by Robin Lee Hatcher
Not every published writer’s path to a career as a novelist is the same. My path to writing Christian fiction took me through a career in the general romance market (30 books) before God captured my attention and turned me in a new direction. Turned me on my head might be a better description.
The one thing I knew before I changed direction was that writing Christian fiction couldn’t be because it was just another place to sell books. I needed to know without a shred of doubt that this was what God wanted for me. Many times in life God illumines the road in front of us only enough so that we don’t lose our way, like headlights on a car on a dark, moonless night. But sometimes we need to see the bigger picture, and for me, this career change was one of those times. So I prayed and waited and prayed and waited. For months and months.
Fifteen years ago (Oct 1997), God answered my prayers in one of those incredible, awesome, and all-too-rare moments when I heard His voice distinctly. His answer came with a promise about my writing that is burned into my heart and memory.
But to tell you the truth, even though my 66th book, Betrayal, just released, that promise from God has yet to be fulfilled–at least not in the way I would recognize it. (Perhaps I need to write a blog post about the dangers of expectations!) Due to the nature of this crazy business, it is easy for any writer to grow discouraged. But here is something I’ve learned about God’s promised blessings: Delays are a part of their fulfillment. Delays in our eyes are simply part of the plan in God’s eyes.
So what is it we should do while we wait for a promise of God to be fulfilled, whether with our writing or with some other area of our lives? Keep moving forward as best as we can. Keep giving our best to God; never offer Him anything that costs us nothing. Keep asking for directions; maneuver by the headlights if you must but don’t be afraid to ask for something brighter. Keep listening for His instructions. Be patient. And keep thanking and praising Him, not simply for those things which are so obviously blessings, but for the times the blessing comes in the form of a “No” or a command to “Wait.”
“This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.” (Habakkuk 2:3, NLT)
Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heartwarming, emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. Her books have received many awards, including the Carol, the Christy, and the RITA. She and her husband make their home in Idaho where she enjoys spending time with her family, her high-maintenance Papillon, Poppet, and Princess Pinky, the DC (demon cat).
Thank you for your encouraging message, Robin. I really needed to hear this today, and the reminder that God’s vision of time is so much greater our limited mortal one.
Hey, Robin, like Jenny, your beautiful post is SO timely for me as well and a TOTAL blessing, especially coming from one of the top authors in the CBA — THANK YOU!!
Thanks, Jenny and Julie. Glad it was meaningful to you both.