I Have No Idea

Sep 15, 2016 by

This time last year, I basically lived in my bedroom/office writing Suddenly Single Mom. September was when I started tackling the chapters that I’d been avoiding and no longer could. My writing prayer partner got several middle-of-the-day text messages asking if we could “pray right now.” I had to remind myself hourly that I would make my deadline no matter what a disaster the manuscript looked like at the moment. I turned it in five days early, went to choir rehearsal that night, and cried in relief. I’d made it! Not only the deadline, but the journey behind the book.

In March the book was published, and I faced the question that I knew was coming: “So, what’s next for you?”


I thought I knew.

I threw out a couple of possibilities that I seriously wanted to write about someday, and six months later I’m still outlining a book idea that I hope looks as cool on paper as it sounds in my head. I have no clue when it will be published. Earlier this week that really scared me. Until someone gave me permission to take my time—to let it happen in … (okay, you should probably hold onto something because this is a really shocking concept) … God’s timing. We agreed that I might still be living the material, which is probably true.

There was something freeing about admitting that I have no idea when my next book will come out, or exactly what it will look like. I have a topic and some great stories, but it’s still gelling and that needs to be okay with me. Last year’s deadline was met with five days to spare, so I’m trusting that my “what’s next for you” book will take shape on schedule too. It would be wonderful to know my deadline for this one so I could meet it, but I guess this is why we need to be reminded so often to trust God. Because sometimes He keeps the deadline under wraps. And parts of the outline. And the best idea for a sample chapter.

And sometimes things happen—in writing and in life—that remind us that, even when we think we know the plan, we don’t, so it’s best to make peace with the idea of “I have no idea.”

How is God helping you let go of your need to know what’s next?

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  1. This sounds like a perfect example of walking by faith, not by sight. Praying for peace, wisdom, courage, diligence, and strength as you continue to trust the Lord one breath at a time, one word at a time, and then, in God’s perfect timing, one chapter at a time. Next thing you know, you’ll be looking back on this moment and praising God for giving you the time you needed to write the book only you can write, the book He planned for you to write all along. Hallelujah! Write on, Sister!

  2. Someday I hope you’ll write a novel about one of the characters in your fiction books for kids after she grows up.

    • Jeanette Hanscome

      That would be so fun! Maybe someday Focus on the Family will want to do that. I’ve often wondered what happened to Solana, Jacie, and the rest of my Brio Girls family.

  3. Boy, that waiting on God’s timing thing can seem brutal–though I suppose when I think it’s brutal I’m not waiting too patiently!

    Your book will come. I like the idea that you may still be living it, since that gives meaning to the Right Now. 🙂

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