Thursday, 31 January 2019

God gave me two words for my writing journey, and they weren’t what I wanted to hear

I had it all planned.

I’ve always been a writer. After I spent my school years writing short stories and poetry, I moved into journalism and corporate communication. Words have put food on my table since I was nineteen.

Fiction writing was always something I was going to do … one day. All these ideas for novels came to me, which I politely filed away for that day in the future when all the financial ducks were lined up. That would allow me to comfortably approach the task of writing without the expectation of getting paid. When I had enough money or enough clients behind me so I could safely take the plunge into what is a vocation not flushed with cash, I would take them out of my folder, and write fiction. (I currently have 17 storyboards sitting there waiting to be fleshed out into living breathing stories).

It was a hobby. Or so I thought.

Then God challenged me.  He reminded me that His gift of notes with story ideas and novels on them wasn’t just it. He hadn’t just given me stories to tell, He had also given me the ability to tell it and He would provide the room in which to tell it.

He took my writing dream, flipped it upside down and then stood back and said two words to me.

I would have loved to have heard: “Publishing House.” Now that I could live with.
That would form the basis of an amazing testimony. I started with a dream and led me to the outcomes of being on the shelves. Just inspiring.

But no.

I wanted to hear: “Great Story.” Now that would be the highest endorsement of my writing. Proof that I wasn’t living in my own little delusional bubble where my work-in-progress was spun gold simply because I was the only one judging it. That would be terrific to hear.

But no.

A part of me wanted those two words to be “Best Seller”. Wouldn’t that be an amazing achievement? Now that would be a testimony – nobody to best seller under God’s direction. Classic rags to riches story.

But no.

The two words I heard were these. “Trust Me.”

“Trust Me” are two words no control freak wants to hear.  I’ve learned over my time on this planet that “Trust Me” is a phrase that actually increases my blood pressure, it doesn’t reduce it.
So it took me a while, but eventually I trusted Him in that. I started to write and invested more of my time in this calling. And my concerns about who was going to pay the bills have drifted off (although at times they do come storming back). God’s provision of work while I’ve been writing – and I’ve done two manuscripts now – has been incredible. Clients have come looking for me, some who I haven’t worked with in years, but the flow has always been there. 

There is always enough.

Still, as someone who prefers to control his world, this was very unsettling, but I’m glad I did.

Next month my debut novel comes out. On March 5, The Baggage Handler will hit the shelves courtesy of HarperCollins Christian Publishing in the States. And I’m writing The Camera Never Lies ready for a November 2019 release.

{Just as an aside, if you'd like to win some Baggage Handler tags for your suitcase, head over to my web site.}

None of that would have happened if I had waited for that mythical day in the future of having enough. Instead, it took a lesson in trusting God, whereby I learned – eventually – that the issue wasn’t having enough, it was in trusting God to be enough.

And those two words stick with me. It’s frantic juggling books (something you may know all too well) but I’m trusting in that process.

I’m glad I heard those two words. They were the right ones.

Based in South Australia, David Rawlings is a sports-mad father-of-three with his own copywriting business who reads everything within an arm’s reach.  He has published in the non-fiction arena and is now focused on writing contemporary Christian stories for those who want to dive deeper into life

His debut novel - The Baggage Handler - comes out on March 5 through HarperCollins Christian Publishing. His second novel - The Camera Never Lies - will arrive on shelves in November 2019. 

He is currently represented by The Steve Laube Agency.


  1. Thanks David for your challenging but inspiring words. I think we all crave the reassurance of knowing there is a perfectly established and controlled plan in place, complete with guarantees of success, (divine and human) before we dare to step out in, er, faith. But, as you so eloquently pointed out, God likes to work things out in a way that throws us into a closer relationship with him. Good on you for being faithful to the word he gave you,for putting in the effort to obey and write, and congratulations on the upcoming release of its materialisation.

  2. Thanks David. You have both challenged me and encouraged me. I’m reminded of the movie, ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’, where Indie, having solved a riddle, knows he must step off a cliff. All he can see is the huge gulf in front of him but as he steps forward a bridge materialises under his feet. God has called me to trust him too and I haven’t been very good at it., but I guess it’s one foot after the next. Thank you for reminding me of God’s awesome faithfulness.

  3. A word in season. Thanks, David. It's so easy to look at the obstacles or the objections and forget who has called us and the His resources and faithfulness.

  4. Thanks everyone. The other thing about the concept of "Trust Me" is that it doesn't end. This isn't "trust Me until you get a contract" or "trust Me until you sell 10 books". This is a lifelong challenge.

  5. Great post David.
    Isn't God wonderful at not taking our advice?? If I was writing the story of my life, instead of God, it might have a bit less 'trust me'in it!! Thankfully, like you, I choose to trust...and it works out different/better than I could ever imagine.
    I'm looking forward to March 5, can't wait to read your book!!

  6. Congratulations on your next step in the publishing journey. God really means it when he says 'Trust me'. I'm learning that-probably the hard way. But still. He who has promised is faithful.