In 2006 while on a mission trip in the Philippines I heard the Lord stirring in my heart to get serious about writing again. I’d put it aside as my life got busier and my discouragement heightened regarding getting paid for publication. I was alone on my writing journey and tired of the whole thing. But the prompting wouldn’t go away. When I arrived home, I challenged the Lord as Gideon had. I placed a fleece before God. “If you really want me to write again, I want to take this online writing course presented through the Christian Writer’s Guild. It’s pretty pricey and I don’t have the funds. If you want me to do this, provide the tuition.”
I’m sure God laughed at my resistance and at the same time said. “Cindy, watch how I answer this challenge.”
Shortly after I shared my fleece challenge with my husband, I got a letter in the mail. Months earlier I had received a letter from the same law firm regarding a class action suit against a car dealership. Apparently, they had run credit checks on mass numbers of people before sending out ads for their sale. This is illegal and the company was being sued. I was on the list of defendants. I thought at the time, “Why not.” I figured I would get a few dollars.
Well, the most recent letter confirmed I was receiving a settlement. I followed all the directions in the letter. Even confirming the law firm and lawsuit were legitimate before giving them my social security number. When the check arrived it was exactly what I needed to pay for the course. God couldn’t have made it any clearer. I enrolled in the two-year course, completing it in a year. When provides such clear direction you don’t mess around.
Next, I asked God for provision to attend the Writing for the Soul conference in Colorado, put on by Jerry Jenkins founder of the Christian Writer’s Guild. He reminded me I had enough credit card points to provide my airfare. I had never before redeemed any points and didn’t realize tickets were an
On the plane I sat with an author who told me how to write an elevator pitch. (I didn’t even know what that was.) At the conference, Susan King, editor of the Upper Room gave me tips on how to approach editors and publishers during appointments. I meet lots of writes at various stages of their careers and made new friends. I signed up for the journeymen course through CWG for fiction writing.
I was walking the path God had laid out for me and there was no turning back. I had to develop thick-skin and quell jealousy when it appeared someone’s path to publication was easier than mine. I struggled with prioritizing and allowing myself the pleasure of the writer’s moniker. (I still do.)
In the past ten years I have attended a writer’s conference every year. Although it is usually Write to Publish which is in my own backyard in Wheaton, Illinois. Looking back over these years I’ve seen how much one fleece has given me boldness to ask God for more direction. He continues to bring people and opportunities into my life that reinforce God’s calling to write.
The path gets rocky and hairpin curves abound but I know this is the journey he has set me on. It is up to me whether I will continue following his direction or, as in the past, sideline myself. I think this time I will reach my goal of multiple books published. God had provided support through other writers, their blogs, writing books and conferences. He has placed me in a community of wordsmiths whose goal I have embraced. We help one another get published and fulfill God’s calling on our lives. If not for that fleece and His clear answer I know I won’t be continuing on this less that glamorous undertaking.
What are your writing goals? What is happening in your life to guide you to your goals? Do you sense God’s leading? Please share with me in the comments; I’d love to hear about it.
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