Do you ever read a book and wonder what they left out? Like movies, books have all sorts of things cut out before the public sees them. Sometimes we writers write too much, or too densely, or (in my case) too weirdly.
My next book, If I Plug My Ears God Can’t Tell Me What to Do, is making its way through the final steps to publication, and an editor named Dave is delicately attacking its misplaced commas and dangling participles and all the things a writer misses because she becomes blind to her own words at some point in the process. He sent me a gently worded email this week, politely requesting a rewrite for a specific section in the chapter about waiting for God’s plan to bear fruit in our lives.
I almost giggled when I read Dave’s email, because I was expecting far worse. I was expecting large chunks cut out and red notes all over the manuscript. And if I’ve learned one thing in this process, it’s to trust your editor. These people have the ability to make you sound like a genius, if you let them do their jobs.
I gladly rewrote the section, but I have to admit the deleted scene is one of my favorite of the book. I think you might get a kick out of it, too. So, with no further ado, here is the deleted scene!
What if the End Is Not Near?
I’m not one of those women who enjoys being pregnant. I’ve done it twice, and that is more than enough for me. I am not a fan of the swelling, the fat ankles, the gigantic bosom, the preggo pants, or strangers patting my belly. I’m also not a fan of waking up in the middle of the night four times to go to the bathroom, or having strange doctors manhandling my person. The whole rigamarole is an uncomfortable mess. Both of my children were more than a week late, and I thought I was going to die the last nine and ten days of each pregnancy. It was supposed to be over! I had a date in mind, and they totally ignored it!
At least I was certain of one thing: it might be two weeks later than I had anticipated, but there really was going to be an end. The doctors had promised that eventually the baby would come out, and if it took too long then they would help the process move along. It was a promise I clung to with my last shred of sanity.
But let’s imagine this: what if I was impregnated by an alien? Human babies take forty weeks to gestate, give or take two weeks. Alien babies? Who knows!? Could be a month, could be a decade. There’s no way to know how long the process is going to take. For all we know alien babies only birth themselves after their mothers have died from sheer discomfort.
My point is this: we may never get to see the end result of God’s plan. We have no way of knowing how long it will take, just like an alien baby pregnancy. It may be years beyond us. We may be a step in the middle of the plan, and generations beyond us may be counting on us to do our part now. Keep going! Have faith that God will take care of what is beyond your line of vision.
I think we can all see why Dave thought maybe this was too weird for official publication. Alien pregnancies border on tabloid material. But my point remains valid– we may all be in the middle of God’s plan somewhere, unable to see the end He has planned. Are we willing to keep going, in faith?
All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. (Hebrews 11:13, NLT)