|Posted by Susan McGeown on 10 January, 2010 at 16:35|
I am a writer of inspirational fiction: realistic, believable stories that acknowledge the existence of worldly temptations and despairs, while at the same time using Biblical truths as solutions and encouragement for success. My stories tell of life like it is, offer hope that things can be better; and admonish while they inspire.
People often ask me where I get my ideas. The easy answer is that God gives them to me,of course. But the more complicated answer involves explaining how my life is like a giant fishing net that is perpetually gathering material: from life experiences, friends and acquaintances, and Bible study. Some combination, huh? I have a tee shirt that says, BE CAREFUL OR YOU MAY END UP IN MY NEXT NOVEL. How true!
I write realistic fiction, not fantasy.
"With God everything is possible."
I love to write stories that involve magnificent transformations, incredible victories, and assurance of happy endings – not because I’m a big fan of fantasies but because I sincerely believe that all things are possible in a life committed to God. Why not have such expectations? My stories are about real life and real situations and how real people react to the complexities of life. I add in faith, sometimes subtly and sometimes in your face, because that’s real life, too. Then, I weave a story around the concept of the choices we all make – good and bad – and how things inevitably work out in the end. Sometimes it’s a Recipe for Disaster and sometimes it indicates A Well Behaved Woman’s Life.
My life has taught me that being a woman after God’s own heart involves endless trust, perpetual prayer, and faith walks that no woman without God’s love and protection would ever dare to go. A heart committed to God becomes rather fearless in my humble opinion. No, I haven’t faced down an angry mob of four hundred armed men with a picnic basket like Abigail did (I Samuel 25:18), but I have argued my beliefs in the face of tremendous skepticism and derision – and that was scary!! I write what I do because I am a product of God’s grace and mercy … and His miraculous transformations. For you see, I wasn’t always this opinionated, confident, godly woman – and I still struggle daily to stay on this Rock I choose to make my home.
Without God, I am a shy, introverted, insecure woman who feels that she's never pretty enough, smart enough, clever enough, ors trong enough to be much good to anyone. But you know something? I believe with all my heart that God doesn’t make mistakes. That has to mean that I’ve got everything I’m supposed to have in order to succeed according to God’s plan for me. If God’s made me, then I must have the potential to make God smile – how amazing is that?
God doesn’t need us perfect.
He just needs us willing.
"Let God transform you into a new person."
The Bible is filled with women just like me and you who seemed woefully ill equipped to do what God wanted them to do. Their stories – told sometimes with painfully embarrassing details, are meant to inspire and educate us. Sarah, barren for almost her entire life, was chosen to be the mother of God’s chosen race (Genesis 21:7). Rahab, a lowly prostitute, was selected to be the heroine of the battle of Jericho (Joshua 6:25). Mary, an unwed pregnant teen, was designated to be the mother of our Lord (Luke 1:30). They were chosen not because God forced them into it, but because their hearts were open to the challenge. Throughout the Bible, the consistent theme is that God is never interested in the smartest, or the prettiest, or the wisest, or the richest, or the bravest. Why should we assume that He has changed the rules for us now? God wants those of us with nothing but an open heart so that He can show His power and His might through our miraculous transformations and accomplishments. We can do all things through Christ’s strength in us! Did I hear an ‘Amen’?
With God, I have learned to battle my personal demons. I still quake with fear before I do something public like speak before the church, conduct a training session for my peers, or present my written works to curious strangers. But I do it because I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that once I get up there magic happens with my words and thoughts and I become this coherent, intelligent woman. It is the Lord working His magic through me and my faith and my trust …and it is an amazing experience.
I pray a lot because I’m a big chicken and it makes me feel safer. Hey, if the God of The Universe wants to communicate personally with me and the only avenue open to me is prayer, who am I to decline? I pray in the shower, while I’m doing the dishes, and if you passed me the other day on the highway, I wasn’t talking on my cell phone! The more I pray, the more I see the world through God’s eyes and the more I understand what He needs me to do.
We need to make sure that we’re doing the most we can do for God in the spot we are standing right now.
"Work together with the same purpose."
