I haven’t been writing. For months on end, I’ve gone without crafting my words. Let’s be honest with each other. I have been discouraged. For more than ten years, I’ve written and shared my words. My agent has sent out two of my three book proposals, and I don’t have books to show for them. The feedback on my books is amazing, but the answer is always the same – “Your platform isn’t quite large enough.”
On my shelf sits nine books that I’ve helped write, but none are my own. Where I used to write for multiple sites, that, too, has dwindled to one. In times past, I struggled keeping up with my writing and speaking schedule. Now I say, “What writing and speaking schedule?”
A mentor friend of mine called me last Friday. I shared with her how frustrated I was with my writing. I’ve tossed around thought of quitting, but I told her that God hadn’t told me to quit. She encouraged me with her own stories of writing and how she went through a similar phase where she’d considered quitting. “I might have quit if there was something to quit,” she told me.
Her words mirrored my exact feelings. “I wonder if God is just giving me time to rest before things get really busy,” I told her, hopeful.
Then she shared the most beautiful illustration with me. She explained that God is the Great Conductor of the music of our lives. Between the sections of music (I am sure a musical person could give me the exact name for those sections), there are rests. Those rests are not stops. It’s not the end of the musical piece, but merely a resting point before the carefully planned out notes begin again.
Her illustration spoke to me, and I did some research on musical rests. One article I found described a type of rest called a “caesura”. The length of the caesura depends on the discretion of the conductor. And in a choral work, I learned how the caesuras are placed in order for the singers to catch their breath.
Let that truth sink in a little. Sometimes God grants rest so we can catch our breath. And being the Great Conductor, He alone controls the length of that rest based on how much time we need. That’ll preach.
Then I read how rests are also used to add depth and emotions to a piece through the silence. That silence is also there to bring contrast as the music quickly builds when it’s done. In other words, the silence makes the music more powerful. One article said the musical rest was just as important as the musical note and was an integral part of music composition.
Integral means it’s necessary, essential.
And friends, as those truths trickled down to my soul, I could feel the Lord speak.
“Be still,” He whispered. “All of this is part of my plan.”
I am so grateful for the patience of my Heavenly Father when I’m slow to understand and accept His gifts as the beautiful blessings they are. Sometimes, when God is silent, when it seems His calling on our lives isn’t looking like we thought, our Father, in His infinite wisdom is just giving us time to catch our breath. And that pause between pieces of the great symphony of our lives is a merciful and much needed gift.