This year, Thanksgiving started early for me. Last Sunday in fact. I was in a bit of a mood, to say the least. It happens every time I don’t have something lined up for myself. I suffer from a bit of, “What’s Next Syndrome,” and while I relish in the miniature successes and publications of my writing, by the time the next issue comes out, or the next submission is sent, I am already feeling a bit unsettled, like an itch I can’t quite reach that requires another step forward to satisfy.
It sounds discontent, I know. But honestly, the light of a wordsmith’s heart tends to dim ever-so-slightly when there isn’t a project in the making. At times it feels like it’d be a whole lot easier to just journal instead of dream, but J.R.R. Tolkien once said, “Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.” His words remind me that it is so easy to feel that the “road” is ending, just because I don’t know what turn to take next. I wish that my writing career came with a little GPS, but unfortunately, it doesn’t. There isn’t a Google map to follow, there isn’t a set plan-of-action that guarantees I’ll get “there”… I’m not even sure I always know where it is I’m trying to go – it’s more about the inertia of moving ever onward I suppose.
Regardless, last Sunday, I was in this mood … stuck in this moment of, “what’s next.” Sitting in church, I decided to have a little conversation with God about it. I offered up my prayer, which was simply, “Can you give me some direction?” I’d been feeling stuck at a stop sign, and I’d have done just about anything for a, “turn here” signal. But as God knows, I don’t always hear his whispers so well, and sometimes I need an in-my-face-moment to remind me he is bigger than my self-doubt. Kahlil Gibran reminds how weak my mentality can be saying, “Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.” Faith. There’s a noble pursuit.
When I got home, I checked my mailbox and what do you know … there it was. A complimentary artist’s copy of the winter issue of Bella Grace – and I was in it. Turns out that the email I received back in October wasn’t a residual marketing outreach, but a new push for the magazine I didn’t even know I was a part of! Not more than thirty minutes later and God showed up. Another small step, but forward nonetheless. It was my very own Thanksgiving grace.
So thank you all, thank you for reading what I write, for commenting so I don’t feel alone, and for inspiring me to continuing to share my words, no matter how small they might be.