Death, I’ve discovered, doesn’t always mean death with a capital “D” – that surrendering of this world for our Heavenly home (I know, I know, not real uplifting and encouraging so far, but stick with me, I’ll get there, promise!).
As we conclude the Easter season of Jesus’ death and victorious resurrection, I’ve given thought to the ways I’ve died—and risen—of late, and in that rising found the hope, the refreshment, the renewal and encouragement of resurrection and the sureness of God’s hand in my life and in my writing.
Let me explain.
First, the ‘death’ part. Over the last several months, writing has taken a necessary backseat to the rest of my life. We’ve replanted our lives in fresh soil after nineteen years of raising our family and establishing ‘home.’ We’re settled, and we’re acclimating, and we love our new digs, but talk about exhausting! Plus, our family has grown by one precious, joy-bringing soul as we welcomed our first grandchild. He’s just magical, know what I mean? He's local, so we love spending our spare time being doting grandparents. Everything is ‘new’ – and everything is different. A death to the life we knew before, a surrender, has leading me to the life God wants my husband and I to lead in the here-and-now as we enter what is obviously a new chapter of our story.
Still, to be blunt and honest, the lack of writing time/focus was—and still is—making me crazy. Why? Because it’s my call. Non-productivity burns like fire in my chest. Storytelling is what I believe God wants and needs from me--even in those moments when I sit at the desk in my sparkling new office, prepared to write, and nothing comes to me. Oh, I have the plot ideas, and I have deadlines to chase, but finding the words, the scenes can be difficult.
Now, the resurrection part. These small ‘deaths’ have led me to trust. Breakthroughs do happen, and unexpectedly—like finding out my book finaled in a writing contest—like flying to Boston to cheer for my son who ran the Boston Marathon and finding myself in a plane, at 30,000 feet, swept at last into the heart of a Christmas story I'm writing that's set in Florence, Italy.
Struggle calls me to a deeper commitment and faith, a stronger reliance on God, and not myself. So, my encouragement this month is to be fruitful according to God’s will. In other words, don’t fret the daily circumstances and frustrations. Rather, surrender to what is and be exalted in your calling, no matter what.
Because you know what? God’s got this.
Marianne Evans is an award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories He prompts her to create. Devotion, earned the Bookseller’s Best Award as well as the Heart of Excellence Award. Hearts Communion earned a win for Best Romance from the Christian Small Publisher's Association. Finding Home won the Selah award for Best Novella. Marianne is a lifelong resident of Michigan and an active member of Romance Writers of America, most notably the Greater Detroit Chapter where she served two terms as President.
Country music bad boy Chase Bradington is on the comeback trail. Fresh from rehab for alcohol addiction, and transformed by the power of Christ, Chase is battling to rediscover the music he loves and a career he nearly ruined. Then he meets up and comer, Pyper Brock, and instantly sparks ignite.
Pyper knows of Chase’s reputation, so despite a rampant attraction to the handsome and talented icon, she soundly dismisses his romantic overtures. Decades ago, her father, in a drunken rage, tossed her and her mother onto the streets. No way will Pyper make the mistake of falling for a man whose done battle with the bottle.
What happens when Chase’s quest to win Pyper’s love breaks down chains of resentment and eases the long buried wounds of her childhood? And what happens when Pypers father shows up in Nashville, clean, sober and seeking a chance to apologize?