Welcome back to my release party for The Hero's Sweetheart.
I'm grateful you've joined us!
For today's post, I thought it would be fun to share how God encouraged me through the writing of this book. I'll be honest, last year was HARD. One of the toughest for me in terms of being a writer. In fact, I tried to quit. I truly did.
Then about four weeks into what I thought was my permanent exodus from writing, I felt God asking me not to grow weary of doing good.
That hit me right in the feels guys. I mean, I had been hit SO hard with writing-related discouragements the months prior--I mean a full out unrelenting assault, that I believed with everything in me that I had nothing to offer readers. So I quit.
Until the day God called me back. I wish I could describe to you the tug on my heart by His spirit. The flood of hope that washed over me when my bruised and aching heart soaked in the meaning of what he'd said. That He found merit and worth in my words even if no one else did. Despite opinions of many people around me, many of whom I'd looked up to and trusted my writing to...guys, I was WRECKED.
Both in the discouragement and tearing down of my gift and both in God's breathing life back into my will to continue.
So, with more fear, insecurity, unworthiness and doubt than I'd ever had in my life, I said, "Yes, Lord, with your help and if this is your will, I will, even though I feel inept and completely frustrated and discouraged...I will write."
I felt like God promised to encourage me that he had gifted me with writing and that if I would just continue to offer up my words as worship, he would rebuild my courage to write.
A few weeks ago a friend emailed me that she'd seen my book featured in a national secular magazine (First for Women-February Edition) as one of 6 or 7 recommended reads and it was reviewed in a positive light. A week later I got news that my book received a Top Pick from Romantic Times. These were important affirmations, that I believe God granted me, because the book had no revisions and very light editing. This dispelled the lie I'd bought into that my writing is too weak to market and that I don't have anything of worth of value to offer readers or publishers.
The thing is, it's true that I may not be the strongest writer out there. In fact, many have called my writing weak despite that I truly put my best effort forward and yet my best wasn't good enough for some who had control over my contracts and future books. Here's the miracle of it all: God chooses to use me anyway. He uses imperfect people to accomplish his work.
Does that mean I'm going to stop striving to grow as a writer? No way. As long as I have breath, I will strive to learn and grow and to make each book better than the last. In the meantime, God still chooses to use me, though I struggle.
Now, in retrospect, I realize God allowed those doors to slam in my face...and I do mean slam to the point of some of the most intense emotional pain and confusion I've experienced to date, in order to move me in a direction I never would have gone on my own-hybrid publishing.
More about that direction in a future post but suffice it to say that I'm following God's lead and I'm trusting in his opinion above all others.
This post is hard for me to share. I don't want to be vulnerable or make anyone wonder who hurt me. The truth is that it doesn't matter, because those events were sifted through God's hands for the purpose of redirecting me. I believe I'd gotten out of God's will, and in his great mercy, he used difficult circumstances to steer me back into the center of his will.
Anytime we obey God, there will be opposition, so I appreciate your prayers as I move forward with my new direction in writing. The good news is I'll be able to put out books more often and on a more regular schedule.
Have you gone through something confusing and hard that you learned later was used for your good?
Guys, seriously, all I want is for people to know Jesus. If my books can teach people how to pray, or make them wonder if God can love them like he loves my characters...all the hard stuff is worth it! Everything I do, every word, is for Him and for the sake of others knowing him.
God knows when we need encouragement doesn't he? I'm so grateful! I'm thankful too that his timing is perfect. I believe he brings good news when our hearts need a boost.
I hope you'll share ways that Christian fiction has buoyed your faith and encouraged your walk with God, or helped you get closer to Jesus. It definitely doesn't have to be my work mentioned...in fact I'd love to hear which authors' writing (other than mine) touches your heart and mends your spirit.
How has God encouraged you lately?
Thanks for coming by!
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