Most of my readers have heard my story dozens of times. I should have died in a car accident at 2 ½. God called me into ministry when I was in the 6th grade. At the time to me in my Lutheran raised mind I thought that meant I’d go be a Lutheran Pastor, but God had other plans.
When I sat in the movie Forrest Gump the summer between my junior and senior year of high school, I had no idea that the movie would change the course of my life. I know saying God used a movie changed your life may sound a little overly dramatic to some, but it did to me. There were so many scenes with Forrest in Vietnam; something deep on the inside of me struck a chord. I’d grown up with my father’s Vietnam stories and I wanted to tell his story. In fact I knew it was God’s mandate on my life that I would do so. I went to college and got married. All the while knowing I was being called to write my dad’s story.
Many of you have heard me tell the tale of how I was so frustrated some years later because I knew I was supposed to write but it seemed I just couldn’t do it. Until I heard a woman preach about watching your words. I knew I couldn’t do it because I kept saying I couldn’t. I repented and as they say the rest is history. That book was done within a few months. While that book is based on my father’s story, it is within my mind, so I do term that book fiction.
However, I had this naive thinking that somehow I’d write a book and it would get picked up right away and my family and I would go skipping toward the sunset. That didn’t happen. That book got turned down, by anyone and everyone. I found myself in a place where I didn’t know what to do, but then I got another idea for a book. So I wrote it, and then another, and another. Many more would follow.
While I knew that I had a call and an anointing to preach and God began to download revelations and messages to me, for years I swore that I only wrote fiction. The turn to nonfiction happened when again I was getting a turn down and a particular acquisitions editor and I became friends. After the publishing house turned down my fiction books, I felt led to go back to them and ask them if I’d put a couple of revelations I had in books would that publisher be interested. They were, and I finally braved that turn into nonfiction publishing Cursing the Church or Helping it? was written and published. Making the turn to nonfiction, I believe was a God ordained thing. Last spring I released Confessions of a Ninja Mom which I believe is a great tool to empower mothers. I’m working on my 23rd book now and its nonfiction, however in all those books probably only 6 of them are nonfiction. Writing fiction has always been a very solid part of my calling.
So here I am 15 years after I started writing and over 20 since I saw Forrest Gump. Funny how when God calls us to do something we think it’ll be easy. I have received more turn down letters and emails than I choose to count. I’d like to tell you it’s just because I’m so stubborn I wouldn’t quit, but truthfully there were so many times I wanted to. God was always with me. I knew that someday, some way, he would make a way. There were so many times that I could have chosen to self-publish, or go with some crazy vanity house, but I refused to. I knew God would open those doors even if I felt as if my forehead would always be bruised from banging on the closed doors out of frustration.
I am very excited to announce that eLectio Publishing, my agent, and I have all signed a contract this morning. They will be publishing my first fiction book to ever be released. An Ember In Time is book one in a trilogy. It’s about a pastor, Jon Stevens, who has been stuck in a nasty rut. God sends him an angel to allow him to go back in time and view a scene out of the Bible. Jon chooses to view David kill Goliath. The problem happens while he is there he has a chance encounter with a young Bathsheba and messes up Biblical History. He has to go fix it before he unravels history. This book is Quantum Leap meets Back to the Future in Biblical proportions. The series is a super fun one, and I’m so excited to finally be breaking into the fiction side of publishing. I am believing for many more to follow.
I want to be a testimony to everyone that reads this, that God is faithful. If you are endeavoring to do what you know God has told you to do, keep going through it. Trust in God. He will make a way where it seems there is no way. He knows that the trails aren’t easy, but He knows what He is doing. Trust in Him. There is a door on the other side of the obstacles that you face. Do not ever ever ever quit!
God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!