God’s Good in Our Gray Mess

by Cindy Carraway Williams

“…for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure”

(Philippians 2:13, NASB 1995).


I sat at my desk and typed a scene in my manuscript. A glance at the breakfast shake on my left triggered rumbles in my stomach. The smoothie consisted of healthy ingredients: fresh fruit, green powder, Chia seeds, and vitamins. The blended result looked like a gray, sludgy mess. My smoothie didn’t look appetizing, so I’d left the drink on my desk while I typed.

The moment of hungry truth had arrived. I sipped the smoothie, and the blueberries sweetened my taste buds with a light floral flavor. I relaxed in my desk chair and savored the shake. The appearance of the smoothie had deceived me.

Back to work, I read the words I’d typed. The sentences in front of me resembled my breakfast shake’s gray mess. Red underlined misspelled words. The timeline straggled out of order. Verb tenses lay jumbled. The prose flitted between too many points of view and the dialogue made no sense.

I stared at the worded chaos on my screen. How often do we feel overwhelmed with thoughts we need to get onto the page? The writing process can be chaotic and time-consuming, a gray mess where we struggle to craft an appealing story. However, if the Lord has called us to write, then we must write.

The message God wanted me to show from my story hadn’t arrived yet. First, I had to get my thoughts and disordered words on the page much like the ingredients I’d plucked from my kitchen and thrown into the blender. Next, I’d read, edit, and rewrite daily until the Lord helped me blend the word jumble into something beautiful.

As the fruits and vitamins in my gray shake nourished my body, God guided me in turning the mess of my words into good for his pleasure. I must persevere and, as all writers say, “Edit, edit, edit.” Each day before I tap my keyboard, I lift a prayer to God because he knows the specific ingredients I need in my writing. As long as I write for him, I trust God will provide the way according to his timing.

Dear Father, take the gray mess of our words and turn our writing into that which glorifies you and blesses others.


Cindy Carraway Williams grew up in eastern North Carolina. Her first manuscript, written from a church pew’s viewpoint, is under contract. Currently, she’s writing a story from a feral cat’s perspective and submitting online devotions. With a love for the outdoors, Cindy and her family reside on the North Carolina coast. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook @cindycarrawaywilliams.

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