And … here’s the rest of the story!
A year after I helped launch Hope Pregnancy Center, I was invited to take a trip to Europe with my two writing friends. One day, after visiting Mauthausen Concentration Camp in Austria, the true events of WWII inspired a new novel idea. At home I had six fiction proposals on my hard drive—one of which had made it as far as committee. I couldn’t get those books published and this new idea would be even harder to write. I didn’t think I could pull it off.
After arriving home, I poured the story onto the paper, writing from the perspective of a Nazi wife forced to witness the horrors of a death camp, yet powerless to do anything about it. The story was different from than anything I’d written before. It was so much deeper, heartwrenching. It expressed a young woman’s helplessness and pain—things I’d recently learned about on deeper levels.
I started researching and contacting WWII veterans who’d liberated the death camp. They invited me to their reunion and excitedly poured out their stories to me. I felt like God had given me dozen of grandpas!
Within nine months, my agent called. I had a contract for my first novel, From Dust and Ashes (Moody Publishing). It was released January 2003 and has done well. Since then I’ve published several more WWII novels and a series set during The Spanish Civil War. The WWII veterans are my biggest fans, and I’ve been able to share the good news of Jesus’ salvation with these men as they buy my Christian novel for themselves, their families, and their friends too! Some of the men have passed away since I’ve interviewed them, but I know they heard the good news of Jesus before they died!
Before Experiencing God, whenever I attended a writer’s conference, I tried to see what the editors needed and then I attempted to craft a novel that fit that niche. None of them sold. But when God opened my eyes to a story—one I thought would be too hard for me to write, watch out. He opened doors I didn’t think were possible. And He showed me with Him ALL things are possible.
I don’t think these successes are a coincidence. For years as freelancer I thought I was doing it all right. I followed the formulas and kept “pounding out the words.” And although those words sounded good on paper, something more was needed before they became alive on the page.
God knew for me that something more was to experience “God at work” with those hurting and in need. It was only then that I had something worthy to share. My sandpapered heart now bleeds onto the page, and I’m able to connect in a new way with readers who often find themselves helpless, hurting, and in need of hope.
I tell people that “since I took care of God’s business (the pregnancy center), He took care of mine (the writing).” Actually, our businesses have merged!
I guess that all this wordiness is just to say: “See what God’s doing a join Him.” Pick up a copy of the Experiencing God Workbook. Also, check out the website with daily devotions at:
I’ve come to learn that it’s not about writing or publishing. It’s about God’s desire to reach people for Him. I’m just thrilled He’s let me be part of the process!