A few months ago, I began to feel radiating pain up the right side of my back and neck and down my right shoulder all the way to my right index finger. The pain became so unbearable that even when I sat at the dinner table, the paralyzing ache caused my right arm to go limp. I didn’t know what caused the inflammation until I tried to use my computer mousepad. Simply lifting my arm to touch the pad sent a penetrating sting across the right side of my upper body.
Although I do enjoy lifting weights, I knew this injury was not caused from a bodybuilding injury. It had to be something subtler and more sinister. I did a quick Google search and found a condition called “Mouse Shoulder.” This condition is caused by the small, repetitive movements of using a mousepad. I’ve been writing and editing for all my adult life, and finally after publishing 15 books, the use of the mousepad had finally caught up to me.
Normally, I would simply rest the injured part of my body until the inflammation subsided and the injury healed. However, I couldn’t just stop writing. It was my full time job and my passion. Besides, I had over 40 writers depending on me to finish compiling and editing my first anthology with proceeds going to African Missions.
In my mind, I knew this was a spiritual attack on my calling and an obstacle that I needed to overcome. But how? I couldn’t just hire someone to do it all for me. That would negate the funds we were trying to create for missionary work. I also couldn’t use a verbal typewriter. I have nodules on my vocal cords, which cause me to lose my voice easily.
Satan knew that I was doing something that would not only pave the way for many women to become published writers, a dream that they had for many years, but my efforts were also supporting widows and orphans in Africa—a work after God’s own heart!
“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress…” (James 1.27 NLT).
I knew for sure that God had called me to the assignment because I had sought His will concerning it for several days before I began. He would have to provide a way for me to complete the task—even if I had to learn how to use the mousepad with my left hand—which is exactly what I did.
I sat at my desk and removed the mousepad from the right hand side of my keyboard and placed it on the left. At first, I felt like I was in kindergarten again, learning to write for the first time. My left hand fumbled on the mousepad, and my right hand kept trying to cross my body to take over. I had to finally sit on my right hand to keep it still.
A devotional anthology was not the book to learn how to use my left hand. I had over 90 articles to copy and paste and over 40 bios and photos to gather into one book. Not only was I afraid that I was going to put a comma in the wrong place, I feared I would erase a writer’s devotional or the entire book! But my left hand had no choice but to rise to the occasion.
After the compiling, formatting and editing were finally done, I still had a ton of images to create. Every devotional title was an image that I created in photoshop and had to insert into the document. When those were finally completed, I needed to design the book cover. I bought an image for the cover that had many different elements that needed to be divided. My left hand literally learned to make fine movements around each element with precision that far surpassed my right hand.
When the book was finally complete, my left hand had transformed from a mousepad dud to a mousepad hero. And I had transformed in the process. I realized that when God gives us a calling, many obstacles will try to stop us. But we do not have to be defeated. God has gifted us with intelligence and imagination to think beyond the status quo and grow past our current abilities.If we have received a confirming word from God, no obstacle is too big or too hard to overcome. Click To Tweet
We simply need to get creative and not give up.
Now my mousepad sits on the left side of my keyboard—a constant reminder that nothing—not even Mouse Shoulder—can stop us from achieving God’s will for our lives.
“The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has spoken—who can change his plans? When his hand is raised, who can stop him?” (Isaiah 14.27 NLT).
Lord, there always seem to be obstacles that confront me as I pursue the great plans that You have for me. I’m tired of allowing those obstacles to discourage me and tempt me to quit. I know that if You have called me, there has to be a way to overcome. Give me Your imagination and wisdom, so I can rise to the occasion and have victory over the attacks to my destiny.
What obstacles are preventing you from reaching your goals? Are there creative ways you can overcome or is God simply calling you to wait and rest in Him? Look for any areas that God has called you to that you may have given up on because of obstacles. Try to go back to God’s confirming word and work at finding creative ways to achieve all that God’s has planned for you.
Alisa Hope Wagner loves deep simplicity. She is home most days, but if you do see her out and about, you may actually be face-to-face with her extroverted identical twin sister. More than anything, Alisa adores being a wife to her high school sweetheart, mother to her three awesome children and daughter of the Most High King. After hours of writing at her computer, Alisa cannot wait to workout in her garage gym. When the day’s work is finally done, she listens to smooth jazz and gets creative in the kitchen. Alisa writes across genres, including her four favorite topics—faith, family, fitness and fiction. You can find Alisa’s books and devotionals on Amazon and read what the Holy Spirit’s been teaching her at her blog, www.alisahopewagner.com.