About 2005, I felt like it was time to really start pursuing publication again. Even though I wasn’t writing romance anymore but more women’s fiction, I packed my bags and headed off to an RWA conference. It was an odd experience. I was published but I no longer fit in with my published friends as they talked of looming deadlines and such. I fit in more with the unpubs but then again I didn’t. It was a very lonely place to be. But it was good. It was a time of growth for me. I time of testing my dedication to what God was calling me to.
Again, I wondered about Christian fiction, but I felt God wanted me to write more for the general public not ‘preaching to the choir.’ So I kept sending out proposals. And I kept getting rejected.
Two weeks before Christmas 2005, I had taken my kids shopping for last minute Christmas presents. It’s our annual excursion with my sister. We always have so much fun. But the day didn’t end quite as I expected. I called my husband late that evening to see what we were going to do about dinner, maybe meet somewhere, when I heard something odd in his voice. “What’s wrong?” He was laid off that day. He came home and found our oldest dog had died in her sleep. And there was a rejection for a book. Whammo!
Now, all this could have been devastating. But with tears running down our faces, we knew each was a blessing. We’d been praying for three years about my husband’s job. We’d been praying for two years, knowing the end was coming for my sweet Muffet, wanting it to be peaceful for her and not too traumatic for our young children. And I’d been praying about selling to the RIGHT publisher. So all were answers to our prayers. But they were tough.
God really amazed us with his tender care over the next year and blessed my husband with some incredible consulting opportunities. He provided a wonderful vacation for us in our favorite vacation spot: Hawaii! But still, there was no clear answer for my writing.
By the summer of 2006, I felt like I was beating my head against the publishing wall. So last summer, I began asking God (again) if He really wanted me to write. One day, I was sitting at my son’s speech lesson and I saw a book sitting on my friend’s table. I thumbed through it, saw a chapter titled “If you’re called to your profession.” I had felt the call to write, so I was curious and read further. The book talked about ‘many are called, few are chosen.’ Uh-oh. What was this going to tell me? To write but never see publication again? That’s almost like death to a published author. The authors of this particular book said that there is usually a long time period between a calling and a choosing. During that time, there is a testing and growth period. This is a time of preparation. Many fall by the wayside during this time, just give up and turn back. God was telling me not to give up.
I didn’t know it, but He was about to pull me in a whole different direction.