I am often the slowest, most obstinate of students—depending on the lesson. Do I want to learn it, or is it something the teacher says I need to learn?
Every time I write a book, I sit at the feet of the Ultimate Teacher and carefully pen the words He speaks to my heart and soul. The process can be painful, especially when the words I hear within my heart differ from the ones my head says are “right.
God uses those difficult writing days to teach me. Sometimes He shows me old things in new ways. Other times, it’s all new. I just hold on tight and hang on for the ride.
Author Confession: I am a pantser. I rarely outline a book, or lay out a plot. I do come up with a basic story line, mostly because publishers aren’t willing to offer a contract without one. (Imagine that!) Because of this ‘dive right in and sink or swim’ method, I often do research midstream, when I find myself dealing with topics I don’t know enough about.
My favorite learning moments, however, happen when God opens up His Word to me as I write.
- A familiar scripture takes on a whole, new depth of meaning.
- I’m blessed with an epiphany into a subject I thought I had long since mastered
- Something I’ve learned backwards, forwards and inside out suddenly takes on depth and life—becomes real in the deepest part of me.
Uninvited and unplanned, butterflies fluttered into my latest release. I’ve always found them lovely, graceful—almost magical. They’re one of the few insect-like creatures I can stand to look at, much less touch. (You guessed it…I’m severely bug-phobic.) I knew they started life as caterpillars. But that’s a mere scratch on the surface of an entire, fascinating world I knew little to nothing about.
Through my study on butterflies, God opened my eyes to the need for concerned Christians who are willing to be a protective cocoon for someone less fortunate—someone whose life is on the cusp of a wrong turn. He spoke to my heart about stepping out of a comfort zone and into a place of faith and trust. He unwrapped a cocoon and showed me the chrysalis effect.
Caterpillars don’t have a fairy godmother who turns them into butterflies in an instant. It’s a process that takes place in carefully planned, necessary stages. The caterpillar cannot become all he was born to be unless and until he spins that cocoon and submits to each of those stages of change.
God used the worm-to-wonderful chrysalis effect to teach me about obedience and submission, about myself, and yes…about writing.
As Christian writers, we must be willing to give our writing, and even our writing process, to the Lord. Without him, we produce nothing more than empty words. With Him, we can create something alive and real, with the power to touch and heal human hearts and souls. That should be a goal for each of us. Submit to the Ultimate Teacher’s classroom curriculum, and wrap a cocoon of God’s love around our writing. Only then can our efforts emerge in full beauty. Only then can they wing their way into the hearts of our readers, and maybe even change a life or two along the way.
Psalm 25:5 (KJV)—Lead me in Your truth, and teach me: for You are the God of my salvation.
Declan Keller's just minding his own business—literally—when Raine drops into his world and turns it upside down. He's far too busy carving beautiful shapes out of chunks of wood to be babysitting a gal from Pasadena. Even so, his father’s promise to an old friend obligates him, despite a looming deadline that could make or break his career in the art world. He’s praying for anything but Raine when she comes along.
Neither Declan nor Raine is prepared for the seemingly divine influence of Paradise Pines—and Miss Angelina Love. A mysterious lady who may or may not own the lodge, Miss Angie possesses an amazing talent for mending ruffled feathers, spouting proverbs, and somehow bending even the most determined of hearts to the power of love.
Available on Amazon, and most other online booksellers.
DELIA LATHAM is a born-and-bred California gal, raised in a place called Weedpatch and currently living in East Texas with her husband, Johnny. She enjoys multiple roles as Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, but especially loves being a princess daughter to the King of Kings. She has a "thing" for Dr. Pepper, and loves to hear from her readers. Contact her through her website. Subscribe to Delia’s bi-monthly newsletter and receive a FREE short story!