A veteran social worker, Linda Rondeau has published more than one hundred short stories, poems, and articles both on-line and in traditional publications, most notably for her denomination’s take-home paper, VISTA, Adams Media Anthologies, and Mark Gilroy Anthologies. She has had several short stories published on the Internet. In addition to her website and critique ministry, Linda maintains a newspaper column, This Daily Grind, similar to her blog with the same title. She writes a second blog, a commentary on popular culture from a Christian World View entitled, My Thoughts to Your Thoughts. Linda has received awards from Writer’s Digest annual contests and from the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, including the prestigious Writer of the Year award. In addition to her involvement in local churches and her column, she performs and directs for North Franklin Theater Group and is an avid golfer. She considers wife, mother, and grandmother to be the most important of all accomplishments. Linda resides in Malone, New York, just north of the scenic Adirondack Mountains.
THE BIG YES, YES!
“Lord, I can’t do this anymore. It hurts too much,” I cried. “I wasn’t meant to be a writer.” I looked up at the wall of award certificates and thought I heard the room laughing at me.
Not that there haven’t been a few successes along the way. I’ve managed to publish articles, short stories, poetry, and I write a newspaper column. I’ve even had an agent for five years. But after eight failed books, I wondered if I had heard God all wrong.
My first career had been in human services. I was a decent social worker as social workers go. But I wanted to reach people outside the government experience. Although a hobbyist writer, I hesitated to believe I could be a professional one.
When my youngest child left the nest in 1995, I asked God to give me a passion for something. Soon after uttering that desperate plea for renewal, my office sent me to what I termed a feel-good seminar, the kind of workshop that motivates a person to go home and hug all the neighbors. The speaker asked, “What do you want to do with the rest of your life?” Then he instructed us to put our answers onto a 3x5 card. I wrote WRITE. Then the speaker told us to expand our dreams. Before I could catch my breath, the speaker called on me. I found myself publically declaring the desire to write for Christ.
But I let doubt rob me of that momentary passion: “God does not care about your dreams. Your job is to be a good wife, mother, and neighbor—that is true Christianity. Forget your foolish desires.” The more the call tugged at my heart, the more I resisted.
Until June 21, 2000 . . . the day the dream was reborn. Armed with faith that was lacking five years before, I started the journey. My first attempt was a poem. Not a very good one, but I felt a peace that had long eluded me. The excuses ended and the journey began.
Here I am, however, almost nine years later, still struggling with disbelief, fighting the urge to delete all my books. “I don’t understand why we haven’t been able to get you published,” my agent wrote. That’s what I’d like to know, Lord. What do I have to do? What am I missing? Why won’t you let me go back to being a hobbyist? I liked writing then.
A few weeks ago, during my devotion time, I opened my Bible to the fourteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians. I’d read the familiar passage about the harmony of the Spirit’s gifts. I had not applied the truth to my writing gift. My craft had been for my own pleasure. Oh, I used words about Christ, and my books did contain spiritual truth. But the whole of the affair was not in clear delineation of that truth. Instead, the writing drew attention to me as if shouting, “See how clever I am?” Like a room that cannot be lived in, I’d decorated my space with imagery, symbolism, and cadence that served no purpose but to edify myself.
God’s word had perfect clarity:
Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? (I Corinthians 14:8 NIV)
I asked God to forgive my arrogance, and to help me put His message above my need.
But the Lord had yet another even more profound lesson in store. A few days later, I read God’s words of love as he renewed the call and once again infused me with the same passion as that day in 1995.
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2 Corinthians 1:20–22 NIV)
I don’t know what the road ahead will bring. But I do know that at the end of the journey God’s arms will be stretched wide to welcome me with a huge “Yes! Yes!”
SONG OF PEACE
Praise the Lord when Hope
Praise the Lord and believe
Look at His creations and
Though defeat seems imminent
Your Deliverer hears
Copyright ©2000 Linda Rondeau