Saturday, April 10, 2010

Worried About Money? God Knows the Way Through -- Gibson

“When you choose your vocation,” I often told our children, “pick something you’d get up and do every day, whether or not you get paid!” I’ve lived that philosophy, writing and speaking far more for love than money for over two decades, writing full-time for the last dozen.

The climate for writers has always been “overcast, with sporadic showers.” Freelancing fees have increased little since the 1970’s. And unless your name is Rick Warren, Max Lucado, or JK Rowlings, among very few others, to be a profitable writer these days one must either be employed by a media outlet, an entrepreneur, an expert in social media marketing, or a panting, self-promoting, pain in the nether-regions.

I know some writers who manage all of the above.

But this particular author has never had the business sense to coax a living wage from writing. Altogether, my words have likely garnered only a few years of equivalent full-time wages. Every time I’ve tried to push past that, I’ve lost my love of the craft and my creativity.

Nevertheless, like most of my readers, my husband and I have a mortgage that needs regular feeding, a car that guzzles gas, and a table that looks best decorated with food. His vocation provided most of that.

But when the pirates of West Nile neurological disease invaded our little boat in the summer of 2007, one of the things they stole from my husband was his ability to put in regular hours at any kind of consistent job. Though he is able to do many remarkable things, his lack of stamina and energy have persisted—along with other, more severe, long-term effects of the disease.

God has not, however, released me from my commitment to write. Instead, he has provided for the Preacher and me. In almost three years (and long before) God has seen to it we have never lacked for anything. He’s done that through many means—disability insurance, speaking engagements, book and article sales, the amazing generosity of those who believe in our ministry of writing and speaking, and a previous (and very fine) job for me as a magazine editor for three fascinating seasons, a job that ended with the downturn of the economy.

We’ve had humbling moments. Hours. Days, days. Once, very recently, I (flapping about in worry like a windsock in the breeze) rushed out—without Divine permission—and took an entirely unsuitable job. I quit immediately after my first and only shift, disappointing many others who had hoped for a keeper.

A mistake is an opportunity to learn, they say. I learned again that simple trust is always the best option when faced with a fiery furnace, whether the furnace is stoked with fear or unpredictable circumstances. And that God always knows best.

Leave the writing life? Not yet. God keeps providing more life to write about!

Are you worried about finances? God knows the way through. Trust. Listen. Follow. And let him direct.

Kathleen Gibson


Peter Black said...

Interesting, poignant, and practical ... thanks!
Hmm. As my wife and I come within a couple of months of my retirement (she is not employed), and prepare to move out of a manse and into rented accomo, I find more resonance with this piece than I likely would have several years ago.

Marcia said...

It resonates with me too, Kathleen, as one of my employers is 3 months behind in sending me my paycheque and my other source is looking rather shakey at the moment. But God does and will provide. Thanks for the reminder! :)

Brian C. Austin said...

I'm just skimming through a few older blogs this morning and your title caught my attention. I hadn't even realized it was your post Kathleen.
I was praying yesterday as I pushed the lawn-mower around -- for wisdom financially. I have almost no income opportunities anymore. I think -- just maybe -- trusting God is the best advice I could have come across this morning.

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