Following the Lord’s Path

 

Photo of a yellow sign post with an arrow pointing down a trail in the woods
“This is the road! Now follow it.” – Isaiah 30:21 (CEV)

 

The Lord is kind, and as soon as he hears your cries for help, he will come. You will again see the Lord, your teacher, and he will guide you. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, you will hear a voice saying,“This is the road! Now follow it.”

From Isaiah 30:19—21 (CEV)

You have no idea how fitting this verse is for the very first post of my brand new blog!

Yes, even in such a mundane matter as setting up an author website, the Lord heard my cries for help and graciously drew me back to the right path—the path he had chosen for me.

Advice from the Experts

If you’re a writer yourself, you’ve heard the sage counsel: If you want readers (or editors or agents or publishers) to discover your writing, you must have a serious website! Probably the gurus of every profession, interest group, and cause are hammering the same message. It makes sense. Nowadays the Internet is where everyone looks for all kinds of information and products. And I want people looking for the kind of material I write (hymns and faith songs, Christian dramas and skits, poetry, devotionals, puppet ministry how-tos, even mystery fiction) to find my work, don’t I?

Directions from the Holy Spirit

Well, I operate under the Holy Spirit’s daily direction (which accounts for the bizarre range of genres I’ve written in–more about that in future posts and pages). So I waited until August, when my Holy Ghostwriter dropped the green flag on this “serious website” idea. He led me through a maze of accumulated writers conference handouts, word of mouth, and, naturally, Internet resources. Before long I had a mental picture of my website and how to build it.

Detour

That’s when I veered off the road.

Not that I realized it at the time. In fact, the detour I turned onto looked great. A web-savvy friend offered to set up my site for me! Wow! This promised to combine the advantages of a back road shortcut (saving me the time and aggravation of building it from scratch myself) and a busy main street through the commercial district (giving me loads of SEO features to drive traffic to my site).

I set out with market research tools to find powerful keywords, so my benefactor could implement those SEO (Search Engine Optimization) functions. I knew I was in for a bumpy ride, because no single phrase, or even several, could possibly describe the wide variety of content my website would include. But the Holy Spirit is no slouch. I was confident he’d quickly steer me to the right keywords. Then I could turn them over to my friend and get back to writing while he set up my website.

Spiritual and Mental Gridlock

But that didn’t happen. Roadblocks popped up out of nowhere. Frustration mounted. The whole process just didn’t feel right, somehow. Not that there was anything wrong with my friend’s offer. It was beyond generous, and he knows his business. The problem was on my end, not his. I simply couldn’t seem to get that preliminary research done. What was worse, I couldn’t concentrate on my manuscripts either.

I didn’t get it. Had the Holy Spirit abandoned the plan he’d instigated in the first place? Had he abandoned me? I lay awake in the wee hours, stressing over the impasse in my writing. And of course the doubts crept in. Was the whole concept of being led by the Lord’s spirit a big fat delusion?

Call for Roadside Assistance

At 6 AM, after an hour of silently wailing “cries for help,” I dropped into my computer chair. At least I could accomplish checking e-mail. I clicked on the link for the daily post at Seekerville.com. There, like a bright yellow signpost in the middle of the woods, was guest blogger Karen Fleming’s story of confusion, frustration, prayer, and immediate affirmation from God for her seemingly stalled writing career.

Suddenly, I understood who had really done the abandoning.

When I’d careened off onto what I thought was the miracle mile, I had unwittingly flung my divine navigator out the door. Or maybe, by handing the wheel to a chauffeur with different priorities in traffic management, I’d failed to leave room in the driver’s seat for the Holy Spirit. Either way, after weeks of riding around in circles, feeling more carsick by the minute, I had run out of gas.

Karen’s “sign post” filled up my tank with hi-test affirmation. I backtracked to the place where I’d left the, shall we say, “scenic route” of building LindaBonneyOlin.com myself, under the Lord’s direction. Sure enough, his voice was clear: “This is the road! Now follow it.”  

Redirected Journey

As you can see, my Holy Ghostwriter and I covered a lot of ground on Day One of my recalculated itinerary. I have a great deal to learn, so please be patient while the site’s infrastructure is developed and content is added. I pray that you’ll be inspired by something you see here. 

My keyword research, by the way, was not wasted. The tools of technology will, I hope, help seekers find the content the Lord wants me to give them.

But I won’t forget again that the Lord is driving this bus. Whether my site traffic is heavy or light, I can trust his promise to chauffeur his invited guests to the right destination at the right time.

Now I believe I’ll relax and enjoy the scenery along the way.

Blessings,
Linda.

10 thoughts on “Following the Lord’s Path

  1. Linda,
    Your site is beautiful. And where you said that you had prayed in frustration as well, I also tried to take an easy way out with my writing at the beginning of this year. If I had, I could have possibly locked myself into obligations that only a week or so later I would have struggled to meet and my writing and my family would have suffered. Now, my schedule is more flexible and I know how to manage my time better where family is concerned.
    God is Patient. And Forgiving. Those are the 2 most important things to remember when we stop looking at His map for our lives and stumble off the road.

    Best of luck with all that you do to honor Him.

    Karen

    • Thanks for your gracious comments, Karen.

      Now that I’m on board the right bus, the Lord is showering me with ideas for using the site. I’m far from finishing the infrastructure (just signed up for Dropbox and downloaded a backup plugin), but the possibilities for the future are exciting!

      Please check back in a few weeks to see my progress. For that matter, stay in touch. Kindred spirits need to support one another through those rough patches. God knows your post popped up on my PC screen at the moment I needed it. <3

      Blessings,
      Linda

    • Thanks, Tracy! And welcome to my new digs!

      I’m waiting till I have more content up before inviting the world, but the Holy Spirit prodded me to share my Day One experience right away on Writers of Any Genre. He must know that someone there is in the doldrums and will be encouraged by my post, as I was encouraged by Karen’s.

  2. I love it! I love the honesty of the struggles and challenges on your faith journey – and I dearly love the slogan at the top – the vision of our daily lives as a song to God is incredible and powerful for me.
    Thanks for sharing

    • Thanks, Emrys!
      Yeah, sometimes I’m oohing and aahing at the scenic vistas, sometimes I’m digging my fingernails into the steering wheel, like your white-knuckle trip over the Rocky Mountains in a snowstorm, and sometimes I’m whining, “Are we almost there yet?”
      Linda

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