Friday, August 30, 2013

Give Your Hope a Voice by Melissa Tagg

Melissa Tagg

A favorite song of mine focuses on knowing that “hope changes everything.” It’s certainly one of the reasons I write—to give hope. But what about us as writers? Ever have a day when you feel discouraged and want to give up? Take heart! Author Melissa Tagg shares part of her personal journey to publication and offers encouraging words. ~ Dawn

Give Your Hope a Voice
by Melissa Tagg

Summer 2012 will go down as one of my favorites of all time. It started with car-shopping.

Now, I am not a car person. Give me four doors and moonroof and I’m set. At the start of June 2012, I really just wanted to avoid actually having to do the “shopping” part of “car-shopping.” I sorta hoped a car would land in my lap.

It sorta did.

But here’s the fun part: When I made the decision to buy my car, I said to my parents, “Hey, maybe later on this summer I’ll land a book contract—maybe even a two-book contract!—and then I won’t feel bad about spending this money on a pretty car.”

Two weeks after I bought the car, I signed with my agent. Less than a month after that, we received the two-book contract offer from Bethany House.

Now let me be clear: I don’t believe in magic words. I don’t believe that hopeful “maybe” I threw out was the key to unlocking my dream-turned-reality. Oh no, that was all God opening the right doors at the right time.

BUT…I love this personal story because when I look back on that summer, I realize that my joy over getting that book contract was extra-big because of the hope that preceded it.

Does that make sense?

It was exciting enough receiving that phone call, hearing from my agent that a publisher was willing to take a chance on me. But there was an extra thrill attached to that excitement. A hope I’d given voice to now sang with fulfillment.

And I guess I write this because I so often hear writers say, “I don’t want to get my hopes up…because I’ll be disappointed if it doesn’t happen.”

But you know what? Your dream deserves to have some emotion attached to it—ups and downs and all. Goodness, if a dream is that important to us, why wouldn’t we be disappointed when we encounter a bump in the road? I’m not saying we should go all crazy emotional roller coastery. But I do think sometimes we get so busy trying to stay even-keeled and “realistic” that we become a little shielded and stoic…and our dreams, a little dispassionate.

But if we want to talk “reality,” let’s try this on for size:

God is faithful to finish what He’s started in us. He doesn’t give us creative spark and passion and talent for no reason. He doesn’t give us a dream only to say, “Don’t hope too much, kid.” 

I say, let yourself hope. Yeah, there are going to be disappointments along the way.  Goodness knows I’ve had mine. And maybe sometimes a dream doesn’t pan out exactly the way we’d planned. But the unexpected twists and even the disappointments hold so much less power over us when we’ve nurtured a hopeful, expectant outlook.

Let’s hope. And let’s give our hope a voice. Our God-given dreams deserve it.

So…what are you hoping for?


God doesn’t give us creative spark and passion and talent for no reason. Click to tweet.

Let’s give our hope a voice. Our God-given dreams deserve it. Click to tweet.

Your dream deserves to have some emotion attached to it—ups and downs and all. Click to tweet.

Miranda Woodruff has it all. At least, that's how it looks when she's starring in her homebuilding television show, From the Ground Up. So when her network begins to talk about making cuts, she'll do anything to boost ratings and save her show--even if it means pretending to be married to a man who's definitely not the fiancé who ran out on her three years ago.

When a handsome reporter starts shadowing Miranda's every move, all his digging into her personal life brings him a little too close to the truth--and to her. Can the girl whose entire identity is wrapped up in her on-screen persona finally find the nerve to set the record straight? And if she does, will the life she's built come crashing down just as she's found a love to last?  

Melissa Tagg is a former newspaper reporter and total Iowa girl. Her first novel, Made to Last, releases from Bethany House in September 2013. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, Melissa is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies and daydreaming about her next book. She’s passionate about humor, grace and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at

You can find Melissa . . .