About five years ago God placed in my heart a desire to switch from writing fiction to writing nonfiction. I’d been teaching a women’s Bible study and speaking at women’s events and it felt right and good. And so, I began writing nonfiction for women. But just because I was writing it didn’t mean it was time for it to be out in the world. In fact, it would be years before it was time.
I love how Banning Liebscher explains this in his book, Rooted, “When the Lord speaks to you, it is like seeing a second line on a pregnancy test. He’s telling you that you’re pregnant and that it’s time to start preparing for that word to come to pass… The Lord doesn’t give us what we’re asking for at first. Instead, He gives us a word.”
This desire to write nonfiction for women—to dive deep into the Bible and write about what it means for us today—burned deeply in my heart. God flooded me with ideas and words. I wrote and wrote and wrote—entire chapters and manuscripts and Bible studies. But the market is hard. And because I was “known” as a YA fiction writer (which had been a fabulous thing to write, but now God was calling me into new territory) agents and editors were hesitant about me switching genres and about taking a risk on my new endeavor.
There were some extremely hard days. Days when it felt like I was wasting time pounding out stories in my writing nook for no one to read. Stretches of weeks and months when I got so many rejections, I began to second guess myself. Of course, my goal was to write for Jesus. But the world’s opinions swirl and whirl around us. They made me dizzy. And when I’m dizzy, I eventually fall.
But God was faithful. He always is. He’d give me the encouragement I needed, just when I needed it most to stand back up. My heavenly Father reminded me time and time again that the writing was for Him. That He was pleased simply because I was writing. He taught me so much about His love and the peace, joy, courage, and hope He offers. Would I just write for Him and stop worrying about worldly outcomes?
And two weeks ago, How Sweet the Sound released—a nonfiction book for women. All because God planted a desire in my heart and then over time orchestrated countless pieces in a complex puzzle to make it a reality. All because our God? He is faithful.
Jesus blessed me with so many opportunities to share about it—about the power of hymns to point us back to how powerful our God is, how very much He loves us, and that He will never ever forsake us. Like this devotional video "The Perfect Worship Song Playlist."
I encourage you today—wherever you are on your journey—to hold fast to the dreams and ideas and paths that God has instilled in your heart. He is Almighty. Meaning if He asked you to do it, gave you a passion for something, He is 100% capable of making it happen. He does love you. You are His child, His very own, made in His image. Therefore, He only wants what’s best for you. He is always on your side. And He won’t leave you or give up on you. Even if you get distracted, delayed, or give up on Him. For those of you who have been pregnant—with a business idea, brainstorm, or baby—you know it is a long, exhausting process, that seems to take for-ever. But God is faithful. Always there. Cling to Him and you’ll marvel at what He does in and through your life.
If you'd like to hear me talking more about how hymns remind us of God's great love for us, His power to overcome anything and His steadfast faithfulness click on the images below. Praying my journey will encourage you to keep fighting the good fight, taking the next step in your journey, chasing after what Jesus has put in front of you.
Laura L. Smith