One of my instructors, C. McNair Wilson, a playwright, actor, author, and humorist is credited with saying, “If you don’t do you, YOU doesn’t get done and Creation is incomplete!”
It’s tempting to respond and say, “But it hurts to be me. I don’t measure up. I’m not good enough.”
In the case of my book and the first three chapters I brought to the Christian Writer’s Guild residency, I walked away with a lot more work to do. My ten classmates and I received multiple edits to our work. Like a surgeon cutting away bad tissue, or my pruning shears slicing through saplings, the intervention of “cutting away,” or editing was done so that my best writing could survive and grow.
Often the “cutting away” parts of life trip up too many people. Sometimes when these events happen, we give up and stop participating. We disappear. We cover up. Hide out. Run away. We quit being the YOU God intended, and try to be someone else or no one at all.
A good example of endurance in spite of “cutting away” is expressed in a letter of encouragement from Jeremiah the prophet to those exiled in Babylon. (This letter is found in the 29th chapter of the book of Jeremiah from the Bible.) He directs the exiled people to keep on BEING……In verse 4, he says,
“This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage so that they too may have sons and daughters….Increase, do not decrease…Seek peace…Do not be deceived….”
Then comes my favorite part starting with verse 11…( I capped YOU so you could see..)
“For I know the plans I have for YOU, declares the Lord, plans to prosper YOU and not to harm YOU, plans to give YOU hope and a future. Then YOU will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to YOU. YOU will seek me and find me when YOU seek me with all your heart. I will be found by YOU,” declares the Lord, “and I will bring YOU back from captivity.”
Is the YOU in you captive or in exile? Get thee to an editor, surgeon, or God, the “Master Gardener.” Know that the pruning He does is for your good. He has a plan and it involves you being YOU!