Posted by: JennyRain | February 8, 2010

Pursuing your dreams: Who is helping you?

I would love to write a book.

Creativity expressed through words, to me, is a part of who I have always been. I love to write.

Though I’m not sure what this book will be about, I still feel that a book is brewing in me.

This book has been there for a while now…

Ten years ago several friends and I attended a prayer gathering.

During this prayer gathering two women prayed over each of us. Though I am not huge on “words of prophecy” and often think that they are a bunch of bunk, in this particular case, a prophetic word claimed over one of my compatriots rocked me.

One of the prayer women said to my friend, “You will write a book one day.”

Instantly, that “word” grabbed me. I remember locking on to it as if it was my word. Leaving the gathering I asked my other friend

“Do these ladies ever get a prayer prophecy wrong?”

“Why?” said my friend.

“Because I know the word shared with our friend was for me, not for her.”

The prayer-lady’s statement about writing a book has stuck with me for years.

Whether it was a prophecy or just a random thought is not relevant. What is relevant is that I locked onto it and have not let go which means there was something in the statement “You will write a book” that resonated deeply within my spirit.

Throughout the years, I have attempted to move in the direction of said book.

Though the process has been rocky at times, what I have gained in the process is a cobble-stone path paved with people who have provided invaluable advice and support to me that has impacted my writing forever.

These individuals have made an incredible impact on my journey of writing.

Rich Hurst, author of several books and Director of Staff and Leadership Development at McLean Bible was the first.

During the process of pitching my bible study, the Princess Behind the Mask (PBM), to a variety of publishers, Rich asked what my goal was for the study guide. I told him that whether two million people or two people were impacted by it was irrelevant. What was important to me is that God used it to make a healing impact on women.

What I did not know at that time is that God was using that conversation to help me face the upcoming disappointment of it not being published.

This has been critical to my survival in the land of publishing.

Kathy Sharp, then Director of Communications at Saddleback Church/Purpose Driven Network was the next to make an impact.

I met Kathy at a SheSpeaks conference in 2005 when she was assigned to evaluate my writing.

After giving Kathy permission to not “sugar-coat” her evaluation of my writing, she candidly said to me, “Your writing lacks focus. It takes me all over the place. I like your writing – it just needs focus.”

Ugh! Seven years later I’m still working on this (as many of you can probably tell from my stream-of-consciousness-blogging!) This continues to be one of the most difficult developmental areas for me, but I am regularly mindful of it.

Her advice remains incredibly valuable and I continue to ask the question of my writing, “is it focused?”

Terry Glaspey, author and Director of Acquisitions at Harvest House Publishers was the next to impact my life.

I met Terry while pitching the PBM at a SheSpeaks conference. Our meeting was brief – but powerful.

He took one look at the PBM, asked if I had written and designed it (raised his eyebrows and smiled when I said yes) and said “This is a great study guide. The problem is, very few people purchase only a study guide, they buy books. Write a book. When you have a chapter or two, send it to me, then we’ll talk again.”

Depressing? Maybe. But Terry was the first person to catalyze me into believing that a book was possible for me. This is where the book bug started.

I’ve kept his card since 2005 and during every false-start with the PBM I am reminded that I can do this and there is a publisher out there who has challenged me to send in a sample chapter.

Jim Johnston Director of Young Adult Ministry at Threads/LifeWay Christian Resources was the most recent to impact my life.

Rich connected me to Jim in 2006 when I was still pursuing a publisher for the PBM.

Jim was amazing and took a great deal of time to encourage and challenge me in my writing. He also hand-delivered the PBM to Lifeway’s editors for review. Those editors would be the exact same editors that review Beth Moore’s studies.

Wheeeee! Can I just stop a minute and tell you that the day I found out that the team that reviewed Beth’s studies had also reviewed mine was to date the single-most exciting writing experience of my life. It felt like I had arrived! At that moment, I did not care at all about getting published. I was more excited and hopeful that something would “rub off” on my writing as the reviewers reviewed it!

Anyway, I did not get a Lifeway contract, but found the courage to ask Jim what I needed to work on, this is what he said,

While you have great Biblical content in this study that is spot-on, I think it would be helpful if you could add more real-life stories from your walk and also strengthen it with some more life application. Most people who will be working through a study of this kind will be looking to you as a fellow-struggler and traveler through these issues. They need to see where you have been and how this content has played out in your life.

Please stay in touch and keep sending us your work. We believe you have a great potential and obviously have great insight into the Bible. Don’t get discouraged by this one setback. Hang in there and keeping thinking of us as you continue to write.

Share my story. Who would have thought that people might be interested to hear about my story. Wow!

So every day when I sit down to blog, Jim’s words come back to me “Share your story.” These words have changed my writing and challenged me to write as one “in process” rather than one “lecturing.”

Some days I do this better than others, but the point is, one email changed the approach I take to writing. I now have more courage to share my life stories in the belief that someone out there will be blessed by me doing so.

I am indebted to each of these individuals.

Each of these individuals has radically impacted my writing. I carry their nuggets of insight with me whenever I write, and challenge myself to implement their critiques regularly. Some days I do better than others.

So even though I am not yet published – I am so thankful to the people who have come alongside of me to challenge, encourage, and exhort.

Who has come alongside of you to help you reach your dreams?




  1. […] the people I blogged about last week who had impacted my writing passion to send it soaring? Well, it was at the SheSpeaks […]

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