait, I realize it was worth it all, every bit of it, in the treasure of a child.  What a gift and what an impact on the world is a life. 

I've been praying as Elisha for a double portion of God's Spirit.  How I need His anointing as I write. This jar of clay needs the fire of God's Spirit to blaze within, but perhaps even more so, to be revealed to the outside through expression.  My pastor spoke of this just last Sunday and used the illustration of getting the computer to spit out the information we've put in.  Sometimes it is a struggle. These machines do not always deliver.  The Spirit within is capable.  He is powerful.  But He has to work His way out through my life into the world so they can see Him.  And sometimes in order for the flame to be seen, this clay has to be broken to pieces.  But I'm encouraged because God promises that "those who sow in tears, will reap with songs of joy.  He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him."  (Psa. 126:5,6)

Long ago in Bible college, I had a peculiar professor who taught Old Testament Survey.   He told us that years from now when we had long forgotten about his class, there was one word he wanted us to remember      . . ."inevitable".  Indeed, I have not forgotten that word, nor the passion with which he spoke it.  I know that if I continue these labors and fully rely on the Spirit of God to work His purposes in me, that a finished product will some day be the result.  Maybe not next month or next year, but none the less, inevitable, just as a child will be born.  If I have truly heard the voice of God on this matter, (and I believe I have), then it will happen because God will bring it to pass.  And so "I press on, straining toward the high call of God in Christ Jesus."  (Phil. 3:14)


  1. Jewell, I do understand, and you are right on that it's like labor pains:( I completed a musical which was published years ago, writing lyrics and narration and some of the music, and I've been relunctant to "get pregnant" again, it was such a painful process at times:-( Now I'm beginning to think it may be time to do some more writing, if just for my children and grandchildren. We'll see if "Sarah" comes through...... Blessings to you as you continue to "give birth." Auntie L

  2. Thank you for this encouragement!! (This said from a woman who is beginning all over again) :-) Hope is a beautiful thing.