Friday, November 4, 2016

Beyond the Nothingness


I can’t explain what happens when you know you’re living the life you’re supposed to be living, only that it’s the best kind of freedom imaginable...Ashley Clark



Ashley Clark is my dear friend from the Writer's Alley. Her smile and bubbly spirit could lift any grumpy heart and brighten a day beyond the nothingness. Today, Ashley is opening her box of pure encouragement. Enjoy! 

The Best Kind of Freedom Imaginable

First I want to thank Mary for having me on her blog today! I feel so blessed to know her as a fellow Alley Cat and as a friend.

I guess you could say I have always been a writer. I can remember watching through the windows of my parents’ car when I was young, dreaming up stories about the people who passed by.  I’ve always loved language, thoughts, and ideas. And who can forget library story time?

But fiction writing? For a long while, I never thought that was something I could do. Academic writing? Sure. Article writing? You bet. But creative writing? Heart writing? That was another thing entirely.

Then one day, out of the blue, God put this story on my heart. It was similar in tone to a couple of my own favorite books… Miss Invisible and My Life As a Doormat. I took it to my very liberal-minded creative writing class, expecting them to hate it. I was shocked when that was far from their reaction.

That was seven years ago. Since then, every time I have begun to doubt myself, God has faithfully pulled me deeper into His plan, reaffirming His purposes in my life.

I can’t explain what happens when you know you’re living the life you’re supposed to be living, only that it’s the best kind of freedom imaginable. I am so very thankful to be called to such an extraordinary ministry.

After attending the ACFW conference one year, I signed with my agent, Karen Solem, and have already learned so much from her. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would someday share the same agent with Denise Hunter and many of my other author heroes. To this day, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it sometimes.

But something different happened to me one year at ACFW. I sensed God moving in my heart in a whole new way. And that’s exactly what He was doing: moving. Those of you who are writers are familiar with this feeling:  you sit at your couch, day in and day out, your only company a couple dogs, a vanilla soy candle, and a handful of Peppermint Patties. You think your story is good, and then you think it is awful. You think it will be a bestseller, and then you doubt it will ever sell at all. Before long, your spirit begins to grow weary, and you feel like you have stalled.

I want to encourage you that if that is the place you find yourself right now, keep keeping on. Just because we don’t see the next step in our lives doesn’t mean it isn’t there. I love the ACFW Conference because I feel like every time I attend, I step out into thin air. It’s terrifying. But each year God meets me right there. It’s the most incredible thing. He puts the next step underneath me when all I could see was nothingness.

Sometimes we have to move before the next step appears. Have faith in the calling God has placed on your heart. He has put it there for a reason. I don’t know which publishing house I’ll end up with or when I’ll finally sign a contract, but I know this. God is faithful. To you, and to me. And isn’t that really the most exciting thing? 

I would love to connect with you! Find me at http://ashleyclarkwrites.blogspot.com or Facebook and Pinterest.


Romantic Comedy with Southern Grace
http://ashleyclarkwrites.blogspot.com


Thank you, Ashley. You have truly brightened our day!

Ready to plunge into the next task, friends? 


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