If you’re struggling with what’s happening—or not happening—in your writing world, you’ve come to the right place. I think you’ll be encouraged and inspired by what Darlene Panzera shares about her own journey to publication. ~ Dawn
The Place Where Miracles Happen
Hi, my name is Darlene Panzera. I write clean, wholesome, value-laden stories for the secular market and often wonder if I am in the right place. But every time I ask, “Shouldn't I be writing Christian inspirational?” the Lord clearly whispers the verse from 1 Corinthians 3:6, “I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” I’m reminded that what I am doing is necessary—I am planting seeds. And I need to trust that I am in the place I need to be.
Six years ago, before I published, I found myself in a different place. When the economy collapsed I had to take a job in a gray, windowless warehouse where I stood on a 2’ by 3’ rubber mat serving food samples. Five family members passed away and the emotional toll was so great it felt like there was a black cloud hanging over me. I continued to pray and forced myself to get up at 5 a.m. each day to write, hoping what I did would make a difference, hoping I could change things on my own.
However, 2 1/2 years later nothing changed and I reached the point where I couldn't go on. I had to quit my job to save my sanity even though my family needed the money and it didn't make sense. I have been a Christian most of my life, but we all have those little pockets of our lives we still like to hold on to. It's hard to give up complete control. But left with no inner strength left inside me, that is what I did. I told God I didn’t know what was ahead but my life was in His hands.
Less than four months later I won a one-time contest because my manuscript had been the right one, at the right time, at the right place. New York Times best-selling author, Debbie Macomber, selected my story to publish along with her novella, Family Affair. There is no doubt in my heart that it was God’s doing. That win launched my career, and 8 books later, God continues to be my writing partner.
It is at the end of writing a novel that I feel God’s presence the most. Just when I'm utterly exhausted, and can't think, and I’m ready to say, “I can't do this!” and quit writing forever, that’s the place where miracles happen. Those are the times after prayer that connections are made, whole scenes are placed in my head, and the words seem to be whispered into my ear. Never do I feel so close to God as in those moments. The place of total surrender.
So the next time you sit at your computer staring at a blank page, remember that writing is an act of faith and let these verses be an inspiration: “With God, all things are possible.” (Matt. 19:26) And His promise, “I will be with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20)
Bree Collins has finally come home to Fox Creek, Montana, to manage her family's guest ranch. She knows she can handle any challenges that come her way, but when the infuriating Ryan Tanner reappears in her life, Bree suddenly has doubts about her ability to stay professional—and away from the handsome cowboy.
Ryan Tanner is in a bind. He needs to train a young foal for the upcoming show but its mother would rather bite his hand off. Just his luck the cute cowgirl from his past arrives back in town. Bree just so happens to have a reputation for taming animals of this nature. Ryan is willing to make a deal with her, but he has no intention of being swayed by her sweet smile or the tenderness she shows his young son.
Yet when fate brings them together, falling for one another becomes the easiest thing in the world. Ryan might just want to wrangle this cowgirl's heart…but will Bree give him the chance?
Darlene Panzera is a multi-published author of sweet, fun-loving romance. Her career launched with THE BET, included in bestselling author Debbie Macomber’s FAMILY AFFAIR. Her newest 3-book series, MONTANA HEARTS, debuts October 2015 from Avon Books, a division of HarperCollins. Darlene lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and three kids and says, “I love writing stories that inspire people to laugh, value relationships, and pursue their dreams.”
Visit Darlene at her website: www.darlenepanzera.com