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By Helena Smrcek

Photo: Luke Stackpoole

As I put up new calendars and look back over the past year, I take inventory of my life. What is working? What is not? What areas I need to improve in? What parts of my life need healing and prayer? I do set goals, or more accurately, explore the potential of the ever-growing list of ideas in my head. What I do not do, is set New Year’s resolutions.

My personal resolution came a long time ago, in 1987 when I realized that Jesus is real. Once this fact becomes a reality in one’s life everything else starts aligning with it.

Another big milestone, aside from marriage and the birth of our children, happened in 1999, when a Christian publication accepted my first article. Then the year 2000, my first Christian Writers’ Conference, 2001 meeting my first mentor, Cec Murphey, who shone the light on the path of an author for me.

I could say the rest is history, but since God has no time, and I don’t think there is a ‘time limit’ on our callings, I must say the rest is my present life, stretched all the way to eternity.

Saying this doesn’t mean that I take the writing gift God gave me for granted. I accept the responsibility to cultivate it, grow it, and use it for His glory. It is a tall order, for as any avid reader can attest, if one is skilled at telling stories, the world is willing to pay big bugs for all sorts of ‘stuff’. Just turn on the TV or go see a movie (or maybe don’t), I’m sure you get my meaning. I’m just grateful that the awful era of zombie mania seems to be behind us.

In the past two months I have been approached by a couple of people asking me for help. They too want to write books. Every time something new, an unexpected, comes into my life, I pause and ponder. Is this something I want? Need? Can I do this? Do I have the time? As I toss the idea back and forth, I ultimately land on the biggest question of all. Is this what God wants me to do?

And then I get scared. Because I need to make a choice, and I absolutely do not want to make a wrong one. As I confessed in one of my previous articles, I’m a hypercreative person. What that means is this: where others might struggle with writer’s block or lack of inspiration, my mind is like a fountain that keeps going. I love this part of God’s gift to me, but it also creates problems. Just imagine a gushing ‘fountain’ in your basement. You get the picture.

What to do? Do I say yes, and spend my time rehashing ideas, coaching, and editing, risking that feelings might get hurt? Or do I say a firm no right at the onset? And that is where the guilt comes in. Instantly.

Over the past two decades I have been blessed by vast knowledge passed on to me by many giants of Christian writing world, and I do feel guilty for not sharing my treasure. Can I dam the streams of water? That seems absolutely counterintuitive. The Lord told us that “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” This is the NLT version, John 7:38.

When God is so literal, does that even leave us a choice? Of course, it does, for He gave us free will, but would that choice satisfy? Absolutely not, aside from it actually being a sin.

So, here I’m, at my desk, trying to harness my hyper-creative mind with my calendar in hand. How can I make room for a new project of this size? And as I pray over my commitments, and daily routines, in search for answers, I hear the Holy Spirit whisper to me. I need not to worry, for if God called me to do this, He will also equip me, give me time and resources and most of all His blessing. All I need to do is step up in obedience.

What is the Spirit whispering to you as you stand at the beginning of this new year? Is there a door that is opening, and all you can see at the moment is a thin beam of light through the crack? Do you feel a pull towards something that you, if you are totally open and honest with yourself, knew you needed to do for a while? And if you do say yes, how will it impact yourself and others? Let us pray for boldness, as the Lord is calling us to action. May the God of your father help you; may the Almighty bless you with the blessings of the heavens above, and blessings of the watery depths below. Genesis 49:25, NLT.

About the author...
Helena Smrcek
, a journalist, author, and screenplay writer, believes in the power of a well-told story. Her readers can expect a captivating page-turner, filled with thrilling suspense, and heartwarming romance.

She started in publishing as a high school student, freelancing for Mississauga News. Her journalism carrier took off in 1999. Within three years Helena accumulated over 100 by-lines and interviewed Ann Graham Lotz, Carol Lewis, Cec Murphey, Kelita, and others. Her stories, many of them covers, have been published in Canada, the USA, Bermuda, New Zealand, and Australia. In 2002 she accepted a position at Listen Up TV, a current affairs program.

Helena became a founding member of Write!Canada, and The Word Guild, a Canadian national association of writers and editors. She is a graduate of Jerry Jenkin’s Craftsman Class, Act One, Donald Maass’ Fire in Fiction, Writer’s Police Academy, and several mentoring programs.

She regularly attends writers’ conferences and is a past or current member of such organizations as Word Weavers, American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, Toast Masters International, Boni, The Writer’s Guild, and others. Helena loves to participate in NaNoWriMo and hosts a writers’ group.

As an entrepreneur, she is familiar with marketing, branding, and social media. She has volunteered with YMCA, mentoring new Canadians pursuing their business dreams, and was an active member of her local Chamber of Commerce.

When not at her keyboard, Helena loves listening to audiobooks, working on her hobby farm, and traveling. She lives in Southern Ontario with her husband, three Vizslas, several cats, a herd of goats, and an undisclosed number of chickens.

For more about Helena, click HERE