The problem with having a new bed is that you have to get rid of the old one.
“Can I have it?” asked our youngest. No problem – except that we’d now have to move the bunk beds out of her room. These ended up in our lodger’s room, while her former bed is now in bits waiting to go to the charity shop. It felt like we lost a week of our lives dismantling and reconstructing beds (followed by dusting, hoovering and crawling around on the floor trying to find missing screws). I’d never land a job with Pickfords.
Right now, my work-in-progress feels like a game of musical beds. I’m in the process of moving a chunky passage from later on in the story to nearer the beginning, which has had a knock-on effect on other parts of the book. Suddenly, a section that flowed well doesn’t fit any more. An incident on page 26 no longer makes sense, and needs to be rewritten or even discarded. Writing a book has become much more complicated than I expected (and I never thought it was going to be easy in the first place).
What I’ve learned from my experiments in furniture Tetris is that it’s hard to see what the end result will be when you’re still in the middle of something: we had to have faith that somehow it would all work out. And while giving up halfway through isn’t an option when your lodger’s bed is in several different pieces in three separate rooms, a book is another matter. Although it would be easy to abandon my WIP I’ve realised I need to trust my instincts and keep going. It might look like the literary equivalent of a scrap dealer’s yard at the moment, but something, somewhere is telling me it will all be worth it in the end.
There's a spiritual lesson for me here, too. Right now, I'm in a season of change, and it's hard to see exactly what God is doing. I need to remember that he sees the bigger picture, even when I think I'm trapped in a divine obstacle race. And what I can do is trust that he will take the tangled threads of my life and weave them into something beautiful for him.