Friday, January 6, 2012

Hope or Fear: It Really Is Your Choice

One unexpected thing I have learned from freelancing full-time is that being fearful is a choice. You can all too easily let fear eat away at your time and your talent – leaving you frozen in place when things don't go exactly as planned. Or, you can keep plugging along, trusting that God is truly guiding your way. In no other job have I ever actually been able to really see God intervening on my behalf. [I'm sure it happened, but I wasn't able to see it as clearly.]

During times when the work has run dry, and therefore the funds have too, God has repeatedly found a way to sneak a little extra cash into our family accounts. One time it was in the form of an extra tax refund check when my accountant somehow forgot to ask if I'd been paying taxes on my own on a quarterly basis? (I'm still amazed that happened since my accountant is the one who had set it up for me to pay quarterly taxes the year before?) More than once it has been in the form of an insurance-related refund ... and most recently a partial refund for paying for all-day Kindergarten. None of the refunds were expected, and they always came when we were starting to worry over how we were going to scrape together enough money to pay the bills.

I don't mean this to sound like I feel like I could sit back, relax, and the Lord would just do my bidding; nor that I should go on a spending spree because 'magic cash' will just appear. Far from it. However, what it does mean to me ... is that as long as I keep doing my part, God is making sure my family's most basic needs are met. [It reminds me continuously of the bible verses regarding the sparrows ... Luk 12:7]

This gives me so much to be hopeful about.

Beyond money, God has also helped me make invaluable connections with people that have helped me grow as a Christian and as a business. Have you ever felt the prompting from God to write an e-mail or call someone you barely have a connection with ... only to find out that they were praying to hear from someone exactly like you? Yup, that happened to me.

It was a pretty amazing experience, yet the most powerful personal example for choosing hope over fear that I have is even more remarkable. During my first year as a freelancer I had a freelance client who stiffed me for over $700 worth of time already spent working on his company's web site copy. I had done everything I was asked to do, the cost had been quoted and agreed upon prior to the first draft, and I had every intent of revising the text until they were satisfied. But instead the client was quite rude, reacting as though my writing was in no way what they had asked for, and they not only refused to pay but refused to explain how it could be improved  - which meant I could not even try to improve it to make them happy. I was devastated. I was angry. And when further negotiations failed I began to question my writing abilities, and my business skills, more than I ever had before.

I had always had very positive client writing experiences in the past - even when changes were necessary. I had also never had someone treat me in so unprofessional a manner. It ate away at me in the weeks following, and I remember at my lowest point crying and praying for God to somehow let me know if I was meant to keep writing. I questioned if it was my will or His to be a writer. [Am I the only one who has prayed this prayer?]

I still get goosebumps thinking about this ... but all I did was walk maybe 20 steps to my office from where I had wept and prayed that prayer ... to do something as mundane as check my e-mail. I had already been on the computer most of that day and checked my e-mail many, many times. However, when I returned to my computer, moments after praying that prayer, in my e-mail inbox was a request to buy an article that I had written and submitted over 6 months prior to that day. Of note is that this was my first article I ever sold that wasn't written 'for hire'.  So this was a very big deal to me. It felt like winning the lottery - though I probably earned a grand total of $150 and it was only published on a blog.

The timing of that sale sounds like something 'made up' even to me. But I still have that remarkably timed e-mail, and I look at it whenever I need a pick-me-up. [I actually sold a second unrelated article only a couple of weeks later – one which was also submitted around the same time frame as the first one. Which reminds me ... I really need to submit queries more often!]

What about you? Have you had moments of fear about your calling to be a writer? Has God ever answered your prayers in a way that gave you every reason to hope and continue writing?

Suzanne Wesley works as a full-time freelance graphic artist and copywriter from her Indiana home. She is also a full-time mom of two girls under the age of 6. (Sometimes the two full-time jobs collide, but mostly it is the best job decision she ever made!) Between filling sippy cups, reading princess stories ... oh, and designing marketing materials, she sneaks in time to work on her secret passion for fiction writing.

She also reads and reviews Christian books and their cover designs on The Book and Cover Reviewer blog - found at


  1. Yes, this has happened to me too. Two articles I wrote a year ago sold. God assured me that I'm on the right track and that I shouldn't stand still gazing over my shoulder at Egypt.

  2. Too true, Mary. I thought 6 months was a long time ... had you had no word at all for a year?

  3. Very nice article! I've felt for a while that God was leading me to help with our church's website, and when I finally called the pastor last week, he said he had just been praying that night for someone such as me. Sounds like it was God's will after all. It's so easy to question ourselves.

  4. And prayer is a mighty powerful tool to finding that out. God has his ways of putting things into motion, sometimes we're afraid and avoiding it, and sometimes we are just hard of hearing LOL

  5. Great post,Suzanne! Doubt finds it way in my mind too often, and I have to always go back to those moments of clarity. I love the way God encourages us at just the right moments! Blessings on your writing!

  6. Thank you, Suzanne. I needed the encouragement.