Do you believe in coincidences when it comes to your writing journey?
I don’t believe that “a-ha” moments or life-changing connections happen by chance. Today’s blog is an encouraging reminder that wherever you in your writing journey, you aren’t pressing toward your goal alone. Even when you’re frustrated that God hasn’t opened the doors to accomplish your desired goals, He loves to surprise you with reminders that He is present along your path.
The good news is that you can put yourself in position to experience a God-moment at some point or another. You can’t control when these moment’s happen–that’s why we call them “God-moments.” However, these serendipitous moments are more likely on the heels of a courageous risk or an action springing from your belief that God is the God of abundance, not scarcity. Both are the catalysts for surprising and wonderful God-moments.
Can you recall any God-moments in your writing journey? If none springs to mind, here are a few prompts to jump-start your reflection:
- Did you meet another writer or influencer who turned into an unexpected source of encouragement or mentoring?
- Do you recall an “a-ha moment” conversation with a critique partner, agent or editor that sparked a new direction or helped you solve a problem, like an idea to grow your platform?
- Have you sensed a deeper connection with God as you’ve had to lean into Him for strength, courage, and perseverance?
Recently, I experienced a fun God-moment at the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference where I served as a literary agent on behalf of our Books & Such team. If you haven’t seen the lovely coverage on the conference from Publishers Weekly, you can click here for a photo essay recap. This was the first in-person ACFW Conference since the pandemic. The air buzzed with happy sounds of reunion as long-time friends and first-timers met each other.
On the second day of hearing pitches from hopeful authors, I was taking a 15-minute break. Back-to-back appointments are highly efficient, but after so many appointments in a row, I needed a breather. I was halfway through my much-needed break when our ACFW appointments czar appeared and whispered, “I know that you’re on a break, but can you fit in an appointment?”
One of my esteemed fellow agents from a different agency couldn’t appear in-person due to Covid. While the agent took pitches via Zoom the first day, they needed to cancel due to Covid symptoms on the second day. Several would-be authors were disappointed that their appointments were canceled.
One participant was brave enough to ask if another agent could fit it a pitch, even though our schedules were all full. She wasn’t pushy or whiny. She simply and courageously made her request. When I was asked if I could fit her in, I chose to say yes.
As it turns out, her courage and my willingness to cram in an appointment put us both in the position to experience a sweet God-moment. The author had a chance to pitch her idea, and as it turns out, she shared a specific story pitch that I’d been waiting all day to hear!
We couldn’t have orchestrated that situation on our own. (To be clear, God doesn’t hand out backhanded blessings, meaning that He doesn’t cause bad things to happen to some so that good things could happen to others. We live in an imperfect world, so we don’t always understand unfortunate circumstances–like the illness of an agent–yet I believe that God knows how to redeem disappointing circumstances in our imperfect world.)
God-moments are bursts of hope to fuel your writing journey. Those moments help you to remember that God hasn’t lost track of your hopes and dreams.
He sees you when it doesn’t feel like you’re making fast enough progress.
He sees you when you’re working out your words in front of your laptop alone.
He sees you when rejection and disappointment happen, and you aren’t sure if you want to keep going.
My friend, hold onto your courage, even when you want to put it down and pack it. One courageous moment can open the door to the encouragement or breakthrough that you’ve prayed for.
Earlier in this post, are three reflection questions for you to ponder. My hope and prayer is that as you remember or even recognize God-moments, you’ll be encouraged today to stay confident that God is at work and active in your writing career.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION: What God-moments have you experienced in your writing career? Where are you walking out courage these days?
What an inspiring post! Thank you, Barb!
I have experienced many God-moments, but the most powerful one, I think, was the first one in my writing journey. I was still trying to determine if God had, indeed, called me to write for Him.
Neophyte (Translate: clueless) that I was, I tentatively submitted a poem to The Saturday Evening Post, not realizing that my chances of being published in that prestigious slick were virtually non-existent. But it was just like God to give me an acceptance to confirm His call on my life. To this day, I praise Him and thank Him for that God-moment that launched me into a writing ministry.
MaryAnn, that’s a powerful story! Thank you for stopping by and sharing it today. Your courageous will inspire others!
