“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.” Ephesians 3:20
I turned 50 this summer. By this season of my life, I’ve seen many dreams fall by the wayside as God replaced them with better ones. But sometimes the old dreams died hard, leaving my heart battered and sore.
I’ve mentioned in past blog posts how devastated I was in 2008 when the Christian school I’d ministered in for 19 years closed. It was during those difficult weeks in early September that I began haunting my local library. In an attempt to stay occupied, I found myself devouring book after book on writing craft. And it naturally followed that I began to write. That first story doesn’t contain much to recommend it, but it kept me focused and gave me such a great feeling of accomplishment.
Then more sadness entered my life . . . During 2009, my best friend’s stage 4 breast cancer attacked with a vengeance. I put my story away for a while and spent most days by her side. After she went home to be with the Lord in early 2010, I wrote a tribute to her. And that was all I wrote for a very long time.
Eventually, my heart began to heal, and the writing bug resurfaced. By summer 2010, I knew I wanted to do more with my writing. So I began a blog and joined American Christian Fiction Writers. Through ACFW, I took an online class from award-winning author Sharon Hinck, entitled Sharing Faith in Fiction. And then a new dream took root in my heart, to write an inspirational story and see it published someday.
Along the way, I wondered if my writing was taking time away from other things God would have me pursue. I prayed for Him to show me clearly if I should press on or give up my new dream. Soon after those prayers, my novel finaled in the ACFW Genesis Contest. Then it won the 2011 Daphne du Maurier Award for unpublished writing. And this past weekend at the ACFW Conference in St. Louis, my story won the 2011 Genesis Award for unpublished writing in the romantic suspense category.
To me, winning the contests was affirmation that I’m headed in the right direction—with my writing and in God’s eyes.
So I’m praising Him for giving me a new dream. Whether it turns out as I’m hoping or He has another reason for bringing me this far, I feel free to celebrate!
I cling to the encouragement of Ephesians 3:20 from The Message: “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!”
Would you like to know about the book I wrote? The info is at this link. Or maybe you’d like to keep tabs on my writing journey by signing up for my newsletter.
Check out these pics from the conference. I met some wonderful folks! (Please excuse that so many pics include me . . .) Continue Reading…