Trust God’s Timing while Scaling the Mountain of your Publishing Journey

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By Lana Christian

Let’s face it—we yearn for mountaintops. A clearer view. A broader perspective. A milestone achievement. But we spend most of our life in valleys and on plains. In not-yet times. Working-while-waiting times. Alternately questioning and trusting God’s sovereignty.

Especially when it comes to writing and publishing.

Sometimes I wish both required less preparation and waiting. Don’t you?

The publishing world seems to move at a snail’s pace, while trends in what sells whoosh past faster than highway traffic.

In the Signed, Sealed, and Delivered movie series, one of Oliver O’Toole’s mantras is “trust the timing.” Trusting God’s timing for unanswered prayers while life barrels by can be tough to do.

Five years ago, I started a book that would blossom into a planned series. Five years isn’t terribly long in publishing terms. But, to this mere mortal, it’s still a long time.

A couple months ago, I had thanked God that I didn’t have a book contract yet. Not coincidentally, for the first time during that five-year journey, God let me see with clarity the road behind me, the “why” behind every query and major edit. I knew in my heart the book—though vastly improved—wasn’t ready yet. And neither was I.

Even though three traditional publishers were reviewing my full manuscript.

Then came a rejection from a publisher who said they wouldn’t close the door on the book forever but felt it still needed work.

A couple weeks later, a different publisher asked me to do some edits and resubmit.

Just last week, that publishing division’s editor-in-chief recommended my manuscript go to contract. (I happy-danced for two days!) Despite that indescribable thrill, it heralded another wait. For the next month or so, the marketing department will scrutinize my manuscript’s sales potential; and the company’s owner, a very hands-on-person, will read the entire manuscript before deciding whether to ink a contract.

So here I sit, praying and waiting for an e-mail that may contain a contract for one or more books in the series. If I let myself think about it, my head might explode.

The Bible teaches us the folly of trying to run ahead of God. (Think Abraham, Moses.) But the Bible is also replete with the encouraging phrase, “In the fullness of time.” Four hundred years of silence preceded the “fullness of time” when “God sent His Son, born of a woman” (Galatians 4:4) “to bring all things in heaven and on earth together in Christ” (Ephesians 1:10).

So how does the fullness of time apply to you and me?

It is:

A reminder that God is still working in ways we can’t see
A pledge that our not-yet time is only a season
A promise that He has not forgotten us
An invitation to expect surprises and miracles

God tells us He’s doing awesome works we don’t expect (Isaiah 64:3), in ways we can’t orchestrate (Lamentations 3:37), in timing He worked out long ago (Isaiah 48:3). While that doesn’t guarantee a book contract, it does guarantee the outcome will be for His glory and our benefit. And it will be a mountaintop—even if the mountain or its view doesn’t look like what we expect. Leaving the details of our lives in God’s capable hands is the wisest decision we can ever make!

God is doing awesome works we don’t expect, in ways we can’t orchestrate, in timing He worked out long ago. @LanaCwrites #ACFWBlogs #writetip #critiques #ACFWCommunity
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Lana Christian has a dual writing career in medicine and ministry. She won numerous APEX awards for the former and ACFW awards for the latter. She loves secret staircases, third-story windows, jazz, and chai tea. She believes hiking can solve most problems, but God can solve every problem. Visit her at www.lanachristian.com or Twitter: @LanaCwrites.

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