By Vickie McDonough
The first goal I can remember having was to grow up and marry a rancher. I loved horses, and I guess that my pre-teen mind reasoned if I married a rancher I could have all the horses I wanted. In the mean time, I read every book I could find with a horse on the cover. Years later, I married a city boy who was scared of horses. I didn’t know it then, but he would one day become my most ardent champion and encourager when God led me into the writing world.
I never planned to be a writer, but God has bigger plans for us than we can ever imagine. I walked into the writing world in fear and trembling, just wanting to be obedient to God’s call. I was a math kid who despised English classes. I don’t have a college degree, and most of the college classes I did take centered around a computer. I seriously wondered at times if I’d heard right from God. I felt so inadequate, but I persevered toward publishing. Then one day, my first book was released. When it came out, I prayed, as I have with each book since, that God would use it to touch at least one person’s heart. That it would encourage a frazzled Christian mom or bring someone struggling in their faith closer to God.
This week, I received the letter that I think most Christian writers dream of getting. It literally brought tears to my eyes and had me rejoicing that I’d obeyed God’s call. I asked the sweet lady who sent it if I could share it with others, and she agreed.
Dear Mrs. McDonough,
My name is Jenny and I just wanted to email and tell you what a blessing your books have been to me. I was in a local thrift store a few months ago and came across “A Wealth Beyond Riches”. I wasn’t really a reader, but I felt drawn to it and bought it. I had always considered myself a Christian, but some time ago I had lost my way and became angry and bitter. Anyway, I bought the book, sat down and read the whole thing in one night. I loved it! I then found another of your books, sat down and read that one in 1 day too. The more I read, the more I was called to accept Christ into my life again. I am proud to say I am now a born-again Christian and my life has changed so dramatically I can’t even begin to tell you. It may sound silly, but I feel like God led me to your books so I would find my way back to Him. Thank you so much and please, please keep writing!!
Thanks and God Bless!!
And that’s why we torture ourselves. All the hard work, the time away from family, the stress and frustrations, hopes and dreams, disappointments…everything will fade away, as you realize that God can use something you wrote to change someone’s heart. So, don’t give up when it seems you’ll never get published, or your sales are low, or whatever. Keep on writing and being faithful to God’s call upon your life, because you never know whose heart your words might bless-and you can be sure they will bless someone-even if it’s only one person.
Vickie McDonough is an award-winning author of 26 books and novellas. Her novels include the fun and feisty Texas Boardinghouse Brides series and the 3rd & 6th books in the Texas Trails series. Her novel, Long Trail Home, won the Inspirational category of the 2012 Booksellers’ Best Awards. Coming this summer: Whispers on the Prairie, the first book in an exciting new series set in 1870s Kansas. To learn more about Vickie, visit her website: www.vickiemcdonough.com
Vickie, I teared up when reading that email, because I could relate. I received an email from a reader of my debut novella saying that the message had boosted her faith. What more could I ask for than to touch someone’s heart for Christ? Those words from readers certainly bring confirmation as well as challenge.
“And that’s why we torture ourselves.” – Beautifully written.
Thanks for sharing. I pray one day I will have the honor of receiving a letter like that.
Oh, Vickie … it just doesn’t get any better than that, my friend!! Soooo excited for you!!