Please welcome this weeks guest Jeanie Jacobson for The Journey. She answers the question: How have you seen God work in your writing journey?
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 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.
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. 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.