Please welcome this weeks guest Jeanie Jacobson for The Journey. She answers the question: How have you seen God work in your writing journey?
An old Verizon commercial showed a man striding through various locations, from cornfields to city streets. Everywhere he went he’d hold out his phone and ask, “Can you hear me now?”
For me, it seemed like everywhere I went God kept calling out, “Jeanie, can you hear me now? Write.”
To be honest, I ignored Him. Fear held me back. Negative thoughts lashed my mind. “How can I write? I’m nobody special. What if I stink? What if I’m a giant failure?”
But God kept calling, “Can you hear me now? Write.”
I knew I needed a writer’s’ group, so I searched the internet, newspapers, libraries, and tried word of mouth recommendations. I was Goldilocks in Papa Bear’s chair; I couldn’t find the right fit. All my half-hearted attempts fizzled out like dud fireworks.
“Lord, this is crazy,” I whined. “I’m chasing my tail like a chipmunk on crack, and I’m still at square one. I give up.”
I busied myself in everyday life to block out God’s call.
“Jeanie, can you hear me now?”
“Yes, Lord, but I’m pretending I can’t.”
I felt His tug every time Christian artist Mandisa sang the lyrics:
“I can’t live my whole life wasting
All the grace that I know You’ve given
‘Cause You made me for so much more than
Sitting on the sidelines…”
But instead of getting off the sidelines my rear-end stayed super-glued to the bench. My writing dreams remained a closely guarded secret.
One Sunday morning our pastor’s son-in-law, Ryan Anderson, ministered during worship time. He sang, “Ms. Jeanie, stop holding back.”
I jolted to attention, shocked by the words. It felt like God had shouted, “JEANIE, CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?”
I went home and prayed, “Father, please forgive me, and show me what steps You want me to take.”
I joined an incredible group, Wordsowers Christian Writers, who provided guidance, training, and even a critique group. In December 2013 they invited me into their leadership team. What? Newbie me? Wow, that was God.
Chicken Soup for the Soul published my story, “Blanketed in Love” in their February Miracles Happen edition. They chose another, “All For the Love of Patty” for their The Dog Did What? book coming out August 2014. The James Scott Bell/Jeanette Littleton team bought my story, “The Total Package” for an upcoming Bethany House compilation.
Some people might scoff, “So what? You’re only in three books. That’s not much for your first year.”
But I hold to a bible verse in Zechariah chapter 4, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…”NLT
On my own, none of it would have happened. God opened doors of opportunity and said, “Jeanie, step through.”
For example, I spent my first Author’s Fair flanked by two Wordsower’s team leaders, authors Angela D. Meyer and Kat Crawford. And being in leadership gave me an insider’s look at my first writer’s conference. I met amazing people, like publisher Tamara Clymer and singers Phil and Pam Morgan, as well as a host of talented writers. Plus I found a freelance illustrator, Marcus Washington, in my home church. He created the book cover for my novel in process.
When it came to new technology I was like a T-Rex in boxing gloves. But with God’s help I created a website, started a blog, and set up an author’s Facebook page.
The best part is this: It’s not about me.
God loves us all, and gave everyone gifts, talents, and abilities. If He put a dream in your heart, ask Him to guide you. Get off the sidelines and work to make it a reality. With God all things are possible. You CAN do it.
The desire of my heart is to draw people to Jesus, and encourage those who already know him. So when God says, “Jeanie, can you hear me now?” I answer, “I’m listening Father. What do YOU want me to say?”
When God calls your name and asks, “Can you hear me now?”- get ready for the ride of your life.
Jeanie Jacobson has enjoyed a variety of career fields, from computer programming to educating students about exotic pets and learn that some of those pets should take special treatments for their needs, for example you can find CBD oil for pets at LA Weekly, there you can find the best CBD treat for your little one. She’s on the leadership team of Wordsowers Christian Writers Group in Omaha, NE. She’s published in two Chicken Soup for the Soul books and is currently working on a Christian slanted YA fantasy novel.
Jeanie’s involved in various ministries at her church, including the praise dance team. She loves spending time with family and friends, reading, hiking, and gardening.
Readers can connect with Jeanie via
Kristena Tunstall says
Jeanie, Verizon was one smart company because their little catch phrase “Can you hear me now?” is used by so many now. But I love how you put it in your journey in that this is what God says to us all the time. It’s so true. And then so many times so don’t listen to Him. However, in the end He does get us to do what He wants us to even if it’s takes us longer than it might have and we ended up learning lots of lessons along the way. I really love how in the end God blessed you abundantly with being published multiple times. Reading about your journey has been an encouragement for me. Thank you for your willingness to share it on this site.
Jeanie Jacobson says
Thanks for including me in “The Journey.” It’s wonderful to see how God reaches out to us, and waits patiently for us to respond.
I loved reading this personal story. What an encouragement! Thank you so much. The hearing part is such a confirmation to me in my own journey.
Jeanie Jacobson says
Hi Ann, Thanks for encouraging me with your comment. Isn’t it amazing what God does when we actually listen to Him?
Shari Woodstein says
Thanks I needed that. I’m one that keeps hearing and not answering or listening. You truly are an inspiration to me and I love seeing you at the meetings.
Jeanie Jacobson says
Powerhouse Shari, it’s a blessing to be in Wordsower’s Christian Writers group with you. Maybe we can help each other slow down so we don’t miss what God’s saying:)
Norma Donovan says
Thank you Jeanie for not only hearing, but obeying God’s call. God is glorified and MANY are blessed as a result! Your perseverance encourages me to persevere. You’re the real deal-what a godly women looks like. Keep those words coming!
Jeanie Jacobson says
Norma, thank you for your ministry. Your devotional, Reflections From the Heart, ministered to mine. I can’t wait for your next book!
Your story sounds like mine, right down to the very same Mandisa song. Only I’m still not there. Another good song is, “He’s Still Workin’ on Me.” It’s one of my daughter’s favorites, and He is still working on me. I’m counting on it.