by Sally Matheny
“What are you working on?” is a common question at writing conferences. Are you anxious about your current project? Are you second-guessing if you’ve got what it takes to complete the task?
Several years ago, I traveled with a mission team to a rural area of Vermont. After conducting the first night of VBS for the local children, we realized the standard curriculum we brought would not meet their needs. Most of the children had never heard of Jesus. We scrambled to make adjustments in our presentation of the gospel.
After we returned home, I mentioned to the lead pastor that there was a need for a VBS curriculum that introduces Jesus Christ to the unchurched. My suggestion brought a designation for me to write it for the following year’s trip. (Be careful when making suggestions!)
A yearlong roller coaster ride of excitement and terror ensued. I’d never written VBS curriculum before. Heavy prayer, research, and writing filled my free time. Satan must have heard about the project because as panic and doubts set in so did massive migraines.
Two months before the mission trip, I attended a writers’ conference. I thought the week away would give me just what I needed to wrap up the loose ends of writing and the “Who is Jesus?” curriculum would be ready to go to the printer’s when I returned home.
At the conference, I decided to attend a workshop on writing devotions, which wasn’t originally on my itinerary. I thought this was God’s answer to my prayers. Walking in with full faith that God was going to provide enlightenment on how to finish the project, I came dragging out in desperation at the end. The class did not help whatsoever. I cried out to God, I thought this was what You wanted me to do! Why would You ask me to do this when You know I can’t? I need help!
I believe that is exactly where God wanted me—in a place of acute awareness of my own inadequacy. In the following days at the conference, God showed His power. He brought in my path numerous people—a missionary writing a book on how to effectively do short-term missions, a Life Way children’s curriculum writer who offered to critique my VBS curriculum only minutes after I met her, and another writer who imparted a nugget of wisdom. She said, “You only need to do what God has called you to do. You have placed upon yourself the burden that everyone’s salvation depends on your writing. Relax. Do your best with your part, and then let God do His thing. He’s the one who does the saving.”
Wow. She was right. I had placed an unnecessary burden on my shoulders—one I couldn’t possibly carry. I prayed asking God’s forgiveness and a wonderful sense of freedom settled in as I completed my task.
God continues to use that curriculum for His glory.
It’s amazing – the simplicity of trusting Him with the outcome of our work, whether it is a book, devotion, or a handwritten message in a greeting card.
Learn the craft, sharpen your skills, and gain knowledge from others.
Ultimately, give your best, trusting God with the rest.
Photo credit/Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://write2ignite.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Sally-Matheny-1F1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Encouraging others is Sally Matheny’s mission in life. She enjoys “reflecting on ordinary life under God’s extraordinary Light.” A freelance writer and blogger, Sally’s ordinary days are blessed with her pastor-hubby of 25+ years, three children, and a home that can’t stay clean for more than seventeen minutes. Find encouragement from Sally on her blog: http://www.sallymatheny.blogspot.com/ and Twitter: @sally_matheny [/author_info] [/author]
3 thoughts on “Give Your Best, Trusting God With the Rest”
What an encouraging story, Sally. Thank you for sharing transparently.
See you in March.
I can relate to this message loud and clear and I know someone else I want to send it to. Thanks so much for sharing your personal story. So glad you got your VBS curriculum written and used. Is it published?
Thanks, Jean. When we become discouraged and are about to fold, we need to hang on, because God’s magnificent plan is beginning to unfold.