Friday, February 5, 2016

The Detour by Melinda Viergever Inman

Melinda Viergever Inman

The Detour

There I was, cruising down the writing road, pursuing my dream. Life was grand! I was a blogger; I had some pieces published. Of several drafted novels, my first was on its way to publication. I was one happy woman! At last I was a professional writer.

But during the publishing process, I hit a bump in the road. My husband’s mother declined during a long illness and died. We were weary and saddened, but after her memorial service, we returned to work.

By the deadline, I submitted my novel to my publisher, and then I started into my next project. But I gradually recognized that I was wiped out. I’d never felt this way before—thoroughly depleted, incapable of working. Clearly, I needed a vacation.

It was time for a detour. I scheduled a week off.

My throat hurt; my body ached. My energy was gone. The week turned into two and then three. In our hammock, I read fiction by other authors. I spent entire days in bed. Unable to function, I blogged from a horizontal position.

Next I had to drop all my outside duties, positions, and even my seminary track. Finally, after six weeks of this unscheduled detour, I headed to the doctor, unwittingly whirling a revolving door leading to few answers and many tests. My novel was published during this crushing fatigue and malaise.

More than a year passed. While working flat on my back, I marketed my first novel, ran a successful Kickstarter campaign, and prepped my second novel. But after passing it to my editor, I felt worse than ever, and now my parents were sick.

The writing road was supposed to be a smooth highway of bliss and tranquility.

I would bask in the glow of hundreds of reviews. My publisher would assign me a marketing team, so I could write and enjoy the profit from my labors. The many stories in my head would be printed. With the profits, I’d take my entire family on a long vacation.

But that didn’t happen. 

Instead, the detour narrowed to a perilous track through unmarked wilds. Recently, I received a diagnosis. My immune system is damaged. I have a rare autoimmune disorder. There’s no cure, only treatment to halt the progress.

When I learned the number of years and severity of treatment required, I knew this wasn’t a detour. This is now my life.

How did this happen? I write for the Lord. My stories touch hearts and lives. God intervenes with plot ideas, dialogue, and insight, so I can reveal truth about His love seamlessly within the story. I want to get back to that important work.

Like you, I proclaim Christ in my fiction and other writing, strenuously contending “with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me” (Colossians 1:29).

So why would God allow sickness to touch me? Because He’s sovereign, He’s good, and He knows best what provokes growth in me. He orchestrates everything for my spiritual benefit and the advancement of His Kingdom. 

This isn’t some strange journey taking me off-track from God’s call on my life. This is God’s call on my life. The detour is the road.

I’ve kept trying to get at least one foot back onto the smooth thoroughfare, but the Shepherd has chosen a better route, the road of refinement and greater reliance on Him. It’s an intimate trail. There’s room for two. I’ll trust His leading as I journey through treatment while my next novel awaits publication. I’ll work, as I’m able and He leads.

Many of you travel this road. Creative people—Laura Story, Vaneetha Rendall, Laura Hillenbrand—often journey on this byway. God uses it for our good.

What has the Lord taught you in your “detour”?

Love takes action: The Creator God establishes the cosmos and shapes a man. Adam rises from the dust. Envious, the powerful angel Lucifer despises him. Oblivious to the threat, Adam is captivated by his strong, intuitive wife Eve. In the Garden of Eden, they enjoy abundant food, gorgeous vistas, and intriguing challenges, including their budding love and passion. They have it all!

But Lucifer’s deceptive brilliance tricks them into disobeying God. They eat the one forbidden fruit. Their innocence is shattered. Their unity with one another and with God is destroyed. Death will follow. Lucifer’s jealousy threatens mankind’s tenuous beginning. But God is merciful. What astonishing promise does He make? How will Adam and Eve survive – broken, shattered, and separated from God?

Melinda Viergever Inman was raised in the tornado capital of the U.S. - Wakita, Oklahoma, of "Twister" fame. There her parents met. There her roots were sunk in a storytelling family. During years of relocation, tragedy struck. Wounded and heartbroken, Melinda forsook her roots and ran from herself and from God. A journey of trial and heartache brought her home again. A prodigal now returned to her secure foundation, she writes with passion, illustrating God's love for wounded people as he makes beauty from ashes. Fallen is her second novel, Refuge her first. Melinda shepherds women in church and prison ministry and writes inspirational material on her biweekly blog at . With her family she is involved with Mission India, rescuing orphans and providing theological and job training for impoverished students—