Sunday, December 8, 2019

Expectations as a Writer's Stumbling Block

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him (Psalm 62:5)

When I was young all I wanted to be was a writer. As a matter of fact, I actually wrote my first novel in eighth grade...long hand, with a purple ink pen. But through the years, my dream of writing drifted farther and farther from the realm of reasonable possibilities, until I finally I gave up. 

But as a young mother of three kids, God revived that call. At first I was scared, but then I got excited. Oh the plans I made—I’d write Bible studies and spend my time traveling, speaking, and working for God.

I finished my first Bible study and the printer ink was barely dry before I had the manuscript in an envelope and on the way to publisher. I could see my future so clearly, and I was on fire with plans to do great feats in His kingdom. All He had to do was open this one door.

Not only did He not open that door, it seemed every other door had slammed shut and locked. It quickly became obvious that going and doing weren’t part of His call to me. Instead, the doors at home began to swing wide, as He invited me to share my story with those closest to me.

As I swallowed my pride and became obedient to act where He’d placed me, the fruit began to grow. Years later, going and doing has become part of my call, but first I’d had to learn obedience and the difference between His will and mine.

A Prayer When I Struggle with Expectations
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6)

Dear Lord, I had such energy and hope when I first heard you whisper that I would be a writer. My imagination and dreams soared to the apex of what that calling could be. But now I’m no longer flying, instead I’m crawling through the mud of defeat and despair. Every word I write feels stale and like it’s all been said before. Am I faithfully following Your call or should I just give up

Help me let go of my own expectations and be a conduit for Your words. I want to share Your love through the words You have for me to write. Replace the false voices with the calling that allows me to be exactly who You made me to be

Speak to me. Let me clearly hear Your plan for my life. Lead me into fresh ways to write about You. Fill my sentences with words that touch the minds and hearts of those who read them. Let me see the world around me with fresh eyes as You speak Your truth in unusual ways. Then guide my hands as I re-cord what You’ve shown me. 

Your world is a place of color and texture; sounds and smells. Renew my ability to paint pictures with words. Fill me with Your Spirit as my fingers once again fly across the keyboard. You are my inspiration and my joy. Open a pathway for that joy to spill over into my words as I write. Amen


*This is an excerpt from Soul Care for Writers (Bold Vision Books 2019)

Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives. Connect with her on her website, through FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


  1. The hard part to "get" is our plans aren't bad, just not in God's timing. Some may come to fruition, as yours did, in time. It's hard to wait, but if we stop to enjoy the journey, the path He has us on, life is sweeter.

    I'm so glad you became obedient, so His plans for you could be fulfilled. You make a large impact n so very many, including me. Love you, my friend.

    1. Ane, I feel EXACTLY the same way about you. You’ve mentored and encouraged thousands of writers! Blessings, Edie

  2. Thank you for sharing that prayer. It speaks to my heart!

    1. Barbara, thank you for taking time to encourage me! Blessings, E

  3. God's blessings for this wonderful post Ms. Edie. What so few remember is that a journey is supposed to be enjoyed along the way. For me, a key has been to remind myself that I should stay in step with Him and not run ahead as a child. There's a reason for remaining yoked with Christ.

  4. Dear Edie,

    I wrote my first novelette in a purple ink pen, inside my “Miss Piggy” notebook in 8th grade! Oh it’d Be a riot if I still had it. I forgot that dream, but remembered on medical bedrest when we first met. Thank you for always encouraging me!

    I had no idea this road led to becoming a professor. How could I? But remind me of this prayer when I graduate with my masters degree this spring... I’m worried about having so much to do and then having that drop off of oodles of free time. Adjuncts don’t teach in the summer, and I will graduate at summers onset. Remind me of my gift, and my original vision.

    I’m so glad our paths crossed. God isn’t finished with us yet, we have more stories to share. Love you, Edie!

    Laurie Epps

  5. Thank you for sharing from your experience to encourage us. When the process is hard and doesn't seem to match our dreams, we can trust that God is at work in us and through us. I appreciate the reminder. And, for the record, I have stacks of journals I filled up as an adolescent, and, yes, there are quite a few entries written in purple ink. :)