“You’re not allowed to cry, mom!” Chase stares at my face intently as I listen to the phone message that arrived while we were out that evening.
(He doesn’t like when I cry, even if it’s a happy cry.)
A sweet voice drifts over my dining room table, words this writer yearned to hear …”I’m calling because you’re a finalist in the Genesis Contest! I wish I could hear you screaming…”
She was so right. I was screaming. Scream-cry-smiling, Scrimling, something like that. Add a side of jumping up and down.
However weird that must’ve looked and sounded, I was so thrilled to get this encouraging news.
I can’t share the title, but it’s a cute story that came to me randomly the end of last year–a ‘what if?’ scenario that turned into two characters inhabiting my imagination, urging their story to be told.
While I have a huge soft spot for my middle grade characters and story, I had so much fun writing a romance that (one day, Lord willing) makes readers smile and sigh, too. And I’m so thankful to my two critique partners, who helped shape the story from its messy beginnings.
Along this slow and often frustrating path to publication, each step up is a step forward. And while a contest semi-final or final is not a guarantee of publication, it is a huge encouragement for moving in the
write right direction.
Winners are announced at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference in Nashville in August. I’ll be sure to post pictures and news after the conference! 🙂
Recently I read 2 Chronicles 31, and two verses grabbed my attention. Chapter thirty-one details portions of the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah, how Hezekiah destroyed the idolatry prevalent in the land. He determined to make it right between his nation and his God.
Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and true before the Lord his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the house God, in the law and in the commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered. (verse 20 & 21, bolding emphasis mine)
Everything Hezekiah attempted to do, he was successful in accomplishing. Not because of his own power and wisdom, but because he sought the Lord in all he did, he did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord, and he worked with all his heart.
Matthew Henry notes: “In all that Hezekiah attempted in God’s service, he was earnest and single in his aim and dependence, and was prospered accordingly. Whether we have few or many talents intrusted to us, may we thus seek to improve them, and encourage others to do the same. What is undertaken with a sincere regard to the glory of God, will succeed to our own honour and comfort at last.”
In chapter thirty-two, Hezekiah’s encouraging words to his military men before a big battle also encouraged me.
I pray they encourage you, too.
“Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles” (32:7 & 8).
Whatever you’re facing this week, this summer, this year, know that the Lord your God is with you, to help and to fight your battles.
God Bless You!