Friday, October 16, 2020

Who Am I? by JoAnn Durgin

Photo of a cross at the Grand Canyon

Who Am I? 

Our family—my husband, our three children, and our five-year-old granddaughter—all flew to the Phoenix, Arizona, area for a family wedding earlier this month. After a weekend of reunions and celebrations, we then drove to Sedona and Flagstaff. What a thrill to view the fascinating red rocks of Sedona and the mighty Grand Canyon with our loved ones!

As we stood at the base of a hill in Sedona—the Chapel of the Holy Cross above us—and then as we overlooked the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, I was filled with a sense of wonder and extreme gratefulness. The incomparable glory of the Lord’s creation was in full display in those places. Words like “majestic” and “awe-inspiring” come to mind. In the face of such grandeur, it’s tempting as an author to ponder, “Who am I?” How can I, through my words, help others “see” the magnificence of almighty God?

I’m blown away by how some authors can wax poetic about everything from a single dandelion to a sweeping landscape. Descriptive writing has never been one of my strengths. While I fumble for words to give readers an idea of what a character literally sees, others possess the talent to pen literary imagery that brings a scene vividly to life. So, what I do instead is describe a character’s emotions and physical reactions to what he’s seeing. For instance, if it’s hot and humid in San Antonio, I’ll write about the dust—how it coats his skin, blows in his eyes, grits in his teeth—and the sweat dotting his brow and trickling down his back. In other words, I focus on helping the reader “see” the effects of his surroundings.

Seasoned Christian authors advise new writers not to be caught in the trap of competition. There will always be authors who sell more, write more, and write what we consider to be better books. Be careful of feeling inferior or somehow “less than” as a writer. Remember this: God can mold your creation into something beautiful to reflect His glory. Guaranteed, you have knowledge and talents that are unique to you, and readers are ready to read your words! One author recently lamented it takes her hours to write witty banter and humor, but—unlike descriptive writing—this is something that comes easily for me.

Ask yourself this question: if God can use my work to encourage just one reader, will it be worth all the hard work? I hope you’ll answer with a resounding, “Yes!” 

Photo of yellow wildflowers
At the Grand Canyon, we were surprised by the many yellow wildflowers growing out of soil that was hard, cracked, parched, dry, and dotted with rocks. 

There’s a song by NEEDTOBREATHE titled, “Who Am I?” I love the lyrics of the song that talk about how God won’t let us go even when we’re a complete mess. He sees the best and worst in us, and this line is particularly poignant, “You grow your roses on my barren soul.” Those wildflowers beautifully illustrate this idea. Casting Crowns also sings a song with the same title and the theme of how God pursues us relentlessly. No matter who we are, or what we’ve done, He hears us when we call and catches us when we fall. Because that’s who He is and how vast His love is for us.

Photo of the Grand Canyon
We can’t all be at the mountaintop, but there’s a reason you’ve been called to write.
Seek that purpose by praying and asking God to direct your path. Then keep focused on the direction where He leads and stay the course. I promise you—it will be worth it.

Until His Nets Are Full ~

Matthew 5:16


Be careful of feeling inferior or somehow “less than” as a writer. Remember this: God can mold your creation into something beautiful to reflect His glory. #seriouslywrite #tipsforwriters via @Gr8tReads

Ask yourself this question: if God can use my work to encourage just one reader, will it be worth all the hard work? #seriouslywrite #tipsforwriters via @Gr8tReads

We cant all be at the mountaintop, but theres a reason youve been called to write. #seriouslywrite #tipsforwriters via @Gr8tReads


A two-week mission brings Sam and Lexa Lewis and their TeamWork Missions volunteers to New Mexico—the Land of Enchantment—as they work on a church building alongside their new friends in the One Nation under God congregation of Native American Christians. Outside forces, both unseen and overt, impede and threaten their efforts. But with faith to guide them, and the strong bonds of friendship to sustain them, the crew faces the challenges together as they persevere for the Lord’s glory.

