A Writer's Prayer for Serenity

Sunday, January 10, 2021

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference..."

This upcoming week I am seeking serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference as a writer. For this past week has been a mixed bag of highs and lows. Little successes and big disappointments. One acceptance for a nonfiction article and two rejections of two fiction stories. I was proud of myself for keeping four of my New Year's resolutions but then felt slightly crushed because I broke four other resolutions that were just as worthy of keeping. I finished two articles but couldn't get past the middle of revising my novel. I woke up early a few mornings, enthusiastically ready to tackle the writing world, and on other mornings felt as if my feet were stuck in a bucket of cement as I walked to my computer. 

So God, I hope you hear this writer's prayer for serenity. I hope you don't think I'm being overly dramatic or a compulsive complainer. I know there are far worse things, weightier issues, to complain about in this world, like what took place this past week, and to ask for your powerful hand to be on. I am just requesting a pittance of serenity in the midst of all this, so I can write through 2021 with self- assurance.

When I have the covering of serenity to accept that which I cannot change, I know I will unleash more of who I am and aim to be as a writer. With serenity I won't fret about judgement, or comparison of my work to another author's, or writing perfectly, or getting published. Serenity will empower me to release those things that I get overly anxious about and implore me to have an optimistic and more realistic stance about what success looks like, as Cathy C. Hall so eloquently wrote about in her WOW blog post, "The Secret to Success." Serenity will guide me to find the right yardstick to measure my writing life and writing accomplishments with.

And God, can you grant me courage. At times I have been like a cowardly lioness. Often I boast a good writing game, but don't follow through. Can you infuse me from the crown of my head to the soul of my size nine feet with courage in this new year. I've asked for it many times before and you've instructed me to just step out in faith, but I did so tentatively, if at all. So I'm asking once again, (and knowing me it won't be the last time) for the fearlessness to write without restraints and bare my writing soul and embrace all that comes with that boldness, even the backlash. I need courage to write those truthful, painful stories that I only thus far have touched the surface of. I need courage to write unapologetically and let all of the skeletons fall where they may, because you know I've carried them for way too long. I need courage to submit those authentic stories over and over again until a "no" from a publisher becomes a "solid yes." I need courage to share that part of my life that isn't such a pretty picture.

Next God, can you grant me wisdom. Wisdom to know the difference of what I can change and what I can't. Wisdom to know when to wait and when to move on. Wisdom to know when to work feverishly on a writing project and when to let it go...even if only for a while until I can revisit it with fresh eyes. 

Finally God, I want to end this prayer with gratitude, my fervent thanks to you. Even if the things I have asked for are slow in coming, I thank you. I know you're still working on me in so many other areas of my life and here I come adding more to your list, so I thank you for your patience most of all. I thank you for this gift you have bestowed on me from such a young age, to be a writer. I will do my best not to take it for granted and to ride the waves of highs and lows that come with it, knowing that it was you who equipped me for this journey. And I thank you, you who are all knowing, that this writing life of mine is unfolding like a long, slow, and beautiful dance into what it is destined to be. 


Jeanine DeHoney has had her writing published in several magazines, anthologies and blogs. She hopes as writers, and personally, you are all granted the gift of serenity, courage, and wisdom in 2021. 



Sioux Roslawski said...

Jeanine--What a powerful, moving and honest post. It's a post we can all agree with, one that we can all nod our head after countless statements, one that we can sing in unioson with you. I hope all your prayers are answered in 2021.

When you say you pray to know when to wait and when to move on... I think it's rarely a good idea to wait, unless it's waiting until later to let your internal self editor loose. Waiting until later to give up. Waiting until later to begin writing/revising/submitting. Those are not good times to wait. The time is now. The time to move (and move on to the next step) is right this moment.

President Obama's slogan was "Yes we can." Perhaps you could paraphrase that to, "Yes I can"?

Thanks for this post, Jeanine. It got me thinking of my own prayers for 2021.

Sandy Kirby Quandt said...

Jeanine, thank you so much for this heartfelt prayer. It spoke to so much of what I feel and sense in my writing. I pray the Lord works mightily through your writing. Even in the hard places.

Jeanine DeHoney said...

Thanks so much Sioux. And you're very welcome. And I'll remember to say often, "Yes I can," to inspire me.

Jeanine DeHoney said...

Thank you so much Sandy. I truly appreciate your comment and am glad this prayer resonates with you. May you have continued success and inspiration in all of your writing endeavors.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Writers second guess themseles. It makes it so hard to leave aside doubt and step forward.

Love your prayer!

Jeanine DeHoney said...

Yes, you're so right Sue, and thank you.

Cathy C. Hall said...

I love a good prayer, Jeanine, and there's so much good in this one: serenity, courage, wisdom, gratitude. I need 'em all every day so thank you for this timely reminder.

Keep the faith, Jeanine! I know God has big plans for you and that your gift with words is part of it.

Jeanine DeHoney said...

Thank you so very much Cathy.

Renee Roberson said...

Thank you for sharing these trials and tribulations with us, Jeanine. I first learned this prayer when I was hospitalized for depression in my 20s and it always helps lift me up. I feel your struggles, and I've been there! Last week I was beating myself up because I've gotten behind on production for my podcast, but I have to do my day job editing/writing first because it pays right now. I also have at least three essay ideas I want to work on. Try to focus on the positive of your acceptance and know that you will reach your goals, with continued hard work and prayer.

Jeanine DeHoney said...

Thank you Renee. The Serenity prayer has helped so many people when they have gone through difficult times. I am glad it lifted you up when you most needed it, and yes, with hard work and prayer, I'm sure we can indeed reach all of our goals.

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