Please welcome this week’s guest Julie Arduini for The Journey. She answers the question: How have you seen God work in your writing journey?
God, Surrender and Chocolate
The first time I realized writing might have a place in my life was in middle school. A teacher asked me to pen something for the student paper regarding Martin Luther King, Jr. Twenty minutes later I handed her a poem. She kept looking at me.
“Did you write this?”
“I’ve never seen anyone write something like this so fast.”
Through middle and high school I was asked to write articles and special interest items. My friends waited each morning for my latest fiction installment I’d written the night before. Yet when I mentioned writing as a career, enthusiasm waned. I was told my grammar wasn’t strong enough. I was good, but average.
These comments didn’t float around my mind, they cemented into my heart. I created a safe path for myself with a general communications degree in college and a job that featured publicity opportunities after graduation. Even as a new Christian after college I was too afraid to pick up the pen.
Fear dictated my choices. I didn’t want to be rejected, so I didn’t write for the public.
The stirring didn’t go away.
After I married, I experienced infertility. I started to write and share it. A well-meaning comment stopped me once again.
“Your story will depress people. You better not share it.”
So I didn’t.
Through two childbirths and a miscarriage, I let the pen rise only to create newsletters for my local Mothers of Preschoolers group. I was a voracious reader and there were times I’d finish a book and feel I could have written one just as good or better.
But I stayed afraid.
God loved me enough to gently encourage me to surrender that fear. I started to believe Him as I journeyed through Beth Moore’s online study, Believing God. The principles she shared via my computer monitor healed my wounded heart. From there I studied Captivating by Stasi Eldredge. This was the book God used to exchange my fears to faith. My mindset changed and my confidence grew as I allowed God to speak into my life. I loved being the publicity person for my local MOPS chapter.
And that’s when God asked me to stop doing it.
I was sitting at church listening to a sermon I’d read and heard many times. Abraham and his sacrifice. Although not an audible voice, this thought dropped and stayed with me: “Will you lay down your Isaac and trust Me?”
Without question, I knew God was asking me to resign from the publicity position to open myself up to Him completely. I obeyed and waited. It was hard not knowing what His plan was and I still battled fear of rejection and what others would think, but I didn’t give up. I read, researched, and created the tag line “Surrendering the good, the bad, and—maybe one day—the chocolate.”
On December 31, 2006, I had direction. Blogs were pretty new but I knew before the New Year, I was supposed to hit “create” and begin the writing journey. For Him. As He directs, when He asks.
Before the end of 2007 I was invited to a book signing. As one of the authors of an anthology.
To date, I have approximately 12 anthology and gift book credits. I blog every other Wednesday at http://christiansread.wordpress.com with Vicki Hinze, Hannah Alexander, Sarah Goebel, Elizabeth Goddard, Maureen Lang, Yvonne Lehman, Kathi Macias, James Rubart, Lynette Sowell and Kristin Heitzmann.
My first series, three contemporary romances based in the Adirondacks, is contracted through Write Integrity Press. Entrusted should be available now. My infertility story will soon be available through Chalfont Publishing as a devotional called A Walk through the Valley along with Heidi Glick, Elizabeth Maddrey, Kym McNabney, Paula Mowery and Donna Winters.
To God be the Glory.
Julie Arduini is an author with a passion to encourage readers to find freedom through surrender. Her first Adirondack contemporary romance, Entrusted, gives readers hope to surrender fear of change. A Walk Through the Valley will soon be available as an infertility devotional with 5 other authors. She blogs every other Wednesday at http://christiansread.wordpress.com and is a frequent contributor to http://jasminesplace.com. To learn more about her writing and love of chocolate, visit http://juliearduini.com. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children.