It’s summer 2010. My first children’s book manuscript sits on a shelf. Half finished. Gathering dust. It’s been there a long time.
And it would have stayed there, had it not been for my husband.
Where’s your book? he asks one day.
Oh, that. It’s on the shelf.
Because it’s a waste of time, that’s why. Who gets to write a children’s book? Who gets to write a children’s book and have it published by Zondervan?
I had started Love Letters from God several months before, inspired by the beautiful words of Sally Lloyd Jones, as I read her Jesus Storybook Bible.
Every morning I would eagerly grab my pen, pour out my soul on the page, and be swept away by the beauty and mystery of the creative process. What began as an empty, blank sheet of white was somehow filled with life.
On those mornings, I think I knew how God must have felt when, from a desolate void of nothing, came a wonderful world of everything. It was good.
Then I stopped.
I stopped because I had a visitor one day. I never saw him, but I heard his voice whisper in my ear as he tapped me gently, but persistently, on the shoulder.
What are you doing? You can’t write a children’s book. You’ll never get it published. You’re wasting your time.
I listened to that voice. It was hard not to. Obediently, I put my half-finished manuscript on the shelf, where it sat. For a long time.
Enter David, my husband, whose middle name is Encourager.
Glenys, do you believe that God called you to write that book?
The answer to that was easy. I had known the truth of that since the very beginning.
Do you believe God wants you to finish it?
The answer to that was easy too, even though I didn’t want to say the word.
And then David says something I will never forget. It’s simple, and silly, and utterly life-changing.
Well why would you not finish it…
What would have happened if Noah had only built half a boat?
One of the reasons I married David is because he could always make me laugh. I laughed at the thought of all the animals falling off a half-constructed boat, and the impossibility of such a vessel floating. But even though I laughed, that silly statement was exactly what I needed.
I pulled out that half-written manuscript, blew the dust away, picked up the pen, and began to write. The rest, as they say, is history.
Love Letters from God would be published, four years later, by Zondervan.
And I think about all those abandoned manuscripts, half-written, lying on dusty shelves, in hope-robbed rooms, and how God cannot possibly publish half a book.
I think about Jesus, and what might have happened if, half way through his ministry, he had given up. But he didn’t. He completed fully the work to which he was called, until finally, one day, he was able to say:
It is finished.
And wasn’t it only when Jesus had finally finished, that God could really start?