As you read this, I’m either on my way to Nashville or already hugging the necks of lots of authors at the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Conference. All but one of our Authors’ Open House visitors (Meghan Gorecki, Jaime Jo Wright, Mikal Dawn, Laurie Tomlinson, and next Tuesday’s guest Pepper Basham) will be there, as will today’s guest Melissa Tagg! The only one I won’t get to see is Rachel McMillan — but there’s always next time!
Today, I’m busting at the seams to welcome Melissa Tagg to the blog. Melissa stole my heart with her novel Like Never Before, which I reviewed not too long ago. She writes with such an effortless style that you forget you’re even reading. Characters who jump off the page and become your own friends. Sweet love stories that make you swoon and tingle all at the same time. To add to that, she’s just abut the sweetest person too. Of course, I’ve read her following post already and she’s blessed me with her wisdom and encouragement. Even if you’re not a writer, I bet you’ll enjoy her words.
Guess I better stop gushing and let Melissa get to it! Help me welcome Melissa by leaving her some love in the comments…
When Life Doesn’t Go According to Plan
(Thanks soooo much for having me here today, Teresa!!)
I have to start this blog post with a shout-out to the one and only, super awesome, super sweet Beth Vogt. Beth is a fellow contemporary romance writer and I’m crazy blessed to call her friend.
One of the approximately one bazillion things I love about Beth Vogt is a line I’ve heard her say many a time: “God’s best often waits behind the doors marked ‘Never.’”
Ain’t that the truth. Some of my biggest “uh, life really isn’t going according to my plan” experiences have included those very doors.
I never want to give up campus life and study abroad, she says to a professor. (She would be me. I guess we’re going third-person for a couple seconds here.)
I never want to work at a small-town newspaper, she tells her friends.
I never want to leave small-town life for a bigger city, she decides post-college.
Well she had a blast in London, swears newspaper reporting is the best-ever job for a wannabe author, and moved to the big ol’ metropolis of Des Moines eight years ago.
I’m so convinced my “nevers” are triggers for God’s LOLs I’ve taken to saying things like:
I’ll never need endless free time to write and read and watch old movies.
I hope I never marry someone who will be okay with all my quirks—love of flannel and peanut butter and Needtobreathe included.
I never want to time-travel to interesting points in history.
Reverse psychology on God. I’m sure he gets a kick out of that. (I’m particularly hopeful He pays attention to that last one. Hello, Gilded Age!)
All joking aside, every time God has taken one of my “nevers” and turned it into a “been there-done that” situation, I end up awed. Every. Time.
And yet—let me get painfully honest for a minute—I’m a still a little scared of some of my lingering “nevers.” No, not the silly things I listed above. But actual nevers like:
I never want someone to hate my books.
I never want my dreams to let me down.
I never want to feel lost.
I never want to be lonely.
I never want…to fail.
These are nevers that scare me. But they’re also nevers I have a feeling I may face someday. They’re not doors I want to walk through and sometimes it’s hard for me to believe God’ best might actually be waiting for me there.
And yet…hasn’t life taught me over…and over…and over that my plans, most of which include this or that never, tend to be pretty short-sighted compared to God’s?
And hasn’t He proven over and over again, that I can trust Him?
That even if every never I’ve ever dreamed up turns into a reality, He’s on my side.
That even when my dreams turn inside out…or I feel lost or lonely…or I fail big time…He is still good. And faithful. And in fabulously good control.
And isn’t it true that when life doesn’t go according to my plan, it’s probably a good thing? Because my plan A may feel awesome…but God’s plan B is always, always better.
ABOUT MELISSA TAGG
Author Melissa Tagg is a former reporter, current nonprofit grant-writer and total Iowa girl. Her latest novel, Like Never Before, was named by Publisher’s Weekly to their spring 2016 “Religion and Spirituality” Top 10 list. Upcoming books include Keep Holding On (Sept 2016) and One Enchanted Christmas (Nov 2016). Melissa has taught at multiple national writing conferences, as well as retreats and workshops. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever–not that she’s biased–watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. Melissa loves connecting with readers at http://www.melissatagg.com and on Facebook and Instagram.
The #AuthorsOpenHouse welcomes @Melissa_Tagg, sharing
about when #life doesn’t go according to plan. — TWEET THIS!