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The Capacity to Obey

By Davalynn Spencer

“What if I run out of things to say?”

For some authors, this can be a serious concern. Other writers dip from an ever-flowing font and never worry about where the next words are coming from.

I began my writer’s journey as a journalist and crime-beat reporter. Talk about unending fodder. But deep down in the creative crevices of my soul, I wanted to be columnist and a novelist.

One Sunday morning our pastor had the ushers distribute letter-size envelopes and writing paper to every congregant. He told us to write out our dreams. Write down what we wanted to do, put the paper in the envelope, seal it, address it to ourselves, and pass it to the end of the row.

On my paper I wrote, “I want to be a newspaper columnist and also write novels.”

Three months later, I received that forgotten letter in the mail and the shock of seeing my dreams in my own handwriting made them real.

I can’t recall the initial Sunday’s sermon topic or scripture reference, but the gist of it was sealed within the envelope.

When I landed a job as a weekly columnist for a daily newspaper a few months later, I was thrilled and terrified.

“What if I run out of things to say?”

The Lord led me to II Kings 4 and the story of the widow’s oil. The woman was about to lose her sons to creditors because she had nothing but a small jar of oil and unmanageable debt. The prophet Elisha told her to collect all the jars she could find and fill them with oil from her diminishing supply.

Probably not the solution she was looking for.

However, she had one other asset she might have overlooked had it not been for the prophet. She had the capacity to obey, and so she sent her boys out to gather jars.

My favorite line in the story is: “They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring.” When she ran out of jars, the oil stopped flowing. Elisha told her to sell the oil, pay her debts, and live on the remainder.

So what does this have to do with writing? For me, everything. The point shot through my heart like a spirit-flung arrow from God. “As long as you pour it out, I will pour it in.”

A more familiar translation reads: “Trust and obey.”

Eleven years later, I still write a regular slice-of-life column. I have four novels and four novellas published and several more bubbling on the back burner.

For me, this writing endeavor is a matter of obedience. Regularly, I remind myself that as long as I pour it out, He will pour it in. He has never let me down. Not one time.

A friend once told me to find a handle on the sword of God’s word, and hold on to it. The widow’s story is my handle as an author. It serves me on discouraging days of rejection and on deliriously happy days of contract signing. It serves me always, reminding me that He is my source and provider.

What keeps you grounded in your writing and in your relationship with the original Author?

Spencer WranglersWoman 2016Davalynn Spencer writes Western romance complete with rugged cowboys, their challenges, and their loves. She won the 2015 Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award for Inspirational Western Fiction and makes her home on Colorado’s Front Range with a Queensland heeler, Blue, and mouse detectors, Annie and Oakley. Connect with her via www.davalynnspencer.com.

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4 Responses to The Capacity to Obey

  1. Patricia S says:

    This is perfect for me today. Picture middle of the story. Where do I go now? (Can you tell I’m pansting this book?) Then this morning I sat down with my 5 am coffee and a piece of paper and pen. Prayed. Then mapped out the rest of the story. Or at least enough to know where I was going.

  2. Laura Conner Kestner says:

    Loved this, Davalynn. I just finished the ACFW course on creating an author page for Facebook and am having similar concerns. Thank you for such an inspiring post!

  3. Patrica,
    Yes, the marvelous middle! Praise God for His faithfulness to ‘pour out’ when we call upon Him! So glad the post was encouraging.

  4. Laura,
    Thank you for reading. And best to you with your new author page. So glad this was an inspiring post.