More than 10 years ago, I sat at the dining room table with my dear friend Cathy and five other friends who were clergy women. We were gathered for our annual Christmas celebration just a few days after December 25. The seven of us have been meeting regularly to provide encouragement and prayer support to each other in our respective ministries since January 2004. In the glow of the red and green candles on the lace tablecloth and the warmth of our fellowship, Cathy, our leader, asked, “If you knew you would not fail, what would you like to do in the new year?” I answered, “I would like to write some meditations for Advent.” Many of my friends around the table enthusiastically exclaimed, “Yes, Laurel, please do that!”
I was so buoyed by their encouragement, I started writing the next some meditations for the Twelve Days of Christmas. The following year when our clergy women’s support group met, I read one of the meditations I had written as we gathered to celebrate the “holy days” together. Again, the response was enthusiastic. But this time my “clergy sisters” nudged me to seek publication of the meditations I had written for the six weeks from Advent through Epiphany. I submitted 5 meditations to The Upper Room in 2019 and was delighted to read an email from the editor, dated December 30, 2020, “Your meditation on John 8:12 has been chosen for the November-December 2021 issue of The Upper Room.”
I am reminded that time and patience are required for our dreams to morph into hard-copy text and take flight in the form of a published work. The story of our family experiencing a winter storm that I wrote about in my published meditation happened about thirty years ago. All these decades since, I have “treasured that experience and pondered it in my heart.” Then ten years ago, I wove that story into a meditation on John 8:12. I had to wait nearly a year to see my meditation in print. The Lord has been strengthening the fruit of patience in me as I waited on God to see what would become of my writing.
God’s dreams for us do come to pass even if they take years, decades, or a lifetime. God, the Alpha and the Omega, is writing our life story each and every day of our lives. Let us grow in patience, faith, and love as the Word becomes flesh in our lives!
To anyone considering the 2022 Spiritual Formation in Today’s World: Ask yourself if you are ready and willing to give your heart, mind, body, and soul to the experience. If you are, you will be changed in ways you may not even know you need. And it will continue to shape you into the future.”
Learn more about Spiritual Formation in Today’s World: A One-Year Online Offering from The Academy for Spiritual Formation here.