Over the past 13 months, the Lord has had me on a journey. Well, back up to May 2010, when I signed my first publishing contract. Of course I’ve been on a journey with Him almost my whole life, but when I penned my name on that line, my journey took a new turn, a steeper climb. At first I didn’t notice much difference. I wrote a second book while waiting for my first to release. Then I started the third book while waiting for the second to release.
Suddenly everything I knew about writing seemed to fall apart. I slogged forward up that mountain, my spiritual muscles aching with new and harder use. I knew God was in my writing career. But I also knew that didn’t guarantee an easy road or personal success. He’d only asked for obedience.
About 13 months ago, I trashed the entire first draft of that third book and in despair started again. It was difficult work, including the two massive re-writes. Not only was the writing itself hard, my faith struggled, even though my mind understood this journey was more about my character and my relationship with God than anything else. And yet even in that place of questioning, the Lord continued to be faithful. Part of that faithfulness came in the form of books. Non-fiction books, of all things!
A bit of my history: I don’t read much non-fiction. I learn better from story. I don’t generally notice non-fiction titles, let alone want to read them. So when I can’t get a non-fiction title out of my head or it bombards me from several unrelated places I know it is the Lord focusing my attention on it. And usually that means when I start the book, it will hold so much truth specific for me that I’ll devour the pages faster than a starving man would a loaf of bread.
This binge of non-fiction has revealed a recurring theme. Each book has centered around three related elements: journey, trust and Shepherd.
I would love to sit and discuss each book with you over coffee, for writing out all that God has done through each one is a long and complicated conversation. So instead I’m listing them here. If you have found yourself on a new steep climb, in a hot and waterless desert, or longing for the leadership of a loving Shepherd, you might want to check out these titles. Perhaps the Lord will use one or more of them to whisper His gentle correction and encouragement to your heart as He continues to do to mine.