Friday, January 12, 2018

When God Does a New Thing by Bethany Turner

Bethany Turner
Just when we think we have this writing gig under control, something can make us feel insecure all over again. But, that’s also when God often surprises us. Author Bethany Turner has experienced some of those unexpected situations, and she shares part of her personal journey with us today. ~ Dawn

When God Does 
a New Thing

I wonder what God thinks when He sees us down here on Earth, so sure we’ve got it all figured out. I’m sure He’s never surprised. After all, our attempts to pull together our own plans for our lives have literally been causing problems since the beginning of mankind.

When I was offered my first publishing contract, from Revell for The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck, it was a one book deal. When you’re an obsessive planner, as I am, and—let’s face it—a control freak (again, as I am), a one book deal is a mental challenge. What do I work on now? When you’re continually struggling with your confidence, and you’re oh-so-eager to please everyone (as I am), a one book deal also becomes an emotional blockade. Don’t they believe in me? Do they just think I had one good idea and that’s all I’ve got in me? Hang on…are they right?!

But eventually I had what I knew was another good idea. I began writing, and I wrote in communion with the Lord. I was able to see how I had grown as a writer, and I was pretty sure I was writing better than I ever had. So, when the time came to pitch the new book to my editor, I knew that a second contract with Revell was an inevitability.

And that pitch was rejected.

I felt as if the wind had been knocked out of me. In my overreacting heart and mind, all of my previous wondering and fears were confirmed, and I could suddenly be assured that I was indeed a talentless hack who had lucked into one decent thought for a book.

My editor has become a dear friend, so we wrestled through it together. In one of our exchanges, I said to her, “I don’t even know what to write, then! The only other thought I’ve had that even resembles a book idea is…” And I went on to tell her about three sentences of a half-hearted idea. To which she replied, “I like that. Let’s talk more about that one.” Soon we were in Dallas together at the ACFW Conference, and over dinner we fleshed out that idea. About two weeks later my agent called me and said, “There’s an offer in my inbox.”

Isaiah 43: 18-19a says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!”

Sometimes all I can do is shrug my shoulders. I don’t understand. I certainly don’t know the plan. But I’m determined to stop seeing that as a problem, and instead focus on the promise that exists. His way is always best, and that would be every bit as true if I never wrote or published another book. God is doing a new thing! And I’ll take His new thing over my former thing every time.





Becoming a Christian is the best—and worst—thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck.

Up to now, Sarah Hollenbeck made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now she's trying to reconcile her past with the future she's chosen. She's still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she's not sure she can write anymore. She's discovering that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a "scandalous" book. And the fact that she's falling in love with her pastor . . . well, let's just say that doesn't make things any easier.

With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of humor, novelist Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a witty debut that isn't afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life.




Bethany Turner is the director of administration for Rock Springs Church in Southwest Colorado. A former VP/operations manager of a commercial bank and a three-time cancer survivor (all before she turned thirty-five), Bethany knows that when God has plans for your life, it doesn’t matter what anyone else has to say. Because of that, she’s chosen to follow his call to write. She lives with her husband and their two sons in Colorado, where she writes for a new generation of readers who crave fiction that tackles the thorny issues of life with humor and insight.

To learn more and connect with Bethany, please visit:




16 comments:

  1. Love this! “... I am doing a new thing.” What a wonderful thought to focus on for the new year ... and ALL year!

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    1. Yes! I am discovering that I am pulling this verse out as a very nearly daily reminder...and I think I will continue to. Because God is ALWAYS doing a new thing! Thank you, Dee Dee!

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  2. Hi, Bethany! We have so much in common. I'm a planner and a control freak. I struggle with confidence in this crazy industry where everything is so new to me, and I debuted in 2017, too. But these last two years have changed me (freed me) in ways that filtered from my writing life to other areas of my life. I've learned I can control .001% of anything in this publishing journey, which has also been a ginormous exercise in patience. I've learned to do what I need to do, then let go (literally) and let God and the process work. I've also realized on a deeper level that God's plans are so much better than mine, and I need to get myself out of His way. I connected with your post on many levels. Thank you! I haven't read your book (YET!) but I've seen it all over the blogs I follow and on some "best of 2017" lists, so I know it's amazing, and your next book will be, too! Blessings!

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    1. I'm a planner and a control freak too, Karen. Your comments have encouraged me this morning. Thanks!

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    2. Hi, Karen! Thank you so much for your comments. It is always such a comfort to meet someone who struggles with many of the same things I do. And I absolutely love what you said about control and patience, and letting go and letting God. YES! And your book has been on my TBR since I first saw that beautiful cover. :-) I hope we get a chance to meet in person one of these days.

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  3. Yes! "Sometimes all I can do is shrug my shoulders." I'm right there with you, Bethany! We can do all the "right" things and nothing much may happen. And then watch others suddenly take off in their careers. It truly is important to do our best and let God do the rest. ;-)

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    1. After reading this, Dawn, I decided to clarify my response above just in case someone misinterprets it. I may have sounded like everything has gone perfectly, but that is far from the case. The big disappointments have taught me to let go as much as the little steps forward have.

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    2. Karen, thanks for your sensitive heart. :-)

      I didn't think you came across that way at all - that your path has been easy. It felt like you could relate to the struggles of trying to control things when in reality, no matter what we do or how hard we try, there's much we can't control.

      I think most of us experience disappointments, and maybe they're what help us rejoice and appreciate the days when something DOES go right. LOL!

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    3. Yes. Exactly! And God just never ceases to amaze me with His Ephesians 3:20 ways. :-)

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  4. Hi Bethany, your book sounds great. Very interesting and what a situation she's caught up in.

    I think all of us fear our second book being rejected. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Terri! Yes...Sarah finds herself in quite the predicament. Thanks for your kind words!

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  5. Such an encouraging post Bethany! Thank you!

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    1. Thank YOU, Kelly! I appreciate you taking the time to comment!

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  6. You are not a “talentless hack”. Your writing is amazing and pulls in the reader. You write the things that no one else wants to tackle for fear of what people will think. You bring the truth to what being a Christian is. I am so happy for you, and I will always be here to read anything you write. I’m looking forward to the new book, and I know it will be amazing because you have God guiding you in your writing. ❤️

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  7. Oh Bethany, you are such an amazing gift! And such a gifted writer! God gave you your talent and it's so inspiring to watch you living and growing in it and into it. I'm honored to call you my friend! My gifted friend! Love ya lady!! Go change the world!

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  8. Well, I don't know what happened to my previous comment so let's try this again. Bethany, you are truly a gifted writer. You draw a reader in touch her hearts and our heads and we walk away changed . . . and laughing can we snort! I'm truly honored to call such an amazing woman my friend. And I'm proud of you for being vulnerable and sharing your doubts and fears. It's even more inspiring.

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