by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

Guest Blogger, Kathy Ide   @KathyIde

I am so honored to feature Kathy Ide on Morning Glory. Kathy is an editor, author, mentor, and teacher at writing conferences. When life comes at us hard – and it does for everyone of us at different times – it’s easy to moan and complain and question God. Amen? Kathy shares about this very real frustration and how she has seen God’s faithfulness time and time again – His plan unfolding. His divine intervention. His grace covering His child. We are praying that you will be encouraged by her words and strengthened for the journey.

Welcome Kathy!

We all have cherished dreams and goals. We make detailed
plans and then put in the time, effort, and sometimes money to make them
happen, with the expectation that our plans will enable us to achieve our goals
and realize our dreams.

And then life happens.

Twenty years ago, I got the idea of becoming a novelist. So
I started to pursue that dream. I am now a successful freelance editor, and I
have a couple of commercially published books, and I absolutely love what I do
for a living. But I still don’t have a published novel.

When my son got married, he and his wife were eager to have
children. That didn’t happen for more than a dozen years.

When they finally adopted their first baby a couple of weeks
ago, I immediately made arrangements to fly from California to Texas to see my
long-awaited grandchild. My hubby suggested I tack on a few days to the visit
and do some work-related things so I could count the trip as a tax deduction.
Great idea!

About an hour or two after I made the plane reservations, I got
slammed with a nasty cold. When I arrived in Texas, I agreed to wear a mask to
protect the baby. But since there’s a big concern here about whooping cough,
which can kill infants, my son and daughter-in-law also wanted me to get an
immunization. I went to a clinic, but the doctor told me the immunization
wouldn’t be worthwhile because I was sick and because the vaccine takes two
weeks to be effective.

I didn’t want to take any chances with my newborn grandson’s
health, and I’d already made plans to visit friends and colleagues in various
parts of Texas. So I extended those plans instead of spending more time at my
son’s house. One of my sweet writer friends offered to let me stay with her for
three days, even though she’s dealing with a son who has cancer.

A stupid cold derailed my plans to love on my precious
grandbaby … and the plans my son and daughter-in-law had for getting some help
and relief during their first few weeks of parenthood.

Cancer sidetracked my friend Lori’s writing plans … not to
mention her son’s career plans when he had to drop out of nursing school, move
back home, and become the patient.

What are your dreams and goals? What plans have you made to
achieve them? How has “life” interfered with those plans and altered your

Writers deal with dashed hopes on a regular basis. After
spending years learning the craft, honing your skills, and polishing a
treasured manuscript, maybe even paying hard-earned money for a professional
edit, you finally work up the nerve to submit query letters and proposals …
only to receive one rejection after another. Each “no” is a stab to the heart,
a dagger that slashes your dreams to shreds.

And yet … the Bible says we are to rejoice always and give
thanks for everything (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Everything? Rejections? Infertility? Cancer? Losing a loved
one? Being unable to see the grandbaby you dropped everything to come bond with?
Surely not those things.

Yep. Even those things.

When life doesn’t go according to our plans, we can whine
and moan and complain and question. Or we can trust that God has His own plans
for us … and that He truly can work anything and everything out for our good.
That doesn’t mean life isn’t sometimes painful. Annoying. Frustrating.
Confusing. Heartbreaking. What it means is that we can choose to trust the one
who loves us beyond anything we could possibly imagine. The one who knows our
future. The one who isn’t surprised at all by the things that come as a total
shock to us.

Sometimes rejoicing is a matter of choice. We willingly
choose to live according to scriptural principals because we acknowledge that
God knows what’s best for us. Can we also intentionally thank the Lord for our
circumstances, even if we hate them?

Of course, we don’t have to be happy with everything that’s going
on in our lives. But as Christians, we can focus on our loving heavenly Father
more than our present circumstances. And put our ultimate trust in Him. Not in
doctors or immune systems. Not in query letters or proposals or agents or
editors. And certainly not in our elaborately orchestrated plans.

When we focus on God, we’re able to recognize the blessings
He provides in the midst of our struggles. As we acknowledge those special
gifts from the Lord, we’re better able to let go of our disappointments and
expectations, and trust Him with the outcome and results.
That perspective makes rejoicing and giving thanks … in everything … seem a
little less impossible.

I wouldn’t be able to edit fiction as well if I hadn’t spent
years trying to be a good novelist. And although I’m sad about not being able
to spend more time with my precious grandbaby, the days I spent with my friend
Lori and her sweet family was a tremendous blessing for both of us … and that wouldn’t
have happened if I’d gone back to my son’s house right away.

It’s great to have dreams and goals. And to prayerfully and
intelligently make plans to achieve them. But when life interrupts those plans
… and it will, far too often … choosing to trust the true Orchestrator of our
lives makes those detours easier to handle.
A Tweetable to Encourage Others
Meet Kathy:

Kathy Ide is the author of Proofreading
Secrets of Best-Selling Authors
and the editor/compiler of the Fiction
Lover’s Devotional series. She is a full-time freelance editor/writing mentor and
teaches at writers’ conferences across the country. She is the founder and
director of the Christian Editor Connection and The Christian PEN.

To Connect with Kathy, visit her website at

Kathy’s Books: 

Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors contains tips from
multi-published authors on proofreading manuscripts for typos, inconsistencies,
and inaccuracies. Also includes industry-standard guidelines for punctuation,
usage, grammar, and spelling (“PUGS”), highlighting the issues most writers and
editors struggle with, explained in easy-to-understand language.

 21 Days of Grace: Stories that Celebrate God’s Unconditional Love is the
first book in the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series. It contains twenty-one
short fictional stories followed by brief life applications, each chapter
written by a different author. Some contributors are major best sellers, some
are midrange authors, and some are new writers. This hardback book, with its
debossed cover, full-color interior, and ribbon page marker, makes a wonderful
gift—for others or yourself. Free study guide available at to go deeper
individually or in a group setting.

21 Days of Christmas: Stories that Celebrate God’s Greatest Gift is book
2 in the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series. Some of the stories in this book
focus on the Nativity; others are about modern-day people celebrating that
miraculous event. All will warm your heart and help you focus on the reason for
the season. Great gift for family and friends. Can be used for Advent,
especially with the free study guide available at