be careful what you pray for…you might just get it (and not in the way you’d expect)

I’m a writer.

Not a published one or anything (unless you count a letter to the editor in a magazine years ago and several stories posted to the internet), but I write. A lot.

I finished the first draft of a novel last year, and I’m now in the editing/revising process.

I love stories, and I believe in their power. Stories connect us to each other. Stories touch our hearts, change our minds, shape our communities. When I was a kid and first declared that I wanted to be a writer someday, my brother told me to write something meaningful. I guess it’s stuck with me all these years because that it is what I want more than anything–to write a story that would matter to someone. A story God could use in a person’s life–a story that might, in some small way, point them to Jesus.

So I’ve been praying for a while now that God might choose to use my writing in this way–to somehow bring Him glory and to speak words of life to someone who needed it.

Recently our pastor preached a sermon on evangelism. The lovely lady and dear friend whose son I baby-sit during the week later told me that the sermon had inspired her to pray for me. She was praying that God would use my writing as a witness.

Well. She is clearly one of those righteous people whose prayers are effective (James 5:16).

See, I always thought I’d polish up this novel and get it out in the world somehow, and THAT would be how God would use me. Or maybe I’d write devotionals or Bible study helps or something similar for magazines and journals, and THAT would be how God would use me.

That isn’t exactly how it happened.

Those stories I mentioned posting on the internet? They’re fan fiction. They’re good fun to write, you get to play in a universe you love, you get valuable feedback to improve your craft (because internet readers are brutally honest), and I’ve made friends in the process. An all-around win.

You also post a brief bio, to let people know a little about who you are. Just a short little thing that most readers don’t pay attention to.

I got a private message from a reader of one of my stories. She’d read my bio, and she had a question. She wanted to know why I mentioned being a Christian there. Certainly that tidbit has nothing to do with fandom or fan fiction or anything else. Why had I felt the need to include it? Did my faith really matter that much? Did it really affect my life that much? And if so, why?

So I’m doing my best to reply to her questions. Absolutely nothing whatsoever may come from the exchange. But it’s an open door, an opportunity. And I’m laughing at myself for thinking God would ever do anything the way I expect. Really, you’d think I’d know better by now.

So yeah…God answers prayer. And it’s not always with a yes. And sometimes even the yes you get isn’t the yes you thought it would be.

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