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.
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.”
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.