There are times when our lives may take detours not in our control. But we can trust God to remain faithful. Author Wendy Dunham shares her journey to publication and how God brought writing back into her life. ~ Dawn
A Time for Everything
For me, the calling to write came out of the blue. I remember one night, nearly twenty years ago, waking with my mind bursting with stories. Stories that had to be written. So that’s what I did. I wrote them.
Next, knowing these stories were meant to share, I researched on how and where to submit them. It seemed God opened door after door. Before I knew it, the stories found homes in books, devotionals, periodicals, Sunday school papers, and online sites. I was even fortunate to write a column in a monthly paper. It was amazing to see God use the gift he chose to give me.
Then, in just one day, my life changed. The rug I’d been standing on for years was ripped from beneath me. But unlike a cat, I did not land on my feet. My world seemed upside down. For the next ten years I raised my children alone and worked two jobs. During this season, the stories stopped. I couldn’t write.
After those ten years, I sensed God saying, “It’s time.” That’s when he poured the story, My Name is River, into me. It was such fun. What joy I felt to write again. Although the story came to me all at once, I spent years revising and polishing it.
Next I felt God leading me to attend a Christian Writer’s conference. So off I went. It was there I met my agent. Within a short amount of time, I had a two book contract with Harvest House. The first novel was written, the second was not. I remember hanging up the phone after committing to a second, thinking, “Lord, what have I done?” I was scared to death—I had no idea what the second novel would be about.
Well, the second book, Hope Girl, came to me much differently. It came piece by piece, and very slowly. Since I had just one year to write it, and I also worked a demanding full time job, I had an underlying fear I couldn’t accomplish what I’d committed to. That however put me in a position where I had to trust God—obviously right where he wants us anyway. Gratefully the deadline was met, and Hope Girl was released on February 1, 1016.
If there’s any words I can share to encourage others on this journey we call writing, they are ones written by our Heavenly Father, “For everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.”
Never give up.
Twelve-year-old River Starling worries that her missing parents won’t know where to find her when she and her grandmother move out of state, but it’s been 10 years, and her grandmother is determined to move forward, leaving old memories behind.
River’s new life quickly proves her grandmother’s sentiment that new things are not necessarily better or worse, just different. River meets Billy, a good-hearted son of a local preacher, who teaches her about love, forgiveness, and kindness all while introducing her to the surprising world of birds. Everything seems idyllic in Birdsong, West Virginia. But when tragedy strikes, River witnesses firsthand what true love and forgiveness look like. River’s calm strength and openness in the face of her difficult life make her a genuine heroine. And her kooky grandmother’s colloquialisms add a dose of humor. River’s story is a genuine portrayal of a young girl following a life of faith in a world marred with tragedy.
Wendy Dunham is the author of two middle grade novels—My Name is River, and its sequel, Hope Girl. She is blessed to be a mother, a mother-in-law, a registered therapist who works with differently-abled children, and in her free time, an inspirational writer with a passion for writing middle grade novels.
You can learn more and connect with Wendy at the following:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WendyDunhamAuthor/