Gideon threw down a fleece when he wanted confirmation of God's direction. We do this in our own lives sometimes. Today's creativity post features Paula Mowery and her experience with seeking God's direction. I asked her:
"As a Christian writer, you say you came to be published by throwing down a fleece. Will you explain what you mean by that statement and why you felt a need to take that action? Is this something you have done in creating all your stories? How is it different (or is it?) from sending up a prayer before a writing session?" - Sandy
Paula: Twelve years ago I left the teaching field – public school – and entered the homeschooling world. As my daughter matured and became more of an independent learner, I started to write again. I had always been an avid reader of Christian fiction and found I had lots of story ideas of my own.
The more I delved into writing Christian fiction, the more I felt God’s leading through the themes that emerged. A friend read some of my stories and encouraged me to seek publication. At the time, I laughed off the thought of ever being good enough to do such a thing.
God kept prompting me, so I searched for learning opportunities and found ACFW. Taking the advice of the authors there, I began small, writing an article for a national magazine. I submitted it and then I waited.
God continued to give me stories. I wrote as fast as my little hands could write. But, still I wondered if these stories were for just my friends or was I to pursue publication.
Finally, I prayed that if God wanted me to pursue publication, He would give me a sign so I could know for sure.
The next morning when I checked my emails, my article had been accepted. It was as if God said – yes, I want you to publish, but you have more to learn. Keep listening.
A few months later, I submitted my novella, The Blessing Seer, to Pelican Book Group. When I pressed the send button, I prayed: “Lord, if this is to be published and this is where you want it to be published, let the story touch someone.”
Several weeks later, I opened an email from the editor at Pelican in which the first line read: “This story so touched me.” I bowed my head and cried. God had answered clearly.
God doesn’t always answer as blatantly as that. Sometimes I have to wander and experience and learn. Sometimes, He gives me insights, and I have to get back out of bed and write them down.
But, I can say that I pray for God to lead me in writing my stories everyday. I pray for wisdom to know when and where to use them. I haven’t laid out any more fleeces to Him. That was my way of discovering a major decision on the path to take. I will warn anyone who might pray a prayer and lay out a fleece that you should be ready. When you pray a prayer like that in surrender, hold on for the adventure God has in store!
Paula Mowery is a pastor’s wife and a homeschool mom. She has always been an avid reader of Christian fiction. She began writing in the area of nonfiction creating three Bible studies which were self-published. However, she crafted fiction stories which she shared with friends and family. When one of her readers encouraged her to pursue publication, she joined American Christian Fiction Writers, learning more about the world of fiction. Her debut work of fiction is a novella published by Harbourlight, a division of Pelican Book Group – The Blessing Seer. Learn more about Paula at her blog – www.paulamowery.blogspot.com. Read more of her writing in her monthly columns on www.christianonlinemagazine.com.