One week ago, I completed the 5th draft of my first novel, STRONGHOLD. I solicited help from some key friends to read it based on their professions and personal experience, and I sent them both the text to proofread and critique as well as a survey to answer some pointed concerns.
Now I wait.
I presented my readers with a deadline, and I am sure they will get back to me within the time allotted. In the meantime, however, I am in a holding pattern, one that is truly puzzling. On the one hand, I am very confident in the book's premise, and I am proud of the execution--despite this being my first book, completed without professional direction or assistance. On the other hand, I am terribly insecure about my own tunnel vision and inability to see gaping plot holes, poorly-constructed sentences, and an overall lack of dynamic language and literary merit. These contrasting attitudes have caused something of a fluctuating model of excitement and terror, anticipation and anxiety.
And I wait.
And I pray, and peace comes in whispers. Solace rises in my heart. This is a strange experience to explain, but I will try. I thank the Lord for completion of the novel, for bringing me to a place to not only start the project but see it through to the end (for now, at least). I then surrender the novel to his care and for his glory, begging him to use it and to do what he will, without my getting in the way. Once this is done, the nervousness fades to grey. I accept that what the readers find will be accurate and that I have a great deal of work ahead of me that will begin anew when they return their coverage. I embrace that the Lord has prepared their hearts and minds to read it just as he prepared my heart and mind to write it. I revel in the fact that regardless of my efforts and my longing for the book's effect on others, I have no control. God does. In the end, I find it very difficult to worry over something that belongs to God. If he wants to use it, he'll use it; if not, he won't. All I can do is give him my best, which I believe I have done in this instance; and he'll take it from there.
So I wait...with great anticipation for all the Lord will do. I just want to serve him in it. Hopefully I'll get my chance.