A Recurring Theme

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 ┬áspiritual 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.

12 comments on “A Recurring Theme

  1. A lot of folks think they’ve hit easy street when they sign that book contract or that questioning, fear, confusion, doubt have no place in the mind of a published author. (“You should just be happy you’re published.”) The truth is, published authors do feel blessed, but that doesn’t negate the daily battle to write words, to craft a story, to connect with readers. I appreciate your honesty here. Thanks for being authentic!

  2. Thank you for sharing your list, Anne. I don’t read tons of non-fiction either, though Francis Chan’s books have changed that a bit. But I definitely want to check out some of the ones you mentioned. Yay for God using non-fic to encourage and uplift you!

  3. So much emotion is hidden beneath your story, Anne. I feel like I am a tumbleweed sometimes myself, blowing in a zillion directions, but it is simply my faith that keeps me going. But, sometimes it feel so internalized, so personal that even though the Lord is with me and I feel his hand on my shoulder, I still feel lonely. Perhaps that it comment “discuss each book with you over coffee” ought to happen sooner rather than later.

    • Yes, we need to talk over coffee! My bad letting our conversation fall silent lately. Forgive me! We’ll figure out a time that works for both of us. And soon!

  4. Oh how cool is this…Julie C. left a really powerful comment on my blog yesterday and here I realize this is the same women who wrote Unexpected Love…

    Yep, I’m thinking it’s time for me to pick up non-fiction again.

    • Julie wrote a great book, but she’s also an amazing, godly woman. How fun to have her comment on your blog!

  5. I love Hinds Feet on High Places! Did you know there is a Sequel? It is called Mountains of Spices! I first read them both in High School while at a Christian camp since the theme of the summer was based on Hinds Feet. That book is such a great encouragement and something everyone should read.

    • I did know that! I read it years ago but am about to re-read it for a Bible study my friend is doing based on both books. Yes, everyone should read them–several times. So much truth for every stage of your journey through life. So glad you found them, Jen!

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