Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Why I Write Christian Fiction

I was in my final year at a Christian college when I first read the book that would not only change the way I viewed God, but would permanently impact the course of my life. Circumstances had broken my heart and I was trying to figure out how to avoid crumbling. A friend loaned me a copy of Storm at Daybreak by B.J. Hoff. I wept my way through it, and as the lead character surrendered herself to the sovereignty of God, in spite of the potential for pain, I did the same.

Less than a year later, I was back home with my family facing even more heartbreak. My parents' faith was quivering under the blows. I wondered how long mine would last. I turned again to Storm at Daybreak, and again wept my way through it. Again I felt the reality of God's presence with me, and again I dedicated myself to walking whatever path He put before me.
For the next five years, I read that book at least once a year. Each time it challenged me to keep trusting my Heavenly Father, no matter how painful or puzzling my circumstances. I went on to read Mrs. Hoff's "Emerald Ballad" series, and then her "American Anthem" series. Though I fall in love with each new character she writes, nothing will surpass the impact of Storm at Daybreak.

My life was changed in another way by this book. Having experienced personally the power of fiction to change a person's relationship with God, I now heard God's calling in my spirit to begin a fiction writing career of my own. The years unfolded, and I wrote and had published six novels and four novellas. I've had the indescribable joy of hearing from readers whose lives have been changed by my stories.

Regardless of the many changes and challenges in my life since then, God has not released me from the call. I know He's given me the storyteller's gift, and I refuse to be the unfaithful servant who buries her talent in the ground. Each day I face my computer again, humbled and delighted, both, to be allowed to share the reality of faith through fiction.

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