Thursday, March 2, 2017

When Everything Doesn’t Come Up Roses

Imagine with me. You’re sitting on a wicker bench in the garden. The sun is shining, and the temperature is just warm enough to be pleasant. Birds sing cheerfully from the trees while hummingbirds and honeybees whirr from flower to flower. The air smells sweetly of roses. You take a sip of the minty ice tea, clinking with ice cubes, from a tall glass.

This is the life.

But it never lasts, does it? There are thorns amid those roses, and one of those bees might get startled and sting you — we’ve kept bees, and this is an unlikely scenario, but work with me here! If nothing else, night will fall, a storm will come, the roses will eventually dry and die… nothing stays the same.

My writing career really took off in 2015. I felt like I was sitting in that rose garden (writing more stories, of course!) and life was wonderful. Two years later, I’m still writing, still loving that part of my life, but other parts of my journey aren’t as peaceful and sweet. Sales have drooped. It’s discouraging. What am I doing wrong? Did I mistake God’s call on my life? Does God not love me anymore?

Why do we think of the ‘rosy’ times as God smiling on us, and the more difficult times as God’s frown? If it’s all easy, we think it’s His will, and if it’s difficult, we must be off the tracks?

Uh… that’s not very biblical. Look at Joseph, sold into slavery. Look at Stephen, martyred for his faith. The Bible — and real life — are full of examples of faithful believers, God-followers, who did not live a life of ease. Many suffered great hardship. Many do today. I really have nothing at all to complain about.

And yet, I like my rose garden picture, don’t you?

Here are a few things I keep reminding myself of. If you’ve experienced this season, what would you add?

• to be open to what God is teaching me through regular quiet time.
• to be thankful God is taking care of my family’s needs.
• to remain obedient to His call.
• to trust Him to find my readers, not so I can make money, but so He can use my stories to touch lives.
• to be wise in my use of time.
• to be faithful in the little things.
• to remember that I now see ‘through a glass dimly’ while He sees the big picture.
• to believe the scripture, that He will never leave me nor forsake me.
• to write as an act of worship to Him, not for human approval.

God is good, whether the roses are blooming or not!

Valerie Comer's life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily-ever-afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

Valerie is a USA Today bestselling author and a two-time Word Award winner. She writes engaging characters, strong communities, and deep faith as she injects experience laced with humor into her green clean romances. Visit her at


  1. I hear you, Valerie. It is so exciting when your book comes out, but then it can get really discouraging. Your list was well worth my praying though. Thank you.

    1. Thanks, LeAnne! God's got it, I keep telling myself!

  2. Thanks for sharing, Valerie. Sometimes the encouragement we need is just to know we're not alone, that others have experienced similar disappointments and doubts, and to hold on to the knowledge that God is good all the time.

    1. Yes, knowing we are not alone can make a big difference!

  3. GREAT post, Valerie. Thanks so much for your encouraging words and spirit! I agree with LeAnne and am adding your prayer list to my own.

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