Eliot Marchand hopes the mission in Albuquerque will finally give him the opportunity to pursue a relationship with the beautiful Marta Holcomb. With his dangerous assignments around the globe, and little time to spend with her, is a relationship worth the risk to both their hearts?

Successful business owner Dean Costas wants to get to know the lovely Sheila Morris better, but his court-appointed charge, Felipe Hernandez, might cause trouble after he takes a liking to Sheila’s pretty 14-year-old daughter, Angelina. Will Dean have time to romance the shy widow or will they need to focus their energies on chaperoning the teenagers?

Bringing together every couple and familiar characters from the previous books in The Lewis Legacy Series—including the TeamWork children—Enchantment will sweep you away! 

JoAnn Durgin
is a USA Today bestselling author named in 2018 as one of the “35 Essential Christian Romance Authors” by Family Fiction Magazine. She is the author of the beloved Lewis Legacy Series of contemporary Christian romantic adventures as well as several other series and stand-alone novels.

JoAnn’s most recent release is Underground, Lewis Legacy 11. Up next is Love on a Mission in Millcreek, the second installment of her new Millcreek Christmas Series. She also writes contemporary Christian romances under the pen name of Julianna Desmond.

A former estate administration paralegal, JoAnn loves nothing more than sharing the hope, grace, and mercy to be found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. After living in various states across the country, she lives with her family in her native southern Indiana.

Feel free to connect with her at 
or via her website at


  1. "We can’t all be at the mountaintop, but there’s a reason you’ve been called to write."

    Thanks, JoAnn! I really appreciated this message. Sometimes it's tempting to get caught up in feeling "less than" other authors who seem to be far more successful, despite how hard the rest of us work. It's easy to compare ourselves, even when we know we shouldn't.

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post, Dawn! Yes, it is tempting, and I completely understand. Take heart. You definitely have your own unique and special talents, and there are readers who NEED to hear the message you can bring to your writing. Blessings on your work!

  2. God gives each of us unique talents. I pray I use my writing to share His love and glory with others. :-)

    1. Amen, Melissa! I'm sure you have many fans who will agree that you accomplish the goal of sharing God's love in your writing. Blessings, and thanks for commenting.

  3. "Be careful of feeling inferior or somehow “less than” as a writer. Remember this: God can mold your creation into something beautiful to reflect His glory."
    This is something I needed to hear - thank you!! I always feel like I'm pretending to be an author, that I'm not really very good - especially when so many of my fellow Bethany House writers are winning all kinds of awards.
    I keep telling myself not to compare my writing to others, but it's hard.
    So happy you got to travel with your family. That sounds wonderful and awe inspiring.

    1. Thanks for your visit and the comment, Susan! I'm thankful my post could encourage you. Clearly, you ARE very good, so take heart! I completely understand, though, and that's why I felt led to write this post. I stopped entering contests a long time ago (and didn't enter many to begin with). Nothing is more rewarding than receiving a note from a reader telling me how I inspired her or somehow changed her life with my writing. Sometimes it's as small as a sentence or a mention of something. So, although we can't possibly know when we write what will touch someone (and sometimes we will NEVER know), GOD always knows. I take great comfort and assurance in that. Blessings on your future work and congrats on your current release!

  4. Lovely and very wise post, JoAnn - - thank you! I especially like your reminder that we need to pray and ask God to direct our path. So true and so important! We each have our own unique gifts and abilities, so we need to use them for His glory, and pray that our words touch someone who needs them.
    Your family trip out West sounds wonderful! I'm sure seeing those beautiful scenes that God created was breathtaking.
    Thank you again for sharing with us today.
    Blessings on your writing, Patti Jo :)

    1. I always enjoy YOUR posts here on Seriously Write AND your comments, Patti Jo! You are an encouragement to me, more than you know. :) Yes, I was so thankful to be able to share our recent travel experience with our entire family (we had a wedding in Arizona, and that gave us the impetus to make an "event" out of it, lol)! Keep writing for His glory and sharing your unique writing talents. Blessings!


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