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To the Author of Life

By Jill Williamson

A new year always feels like the start of a new journey to me. And each year I’ve had different things that I’ve wanted to tackle in my writing career. Resolutions. Plans. Hopes. Goals. I always start out, heart overflowing with anticipation. I want to improve. I hope to make changes. And I long to succeed in my plans.

And a new year always seems like a good excuse for self-improvement.

But many years have come and gone, and I’ve often failed to reach those “resolutionary” goals. Perhaps, in my tendency to dream big-too big?-I’ve set myself up to fail.

But lately I’ve wondered if I haven’t been looking at it the wrong way all along.

I mean, I’m a writer. I’m determined. I dream big. And nothing is beyond my capacity to reach for-as a writer. But while this philosophy works well for fiction, it doesn’t translate well in real life. I can’t write the character Jill Williamson determined enough to accomplish her every whim. I can’t remove unforeseen obstacles that come Jill’s way. I can’t edit out a nasty setback or write in a miracle. I can’t even rework Jill Williamson’s personality and give her a more effective Myers-Briggs temperament so she can be more productive in areas she let slide before.

Alas, real life just doesn’t work that way. No matter how much I want to succeed in my goals, no matter how hard I work to achieve them, despite the dozens of email reminders I set up for myself or how detailed I schedule my daily calendar, I am human. Sometimes I will succeed. And sometimes I will fail.

The good news? My God can do all things. His ways are not my ways. And just because I have some goals I’d like to accomplish this year, that doesn’t mean God has the same goals for my life. Sure, it’s good to set goals and follow through. But I need to be flexible, strong, and confident that my God has the best plan for my 2012. And should he wish to do a work in me that I didn’t even know I needed, I will praise him.

So I dedicate my 2012 to Jesus, the author and perfecter of my life. I pray that I will not stand in the way of his plans for my year. I humble myself before him and ask that he do a mighty work in me and through me in 2012, whether it is a part of my plans or not.


Jill Williamson is a dreamer, believer, and author of all things weird. She won two Christy Awards for her Blood of Kings trilogy and recently released Replication, a science fiction teen novel from Zondervan. Jill lives in Oregon with her husband and two children and a whole lot of deer.

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3 Responses to To the Author of Life

  1. Carole Brown says:

    Great post, Jill, and some good advice we’d all be better off to follow. Thanks.

  2. Dawn Shipman says:

    Wonderful, Jill, and so true. The very attributes that make us ‘successful’ as writers–drive, determination, assertiveness, for example–often clash with what God wants of us as His children: Humility, flexibility, submission. I know I’ve had trouble balancing the two–maybe 2012 will be the year of change! Thanks for sharing.