By Donna K. Rice
The week before Thanksgiving I got a phone call to come home to Wyoming. My father’s congestive heart failure had taken a sudden negative turn and my sisters wanted help making some decisions. I planned on being home in Indiana for the holiday with my kids and grandchildren so a flurry of activity and phone calls changed my schedule and I caught a flight, uncertain how long I would be gone. Writing plans for November also changed in an instant as God’s priorities took precedence. In Wyoming, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving and the following week my father started hospice care in his home.
One morning after being there for several days, I awakened tired in spirit and saddened by the circumstances of watching my parents becoming infirm. I’m generally pretty upbeat so down days aren’t familiar territory for me. As usual, God stepped into the situation with His impeccable timing. In the midst of strengthening me with His peace and comfort regarding my family, He inspired a book idea. A fun idea. Something unique and unusual for me. In a quiet moment in a little cabin near a lake I skied as a young woman, he whispered into my thoughts what may be the best book idea He’s put my hands to yet.
The idea itself isn’t important to share here. What’s on my heart to share with you today is the simple beauty of God’s plans and ideas. Even in the midst of preparing for the death of a loved one, His purposes are flowing from heaven. He can, and will, meet us in any moment to show us the next step in our writing journey. If we’re listening. If we’re willing to keep our focus on the big picture of how our writing affects the world in which we live.
The Christian writer’s life is not for those who like the certainty of rigid structure. We have to be flexible in God’s hand and turn attentive ears to Him to keep our writing fresh and creative. I think He delights in surprising us with a new idea or a new way to use the talent He put in us. I try to be sensitive to Him always, but this experience showed me a new dimension of God’s character and love. Every moment, every season of our lives, every experience is ripe with opportunity for God to connect us to His passion for reaching others with His love. We, as writers, have only to open our heart for the connection and He will use us. By the way, the idea God planted in my heart that day captured my Dad’s interest and brought a smile to his face. A fun discussion with my family was an added blessing the Lord knew would cheer me.
Donna K. Rice writes women’s fiction and is represented by Sue Brower of the Natasha Kern Literary Agency. She’s a licensed minister, conference speaker, and estate planning attorney. She also works with GenderSave, a nonprofit seeking to empower women and girls at risk from gendercide practices in India. Contact Donna at donnakrice.com.