Here we have the continuing journey of Sally Bradley as she answers the question, “How have you seen God work in your writing journey?” If you missed the Part 1, you can click here to read the first half of her writing journey.
A few months after I’d healed, God moved us from the church where my husband worked to a church…eight hours away. We knew that I would need to work part-time to make ends meet. Reluctantly I put my writing away. I just didn’t have time to write, work, help my husband as a first-time head pastor, and write.
An unpublished writer who was far beyond her personal timeline for publication.
What I didn’t know—and what God did—was that we would have a third child a year after the move.
As soon as I realized I was pregnant, I was relieved I hadn’t started my publishing career. I was still working, although from home as a freelance editor, and in another two years we would start homeschooling after the great Christian school our kids attended merged with another school and the education level plummeted. There was no way that I could take care of a baby and work part-time and be a pastor’s wife, a wife, a mom, a homeschooling mom, and write.
Talk about discouraging.
Time passed. Almost four full years. Our youngest was three, and our older two in middle elementary were a huge help and self-sufficient themselves. Life slowed down.
And I longed to write again.
Our church watched a series of videos by pastor and writer John Piper on desiring God. As the desire to write grew in my mind, I listened to Piper talk about how God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him, how Psalm 16:11 shows that there is and should be pleasure in Christianity because of who God is and because of His plans for us.
What were His plans for me? I knew the answer immediately. God had made me to be a writer. And I would be happiest in Him when I obeyed Him in every way—and that meant writing.
The next year I began writing again. The time away from writing had renewed its value to me, and I worked through my schedule, carving time from each workday to devote to my book. And I found it true that when God was the center of my life and I followed Him, I had true happiness and joy in my life.
Is my journey over? Of course not. I look back on the book that resulted in two agent offers and I’m thankful it didn’t sell. My writing is so much better now, and I’m thankful that God’s made me wait until I grew as a person and as a writer.
My current book is getting good feedback. I’ve had a number of beta readers who’ve truly supported me as I work to finish the thing. I have people who are asking to read all of it (after reading the first three chapters) once I get my revisions done. And at the last conference, two industry pros told me I could write. Really write.
Is my first sale in sight? I don’t know. I’d like to think so. I certainly hope so. But the one thing I’ve learned in the sixteen years since I started writing adult Christian fiction is that all those years of dreaming and writing and hoping were not wasted. Life was hard at times, but at times it was crazy fun too.
I’m thankful now that God made me wait. The waiting will make that first book all that much sweeter. And I’m thankful that God brought me through things to make me a stronger writer and a more Christ-like woman. If I could do it over, I would still wait. I wouldn’t rush the journey. Wouldn’t force a sale ten years ago to meet my childhood dreams.
I’m thankful God walked my writing journey with me—that He’s still walking it with me. And I know that when things don’t work out the way I’d wanted, it’s because God knows what’s best for me. And learning to trust Him has been the best part of the writing journey.
Sally Bradley has worked for two publishers, writing sales and marketing materials, sorting through the slush pile, and proofreading and editing fiction. She has a BA in English and a love for fiction, especially fiction that points to God and provides hope.
A Chicago native, Sally now lives in the Kansas City area with her pastor husband who moonlights as a small-town cop. She runs her freelance editing service from her estate-find roll-top desk and hides out in the unfinished basement with the characters from her own book. Sally is a three-time Genesis finalist, and her current work-in-progress won two other writing contests in 2013. She writes realistic, honest contemporary fiction. You can find her at sallybradley.com or her writer page on Facebook, Sally Bradley, Writer.