I notice I have made a mistake though – I have forgotten to number the pages, so that will be fun if I drop the lot before punching holes in them and loading them into a lever arch file. Even the chapter numbers won’t help as I succumbed to ‘New Chapter’ and even ‘Chapter ???’ with the number of question marks growing as I became lost in the effort of getting the story down before I forgot my ideas.
Very soon comes the true craft of writing; the cutting, chopping, shaping, rewriting, checking, editing, moulding. Looking for the rhythm of the sentences and considering the order of the story. All with the character’s permission, of course, because by now the tale is told by more than its creator.
Okay, the story could be altered by the creator, but would that be in accordance with the character as formed by the story so far? Would other characters be adversely affected? Would the whole plot go awry? Would the story fall apart?
Perhaps this is a glimpse into the complexity of our own lives. Creator God has a plan for each of us. A unique plan that uses who we are and the way we think. He can take each of us, if we are willing, and help us to become the person he would like us to be and to use us to reach out to others. Do we resist? Yes, digging our heels in and declining God’s request to stretch ourselves away from our own comfort zone, even while singing:
‘Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me,
Break me, melt me, mould me, fill me.’
We may think, ‘Do I want to be broken and reformed? It sounds painful and uncomfortable’.
Yes, it may be. But it’s only when we allow ourselves to be shaped by God that we complete the perfect story he has written for us.
During my second term at Bristol University I became very ill with whooping cough. My friend, a district nurse, persuaded my doctor that I should not go to hospital but be at home with my husband and four children. Tirelessly she cared for me, fitting it around her other visits. During my three months’ slow, painful recovery, I became sure that God wanted me to change course from joint honours Psychology and Sociology to single honours Psychology. The Autumn saw me taking the exams I had missed and being transferred onto the second year of the single honours course.
I did not know at the time that had I continued with the Sociology I would not have been eligible for a Clinical Psychology course I took two years after graduating, so would never have been a clinical psychologist. Was God breaking and moulding me? I believe so.
‘And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.’ 1 Peter 5:10,11
Annie Try is the pen-name of Angela Hobday. She writes novels
in the Dr Mike Lewis Series with two having been released in 2017. She is Chair of the Association of Christian Writers but has yet to conquer the art of positioning pictures in this blog.