When I first started doing freelance work, I worried I couldn’t possibly make enough to contribute to my household income. Would it be enough? Would I feel like a contributor?
For almost my entire life I’ve worried about money. Mainly because I never had much. I lived paycheck to paycheck for a good portion of my life right after college – when I had to pay my own bills. I’m not complaining. My parents taught me the value of money and that we have to work hard to achieve it and to pay the bills. I was not blind to the hardships of adulthood.
When I decided to quit my 9-5 office job and the security of that paycheck, my heart just about burst out of my chest. I worried that entire first year that we would be in the poorhouse despite the fact my husband made enough for us to live comfortably.
In my second year of freelance work, I had a huge lull in work from November 2017 to March 2018. I’m talking no work. No income on my half whatsoever. I felt like I’d been wrong and that I’d have to go back into the real workforce – something I dreaded doing because working from home is awesome.
During that time, I decided my word for 2018 would be consistent. I would be consistent in my approach to obtaining work. I wrote down concrete goals including the goal of growing closer to God. Hey, I had time on my hands. I studied the Bible more. I began attending a new group study with all new people. Soon, I became a new person in Christ. I began to let Him lead – what I was doing didn’t seem to be working. And I began to trust Him more. Although work had been slow, I’d had work. We were doing OK. We weren’t in the poorhouse. We still had nice things and enjoyed our life. And I still felt like editing was what I was meant to do.
Slowly, I took on work with new publishers – Christian publishers. I began to let my fears about money go. Christ was supplying our needs. I simply needed to keep doing His work. I read Christian novel after Christian novel – editing the words of an author who had a message of Christ to share with the world. (I rarely edit mainstream novels anymore.)
Then, when November 2018 came around, I told a friend I was gearing up for that lull in my work. I knew it was coming just like it had last year. It was something I just had to deal with in this business. But I determined not to let my heart fear again about the money. God would provide.
And He has. Oh … He has.
I’ve not had one moment of a lull. Not one. Even when I think the lull might be coming, another job hits my desk. I went into partnership with an author last year that has over a dozen books already written and he wants me to edit them all – the work has been consistent. I started working with a Christian publisher that publishes mostly nonfiction books – the work has been consistent from them. Friends have asked for my help consistently.
This year, I decided my word would be refresh. I thought it meant I’d have some down time to relax a bit, spend time with my hubby who is finishing up his doctorate, and to simply enjoy life a bit.
I’m finding out a different meaning to the word.
For the past three months, work has remained consistent, but also scriptural-based. I told a friend the other day I felt like I was immersed in the Word almost every single day simply by editing Christian nonfiction. I check Scripture, ensure the message is clear, edit for context … I’m studying the Word while working. I don’t have a twenty minute devotion time every morning. I spend HOURS in devotion. And my love of the Lord and His Word has been refreshed during this time. My relationship with Him has been refreshed. I feel refreshed. I feel more connected than I ever have. I trust Him now more than ever. I see His hand upon almost everything I do and everything that occurs in my life.
That doesn’t mean I agree with it all or that I don’t worry, but I can find peace about most of it. I know He’s working it out – even if it isn’t in my time. I know it’ll be fine if I just keep letting Him lead. That lull I had was not the end of this journey – it was merely God giving me a rest before using me fully for His purpose.
Today, as my work load had started to thin a little bit and I’m aware of several things coming up in our lives that I could use some rest for – God handed me yet another job. (It’s been this way for weeks now. I think a lull is coming – even a small one – and just at the moment, I get another job.) This job is the biggest one yet and is centered on a controversial topic which I am passionate about. I couldn’t believe it. Shock and awe could only describe my thoughts at that moment.
Sure, I could use some rest, but I do get it now and again. I’ve decided to take today to rest but I’m still writing and getting things done – just in a different pattern than my normal day. It makes me feel restful to switch up where I’m sitting, to get out for a walk (now that the weather has finally turned!), and to just do things at my own pace. But God is using me for His purposes right now – how can I refuse? Why would I want to? Authors are writing His words and I aim to help them put them into the world which so desperately needs to hear them.
I’m ready, Lord. Send me. Expand my territory. Use me for Your purpose. Fill the gaps in my life and my heart. Send me. Use me. Teach me. Amen.