"The choices we make change
the story of our life." ©
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Day Six - Toward the Writing Road
Yesterday I shared that several years ago, I felt a new calling on my heart to write. I was a busy mom of four, and wasn’t sure what kind of writing I should pursue. In grad-school I had begun writing for magazines—devotions, parenting tips, personal stories. While directing CrossCurrent, I wrote scripts, press releases, monthly newsletters to patrons, and talks on Christian faith and the arts. I assumed I’d pick up from there.
But anything I tried felt flat and uninspired.
I asked God for direction for several years, and began to specifically pray for a writer’s group. Through God’s wonderful weaving of circumstances, I stumbled across a small group of Christian writers and was invited to join. Most of the members were writing novels, and it looked like such fun, I felt the first deep creative stirring I’d had in years.
So I started to write novels. I began THE SECRET LIFE OF BECKY MILLER on the airplane home from a writer’s conference. The heroine wants to do Something Big for God, and has trouble seeing that her life can make a difference in ordinary ways. The imaginative, whacky, good-hearted, but overly-driven Becky drew from the experiences of my own life, and of the many women I know who pressure themselves to excel at everything.
Six months later, that book received a contract from Bethany House. The novel releases this June, with the sequel to follow in nine months. Two other novels (not part of the series) will release the next year. Right now, I feel a new sense of calling--excited, grateful, fulfilled. But my novels wouldn’t have depth if God hadn’t taken me through years of blunders and uncertainty. Early in my Christian walk I was annoyingly self-assured. Heaps of enthusiasm, driven to share, eager to help others, yes. But way too confident in my own strength, and lacking compassion for others. God has made it clear He’s not in the business of making me strong. Instead, He’s taught me about my emptiness, my weakness, my frailty, and that I can lean into His strength.
When you sense God's invitation to try something new, don't be afraid to tell Him how much you need Him. Part of the fun of the Christian adventure comes when I notice daunting obstacles, tell God about them, and watch how He brings answers in ways I didn't see coming. He is better than any novelist at cliff-hanger moments and beautiful resolutions, all wrapped in pages of tender grace.
Tomorrow, I’ll share some last thoughts on following God through the zigzags and U-turns of the writing life. Today’s photo shows the bookstore end cap display that Bethany House designed for four books they are releasing this summer. If you look closely, you’ll spot THE SECRET LIFE OF BECKY MILLER, and U-turns own Allison Bottke’s novel A STITCH IN TIME. Yep. We’re end cap mates! ☺