You’re most welcome, Barb. Thank YOU for your inspiring post. Many blessings!
Thank you for this encouragement to start our week! It’s a valuable reminder.
Although I’ve been blessed with many God-moments along the way, I can still sometimes be slower to step out than I should be. One recent step of courage was to send a submission to a Christian blog that I’ve long wanted to query. I clicked “send” right before checking email this morning and reading your post. So I think this post just became a God-moment for me! 🙂
Wow! Leigh, this makes me smile so big for you! Congratulations on courageous hitting that “send” button and sharing your story as an encouragement for others to be courageous today, too!
My God-moment was much like MaryAnn’s. The very first prose I sent in as a possible submission was published. I had no idea that it could be difficult to get published that first time. It blessed me to just keep writing and submitting as much as I could.
Awesome! Ann, thanks for stopping by our Books & Such blog today and joining the conversation. Keep going!
Robin W. Pearson
This is one of those moments, much-needed encouragement to keep pressing. Thanks for allowing God to use you!
Hi Robin! Your comment blesses my heart because you’ve allowed God to use you as part of His work in other writers life so many times. I’m glad that He planned this encouragement today for you!
Kristen Joy Wilks
Thank you so much for this reminder, Barb! I had such an interesting God moment during worship at the Cascade Writer’s Conference this year. While it was so wonderful to meet you there and editors and pitch my stories and have 2 of my pieces final in the contest … I felt like God was giving me a nudge during worship. To prepare my heart not to win. To celebrate other people’s accomplishments. To make new friends and trust in His timing and His love. That nudge must have been my Lord after all. My stories didn’t win, I didn’t land an agent or sign a book contract. But the Lord is at work in me and through me and in His grace, He reminded me that part of the journey is losing and rejoicing with others and just getting to work and plodding along and writing the new thing and the next new thing after that. He sees and loves us every day, not just on the days where we win!
Eighteen years ago, I wrote my first and only query letter to an agent at the prompting of my mentor and creative writing professor at a junior college. To our mutual astonishment, the agent responded and asked to read my work. While the agent ultimately decided not to represent me, my professor and I became great friends, and I’ve clung to the encouragement of that agent’s email for all these years!
A year and a half ago, I was able to leave my job and focus on the calling I’ve always had on my life: writing. I finished my novel on a Saturday, and on the following Wednesday through a friend in Bible study, God put me in a writing group in another jaw-dropping way that only He could pull off. Again, another friend and I were blown away!
Then several weeks ago, the fearless leader of that writing group told us about a friend who was starting an editing business. Curious, I went to that lady’s website, saw that she was represented by Books & Such, which then led me to the Books & Such website. Imagine my astonishment to see that Janet Kobobel Grant is the president and founder of Books & Such. Janet Kobobel Grant – How could I ever forget? – is the agent who responded eighteen years ago to the only query letter I’ve ever sent to this day. I still have her original email dated July 7, 2004.
I’m not posting about this to land an agent; I’m posting in obedience to Him. I recognize He’s the author of this blog and that Barb Roosa was allowing Him to speak through her. (And shouldn’t that be the goal of all of us who write for Him?) I believe that our Father God speaks to us personally and profoundly and intimately so that only He can receive the glory. I’m giving it all to Him.
It may be that He’s also speaking personally to you through this blog like he’s speaking to many others. If so, I encourage you to respond as I have, in humility and gratitude and obedience. (And okay, tears, if I’m honest.) Reaching YOU may be the reason He gave Barb her words today and gave so many of us our experiences. What an honor to be a part of the story He’s writing for you.
How I wish my dear friend and former professor were still alive so I could tell her how God is using our creative writing adventure from so long ago! Then again, I’m sure she already knows.
It’s a gift of moments that I live,
and see God in the living answer
of what I have and must now give,
a message from the depths of cancer.
To live is Christ, to die is gain,
and I must live this as a duty
through the tired days of pain,
and find in it a kind of beauty
that sharpens word and thought alike
that I may shine a light of hope
when impaled upon the spike
of fear, the days I cannot cope,
but must yet wear a steadfast face
that I may yet deserve this grace.
I’m praying for you, Andrew.
Laquita, thank you. The days are flickering.