I'm glad you requested! It's a protracted story, however I'll preserve it transient.
I left a really particular paid ministry place over 4 years in the past, unclear what I used to be alleged to do with myself subsequent. Six months later, sitting alone at a spot someplace alongside the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, I used to be nonetheless questioning, and sacrificed out to God to indicate me the precise path for my life. On the time, I used to be studying by means of Isaiah. After I had prayed, the very subsequent phrases I learn have been these:
"Hear, you deaf, look, you blind, and see! Who’s blind however my servant, and deaf just like the messenger I ship? Who’s blind just like the one dedicated to me, blind just like the servant of the Lord? many issues, however have paid no consideration; your ears are open, however you hear nothing. " (Is 42: 18-20)
Evidently, I sat up and took discover! What was it I had not heard or seen? Instantly I felt God say to me, not in a judicial approach, however in a delicate and loving voice: 'I've already proven you what to do, Jo-Anne! Go residence, write the e-book, and be taught Turkish! '
I did precisely that. A minimum of, I attempted to be taught Turkish, as time allowed. I had already begun to consider my first novel earlier than this journey to Turkey to go to my buddy, however had put it away, too distracted to make any headway, and too uncertain about whether or not this was certainly a 'official' mission on which to squander my time. Now I made a decision that if God had mentioned it was all proper, then perhaps I might do it – particularly if by someday having it revealed, I might thereby fund future journeys to Turkey to help my buddy's ministry there!
I started writing in earnest. There had been an thought for a novel deep inside me for a very long time – over twenty years, actually, ever since assembly a brave lady with a tremendous life story in a church the place my husband was ministering. She was lifeless now, however might I probably save her story, or elements of it, into one thing of my very own creation? I might attempt, I made a decision. I might attempt to present how God sustained her (or quite my 'heroine') by means of many difficulties in her life, and hopefully enable her to encourage others to face tall and preserve the religion.
And shortly she got here alive for me, as did different characters who appeared to look from now at instances and insured on turning into a part of the narrative. It was exhausting work, however I liked it with my entire coronary heart. I felt so at residence with myself and with God – as if all of the issues I had executed in my life have been coming collectively in a form that was actually me, the particular person I had been created to be. Beneath God's hand, I had wanted to do these different issues, together with being a pastor. Sure, they have been extraordinarily vital in themselves – however they have been additionally a part of the bigger image, a part of the preparation for what lay forward.
After a 12 months, and numerous revisions, my first novel was full. One other 12 months, and fairly a couple of rejection letters later, it was lastly accepted for publication by Ark Home Press, an Australian Christian publishing firm. Just a few months handed, and I used to be then instructed it was thought-about to be too lengthy, and would I be keen to divide it into two? Generally, I did so, fashioning a shorter novel and a sequel from the unique manuscript. Extra months glided by, till eventually I used to be notified that 'Helena' can be revealed in April 2007, adopted by the sequel a 12 months later.
Within the meantime, I had written a 3rd novel, and have now accomplished a fourth. I imagine novels can typically convey deep truths about God in a approach that’s non-threatening, that may transfer individuals considerably, and affect them of their day by day lives ceaselessly. I imagine God can use the phrases I write or the characters who emerge in my books or a picture in a narrative to say issues which may not be understood in any other case, and typically even attain those that may by no means in any other case hear such issues. As I write, I discover myself each listening to God and listening to the place the story needs to go – I dare to hope even that these is perhaps one and the identical. Typically for me, because the American author Madeleine L'Engle as soon as mentioned, 'to jot down is to hope'. What a privilege it’s to listen to the inventive and loving coronary heart of God and to attempt to recreate one thing not less than of this with my very own phrases!
I’ve a protracted option to go but as a author – I really feel at instances I’m solely starting to seek out the voice God has given me. I nonetheless love talking publicly, however I’ve found one other deeply satisfying approach of speaking, of hopefully touching hearts, maybe much more considerably, with life-giving truths from God. I’m deeply grateful for the journey on which God has taken me. I’m so grateful particularly for my years of examine at theological faculty and of pastoring in a neighborhood church. Actually God's methods are increased than my methods – 'to your title be the glory, due to your love and faithfulness' (Ps 115: 1b).