Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A taste of our own medicine

In many ways, the beginning of 2013 has been a very unsettling and uncertain time for me.

1) We've suddenly had to find a new home. There are 6 in our family, including our nephew, teenage son, teenage daughter and small son. Until last week, we didn't have a clue where we'd end up. I'd log on to RealEstate.com every morning, which would make me more anxious. It seemed all the perfect ones were way out of our price range. I'm happy to report that we've just signed a new contract today, for a home spacious enough to fit us all. We'll begin moving at the end of the week.

2) My eldest son, who has just finished his school years, has two tertiary offers to decide between. One is for a Bachelor of Information Technology down in the city (and we live in the Adelaide Hills, which is more of a rural setting), and the other is for a Diploma course in our own town. He still doesn't know which he wants to choose and we don't know how to advise him. A decision will need to be made by the end of the week, though.

3) I've finished the 80 000 manuscript I've been working on and have no ideas for a new story at the moment. Not even the vaguest idea. Maybe, with so many other family happenings, it may not be such a bad thing.

When I'm working on a plot, my characters usually don't have a clue how their stories are going to work out, but I, the author, know very well. I'm sure readers of this blog will relate to this. Fictional characters can go through a lot of anxiety and uncertainty before we finish their stories. I believe Jeremiah 29:11 makes the heart of God particularly easy for fiction authors to understand. "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." As the author of my novels, these are my exact sentiments for my beloved characters who may find themselves struggling in many areas during the course of the story. If only they knew at the time, they have no need to worry. I love them too much to give them a bad end.

So, I try to remember not to baulk when I find myself in the same position as a fictional character. If God, as the author, knows how to work all things out for my good, I don't need to worry. If I settle in that truth, peace will follow. When I look at true examples of such peace, I see they had the same knowledge.

We don't know the biblical accuracy of this, but I've seen paintings of Daniel catching a few winks of sleep with the giant predators, when he was trapped in the lion's den.

We definitely know that Peter was sleeping in prison, bound with chains between two soldiers, on what was supposed to have been the night before his execution. And Paul and Silas were lifting their voices in songs of praise during a similar experience.

I'm sure we've all heard about the prize-winning "Peace" painting of the little bird, sleeping soundly tucked away in his secure nest while a storm whirled around him. There's also the one of the peaceful lighthouse keeper, who stands confidently on guard while waves pound into his place. I'll have confidence that these issues will be worked out for the best too.

I wish everyone who reads this peace, confidence and faith from 2013 onwards.

Paula Vince is an award-winning Australian author. Her novels include five contemporary stories of drama and romance set in her own South Australia, and a fantasy/adventure trilogy for young adults. She lives with her husband, children and nephew in the Adelaide Hills.


  1. So true Paula. Thanks for the reminder tht our peace is in Him - whether writing or life issues are at stake.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Paula...though i thought it was the characters that knew where they wanted to go and the writer that didn't. Praying for you and your family

  3. Good luck with the house move. Maybe having a nest will ease the other confusion in your life.

  4. Thanks, ladies.
    Marianne, you're right, it does happen that way around too, doesn't it?

  5. Paula, in a few years, you will look back on this time in your life that's full of so much uncertainty and see how everything worked out under God's hand. And while all this change is hard for you, it also sounds exciting, with the new beginnings it entails. That's so good you finished that next novel, though. God bless!

  6. Thanks, Jo-Anne. With the fast passing of time, I'm sure that won't feel like long coming, either.

  7. Paula, I'll pray for a successful and rapid settling in with the new home, a wise choice decision for your son, and a flood of inspiration for your writing once these other issues are handled.

    Sounds like an exciting time in your life. Enjoy the ride. You know the engineer well.

  8. Thanks Judith. Much appreciated :)

  9. My prayer is you will end up as happy in your new home Paula as we have in ours.