I Corinthians 3:8
My goal each day is to make God smile. No, I haven’t built any wells in remote African villages nor have I donated enough money to build a new hospital wing. While I’m at it I’ll tell you that I hate to cook, am fantastically impatient, and regularly need to examine my priorities because I tend to slip off course … a lot. But I love to teach – both kids and adults - so I do that regularly at my church. I’m organized and committed once I’m on board with something and I serve with a passionate determination to bring success in all I am involved it. I write – a lot. If I don’t write, stories pile up in my head like a backed up drainpipe – which is never a good thing. These are all things that God has given me that others don’t have. I’m not bragging, just stating an obvious fact. (And please note that I haven’t said I’m fantastically good at anyone of these things, I just seem to have some affinity towards them.) As an added plus, these are things that I enjoy doing. God, in His infinite love and generosity, allows me to use my gifts to His glory … and have a good time doing it. How perfect is that?
I ask regularly for Big Black Arrows from God –because I’m kind of dense and preoccupied as I stumble through this life and regularly are inclined to miss the more subtle signs that He sends my way. Just paint a big black arrow on the ground, God, and I promise I’ll follow it willingly wherever it may take me! I must continually remind myself that the Bible says that God works all things to good to those who love Him (Romans 8:28). It took me a while to realize that it doesn’t just say “the nice stuff,” or “the happy times,” or “the rewarding experiences.” It says all things. Let’s look on the brightside: that means that every single one of my personal disasters all have the potential of working towards good. Well, that’s a relief!
Our faith is our identity, our life is our resume, and our message is that we are no one else’s but God’s.
"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."
After all these years, I’ve decided I’d liket o be just like King David (no, I don’t care to slay any giants, thankyou). I am determined to be a womanafter God's own heart – David’s female counterpart (I Samuel 13:14). You see David’s outstanding quality was that no matter how many times he failed, he willingly acknowledged his culpability and recommitted himself back into God’s plan as soon as he clued in - even ifhe was kneeling in the smoking ruins of his life. Hey, I can do that! I’ve got plenty of spectacular failures to work with, that’s for sure. It’s the determination to never give up on God’s purpose for my life that I continually must remind myself about.
Through my successes and my failures I am now determined to be a woman of faith no matter what anyone says or thinks. (Picture me with my hands on my hips, my chin raised in defiance.) I want it to be my defining feature, the glue that holds all my pieces together. No matter what hat I’m wearing: mother, sister, daughter, aunt, teacher, friend, classroom helper, annoyed customer, neighbor, or stranger – I want it to be the first distinctive quality anyone notices. It’s a noble goal but constant work.
I reached a point where I am delighted to be the unique woman I am because God needs me to be just this way so He can accomplish His specific plan for my life. I no longer want to be like anyone else but me. I don’t want anyone else’s life but my own. I’ll deal with my own problems, my own challenges, and my own goals because they’re all necessary to get me where God needs me to be each and every day. My personal space is filled with me and all my issues, thank you very much … I don’t need anyone else’s.
My husband and I have a saying: “Breathless anticipation of things tocome.” It’s wrapped up in the belief that if I am God’s own then He is in control of my life and will give me infinite care. No matter how the future appears I can rest assured that the tapestry of my life is going to be one mighty splendid sight when it’s completed. As long as I follow the proper pattern and adhere to all the directions.
Striving to be a woman after God’s own heart puts every aspect of your life into perspective. Your foundation becomes rock solid, your walls of protection become invincible, your lines of communication are assured, and your ceiling is the limitless sky. No one, no thing can hold you back … but yourself.
A Woman AfterGod’s Own Heart:
- Recognizes that her differences enable her to connect with others so that when united an effective, godly machine can be assembled and become functional.
- Acknowledges that her greatest trials, failures and weaknesses are usually the area in which God wants most to work His Magic and, consequently, the areas of our greatest potential for triumph.
- Believes that God wants nothing but the very best for each one of us and that through faith and obedience we really can achieve a happily ever after life of God’s design.
- Earnestly desires an intimate relationship with the God of the Universe and works consistently towards that goal through prayer, devotions, and fellowship with like-minded believers.
- Is always growing, maturing, working, seeking and learning. She’s not finished with her responsibilities here on earth until she’s dead.
- Is you – right now, this very instant, dependent solely on you and your own personal decision for Whom you wish to be in control of your life. When will you make adecision about Joining The Club (the God club, that is)?