Monday, December 2, 2019

When You Give Up Your Dream By Janalyn Voigt

Janalyn Voigt
Have you ever had to lay down a dream? As soon as you do, you wonder, did I make the right call? What choice did I have? I poured months or years into it; what will become of that project?Janalyn Voigt, fellow Mountain Brook Ink author, is here today with her story of laying down a dream. Read on for encouragement! ~ Annette

I held my breath as I opened the email, but then expelled it in disappointment. Another rejection. I scanned the words on my screen. My agent had run out of publishers to approach with my proposal. She’d hoped that my writing voice was unique enough to land a contract, but the Western historical romance market was crowded.

I’d been so sure that the Montana Gold series was God-led. I’d felt an unction to write books set in Montana while gazing across the Ruby Valley. The title of the first book had dropped into my head out of the blue. Giving up felt wrong. The characters I’d created seemed real to me. How could I bury them?

Fortunately, my agent wasn’t offloading me, but her inference was clear. It was time to switch genres. It was tough to let go of my plans, but I couldn’t ignore that the doors to write Western historical romance were closed. If God had wanted to open one for me, He’d have done it. I could only trust that He had something else in mind for me. I focused on writing a proposal in another genre.

I’d met Miralee Ferrell when we were both featured as Christian authors at the Missoula Festival of the Book. As the author of Tales of Faeraven, a medieval epic fantasy series, I’d been invited to represent Christian speculative fiction. Miralee and I struck up a friendship, and she offered me advice on the Montana Gold series. Miralee hadn’t yet started her publishing house, Mountain Brook Ink. Neither of us guessed that she would one day acquire my series. That happened almost by accident.

Several years later, I learned that Miralee would attend a local writing conference where I was speaking. I invited her to coffee with no thought of pitching the Montana Gold books to her. The sneaking suspicion that I should do so crept up on me. I pushed the notion away, but it wouldn’t leave me alone.

It took another kind of surrender to pitch my series. I’d given my dream to God. Attempting to revive that particular aspiration made me vulnerable to further rejection and heartbreak.

I needn’t have worried. Miralee loved the story idea, asked to see the proposal, and contracted me to write the series. Writing for Mountain Brook Ink is a joy, a blessing I’d have missed if I hadn’t surrendered my writing dreams to God.

The Author of Salvation loves us too much to allow us to slip into idolatry. That is the danger when we love our own will more than we do our Savior’s. It’s not wrong to harbor hopes and dreams, but we must cast them like crowns at Jesus’s feet. Who knows, maybe then God, if He is willing, will restore them to us.

Taking up a dream afresh calls for courage. Life offers no guarantees, but one thing is certain. Doing nothing leads to failure.

Dare to try.

Has God ever turned your surrendered dream around? Come be encouraged! @JanalynVoigt


The Forever Sky
Can a young widow with no faith in love, hope for a future with the man who broke her heart?

Maisey isn’t about to give Rob another chance to reject her love. Why should she believe that the man who left town without a backward glance three years ago cares about her? Life had taught her all about broken dreams, and she didn’t want to hope again. If only her young daughter would stop adopting Rob as a father, ignoring him—and her own emotions—would be a whole lot easier.

Thoughts of the woman he’d left behind haunted Rob for three long years. It wouldn’t have been fair to ask Maisey to wait while he mined a gold claim. After making his fortune, he has returned to his family in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. Rob is ready to settle down, and he’d rather do so with Maisey. But after their first encounter, it is clear that he’s lost her forever.

Circumstances force Maisey and Rob into one another’s company. They learn, through hardship and loss, that the only way to one another is to surrender first to God’s love.

Based on actual historical events during a time of unrest in America, The Forever Sky explores faith, love, and courage in the wild West.


Janalyn Voigt fell in love with literature at an early age when her father read classics to her as bedtime stories. When Janalyn grew older, she put herself to sleep with her own made-up tales. Her sixth-grade teacher noticed her love of storytelling and encouraged her to become a writer. Today Janalyn is a multi-genre author. Janalyn writes the kind of novels she likes to read – epic adventures brimming with romance, mystery, history, and whimsy. She is praised for her unpredictable plots and the lyrical, descriptive prose that transports readers into breathtaking storyworlds. Janalyn Voigt is represented by Wordserve Literary. Learn more about Janalyn and her books at


  1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Janalyn! I've also learned that even though some doors closed to publication, I realized later that God was working on my behalf - and in some ways, was protecting me.

    1. Love your point about God protecting you, Dawn! So true how He does that. I love how open you were to hearing His redirection at times. An example to those who watched you walk that out. :)

    2. Thanks for sharing about your own experience, Dawn. I'm thankful (now) for God's guidance. If we knew the outcome in advance, we wouldn't walk by faith.

  2. Great post, Janalyn! We can't see all God can see. Sometimes we aren't ready. Sometimes the market's not ready. In my experience, God has occasionally piled up the fulfillment into a season, overwhelming me with a few dreams coming true. But before that? Years of hard work and prayer. Write on, fellow MBI author!

  3. Wow, that is so inspirational Janalyn! I'm glad you didn't give up, God Always has the perfect timing and we can't rush it, that's for sure, we just have to wait patiently. :) Your books sound amazing, and the covers are very nice. God Bless you my friend.

  4. What a wonderful, encouraging post, Janalyn! Thank you so mch for sharing your experience with us. An excellent reminder that God always works in His timing and His way, even though we might feel discouraged when things aren't going the way we'd planned or hoped.
    Congratulations on your writing success!
    Blessings, Patti Jo

    1. Thank you. I'm so glad my post reminded you to wait patiently on the Lord to fulfill His purposes in your life. Blessings.

  5. I appreciate you sharing your story. I have enjoyed the series and glad Miralee made it possible.

  6. I love how God always has a plan for us and our writing. :-)


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