A Writer’s Calling

 

My original intent was to write as my third novel the final chapter in what I sometimes refer to as the “Grace of Innocence” series. My first two novels, Temptations of the Innocent and Forgiveness, paint an interaction between this world and the next, where unborn children are given a second chance at life, time folds in on itself, and good and evil fight it out. I intentionally left several questions unanswered partially because I had created a massively complex backstory. I did not yet have answers to some of those loose threads.

While planning that project, I had several occasions to ponder why I was writing. I Sunrise Natchez Trace Bridge Augustlikened those internal discussions to similar musings after nearly ten years of flying my own small, old airplane. Visions of frequent family visits, vacations to exotic locations, and Angel Flight volunteerism had given way to dull weekly hour-long local flights to keep my piloting skills current and the plane in operating condition. I was not particularly enjoying the experience anymore.

One day I had a revelation, in the form of a question. Was I flying for God’s glory, or my own? I knew the answer, and within three months, I had sold my plane. I decided I would fly again when the time was right. It’s been eight and a half years since then, and the desire hasn’t returned. God had other plans for me, and I’m quite thankful for His hand on my life.

Why was I writing? Was it for God’s glory, or mine? My first novel started as therapy, a coping mechanism when my first marriage dissolved into darkness. I created a fake world where a couple’s strife ended in happiness and love. Pure fantasy, but it did the job. I survived, and the manuscript found a long-term home in a manila folder buried in a filing cabinet.

I returned to that project years later when the indie publishing field emerged. What had been therapy morphed into a completely different story with the key lesson that abortion for convenience is wrong. When I self-published Forgiveness, I felt proud, because I believed in the message it was sending. One of the main characters was so compelling that I needed to write his backstory. Temptations of the Innocent followed two years later, and I was exhausted. I felt empty after its launch.

I realized the source of that void not long after. Forgiveness conveyed a lesson, whereas Temptation was simply a story. I’m not diminishing the second novel; I believe that one day, when I’m a famous author, readers will revel in the genius behind the story. But that’s not today. I had little desire to finish the trilogy now. I wanted to shift gears. I wanted to write for God’s glory, not mine.

Leaving Darkness pulls from both my experiences with a Christian-based support ministry (Restore Small Groups) and my walk of faith to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. My hope is to convey what I believe is the remarkable healing a Christian-based lifestyle can bring. It is not preachy; rather a contemporary view of how such can affect one’s path. I envision Christians and non-Christians to gain from reading the story I am weaving.

Creating this story is my writer’s calling at the moment. I sincerely believe God whispers in my ear as my fingers float over my Dell laptop’s keyboard in the pre-dawn stillness before work. It’s a work in progress, but I’ve maintained discipline to this calling.

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