Wednesday, December 20, 2017

It’s All in the Timing by Christine Johnson

God’s timing is perfect.

That was something I tried to believe as year after year, rejection after rejection piled up. You see, I had decided that I wanted to write a historical romance with a strong faith message for the secular market. It seemed like a great plan. After all, I would honor God by reaching out to those who needed to hear the Good News.

God, on the other hand, had different plans. Fifteen years (and 151 rejections) later, I finally let go of my stubborn plan and accepted His leading to write for the Christian fiction market. That’s when He opened doors. In 2010, Soaring Home, was published by Steeple Hill (now Love Inspired). Eleven more Love Inspired Historical novels (and three with Revell) followed in the next seven years, culminating with Would-Be Mistletoe Wife this month.

At the time I turned in this latest manuscript, I didn’t know that the Love Inspired Historical line would close. The letter announcing the closure stunned me. I felt like a boat set adrift with no idea where to go next.

God’s timing is perfect.

He knew that a time of refreshment and renewal was needed. The years of multiple books per year had taken a toll on family. So God cleared the slate. No contracts. No deadlines. Just time to strengthen relationships and refill the well of creativity.

God’s timing is perfect.

Though no small part of me wanted to leap at the first possibility that presented itself, I felt His nudge to wait. He would provide the story at the right time. Moreover, when that kernel of an idea arrived, I wasn’t supposed to run ahead, racing through my ideas and setting impossible deadlines. I was supposed to linger with Him.

You see, this time we would do a project together. No guarantees it would sell. No guarantees the story would come easily or quickly. Maybe, just maybe, this story would only be between the two of us. I had to accept those terms before going forward. Surrender. Not an easy concept for a woman who gripped control with two tight fists, but a necessary one.

So I’m letting go. Daily. And waiting as the story gradually takes shape. No timelines. Just God’s time.

And the certainty that His timing is perfect.

Tell us your experience with God's timing.


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CHRISTINE JOHNSON is the author of twelve books for Love Inspired Historical and three books for Revell. She was twice named a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award®. When not writing, she loves to hike, bicycle, kayak and explore God’s majestic creation. These days she and her husband, a Great Lakes ship pilot, split their time between northern Michigan and the Florida Keys.

8 comments:

  1. The waiting is always easier when we look back, isn't it? And I loved reading your story. I'm sorry that you're yet another author caught in the closing of LI's historical line, but it's good to know God is trustworthy in this waiting period.
    I just went through a waiting period of my own -- transitioning from one publisher to a new one. But God gave me a head's up about the transition, and that made the year of waiting easier. Whenever I started to stress, I chose to rest instead. A new experience for me -- choosing to rest during a time of change.

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    1. Beth, thank you for your words of encouragement! It's good to hear confirmation of God's faithfulness from personal experience. I love the idea of resting instead of stressing!

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  2. I have always enjoyed the LI Historical line. I will miss it as it fades away. Thank you for being part of that group of authors. I'm still learning and attempting as a writer while dealing with a busy life. God knows our timing and I pray you will be blessed with the right idea at the right time.

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    1. Hi Bettie! Thank you for supporting the Love Inspired Historical authors. Our readers have been wonderful over the years and have blessed us greatly. I pray that your writing journey brings great joy.

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  3. I am a big believer in God's timing, Christine, but this really spoke to me:

    "Maybe, just maybe, this story would only be between the two of us. I had to accept those terms before going forward. Surrender. Not an easy concept for a woman who gripped control with two tight fists, but a necessary one."

    It's not easy to let go of our own plans.

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    1. You are so right about that, Sandra! I think a couple fingers are still grasping for that plan of mine, LOL. Surrender is a process that requires daily repetition for me.

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  4. I was so proud the day that I first saw my debut book, a Love Inspired Historical, listed as available for pre-order on Amazon. I took a screenshot and posted it on my blog.
    Two hours later, Harlequin sent out an announcement that they were shutting down the Love Inspired Historical line. I know that logically those two events are not connected.

    Illogically, I still felt a bit guilty. :(

    Seriously, I saw it as a fairly non-subtle sign that I was supposed to self publish the follow up story I'd written for LIH.

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    1. Hi Evelyn! I'm glad you were able to see the positive side to circumstance. Best wishes on this new leg of the journey.

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