I wasn’t always excited about writing the book.
At first I was thrilled. But as the novelty gave way to work – and work that I didn’t know how to do, no less! – it became drudgery.
Writing a book is hard work. It’s even harder when it’s the first time, in a genre you don’t know, and requires skills and imagination you don’t have. Thank goodness my writing partner had an imagination, so I could just come to her for input when I got stuck, which was a lot.
I need to pause here to explain something. While we were working on this project, I was having my own personal identity crisis with my own writing.
I write (and ghost write) for businesses, edit mainly business and autobiographical books, and steep myself in research on how to produce and market stellar content.
Much of what I generally read and wrote about was ten keys to this and three secrets to that. It was fine, challenging, and even fun, but the artist in me needed more. I needed my work to have value and purpose – eternal value and purpose. The tips and lists would fade one day, having impacted no one’s soul. How could my work and faith be one? Was it possible? How?
It’s demotivating by the way, to lack purpose. So I wasn’t all that excited about yet another project that would yet again have little to no eternal value. The time with my daughter and doing the process together absolutely held value, don’t get me wrong. I count that. But as a writer who was already struggling with this, it was another way I felt I was missing an opportunity somehow.
One day when I was praying about my work and about writing in general, the answer came. And, as epiphanies often are, it was simple – obvious even. I felt a distinct prompting to simply invite Jesus into our project.
Of course! How had I not thought of that?
So I did. I invited Him to join us in making this book, and asked Him to add eternal value and purpose to the project.
You should know I had been struggling to tie up a loose end in the story. It was one Abby couldn’t help me with, and I was stuck. I’d introduced the vague element of mystery with the character Ethan having a secret scroll, but the idea had no direction. I didn’t know how to move forward with it, and didn’t know what the point was except to introduce intrigue. I was also struggling to figure out how to end the book. What would the grand, meaningful, heart-warming finale be? It was a lot of pressure for someone with so little imagination…
The moment I invited Jesus to add His ideas to the story, both of those elements were almost instantly solved with the idea that suddenly struck. The scroll would contain ancient words (scripture), and the grand finale would be the two main characters, Penny and Ethan, coming to improved relationship and greater faith in God as a result.
It was brilliant, and wove together so many elements – how does one share one’s faith when they’re afraid of rejection? How does one come to understand the truth of God’s word when one has never heard or believed before? How do we maintain relationship with someone who believes or behaves differently than we do? All those elements were suddenly present in the story, and in a way that was encouraging, instructive, subtle, intriguing, and heartwarming.
It was perfect. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised by how perfectly His idea fit into what was already developed and how it solved every problem. I mean, it’s Jesus.
When I told Abby about how I had invited Him in and about the idea He had contributed, she loved it. We stopped right there and prayed, thanking God for His provision, for the opportunity to do this together and honor Him with our work. We asked Him to bless those who read the story, and that they would leave with a deeper understanding of God because of it.
The moment the idea unfurled its beautiful meaning across the events of our story was the moment I fell in love with the project. It was no longer drudgery. Instead it became a thrilling exploration of the complexities of faith and relationship, all fueled by the deeper meaning of Truth.
I’ve loved it ever since.