Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lessons from Key Verses

Writing for Heartsong Presents has brought me more wonderful gifts than I could've imagined. I've met wonderful people. I've learned so much about the publishing process. And I've gained some new insight and grown spiritually.
As part of the Heartsong reading experience, each story has a key verse or two that means something to the story or to the characters. What I've learned is that while I'm 'teaching' my characters the spiritual lesson they need to learn, God is busy teaching me the same spiritual lesson, taking me deeper into His truth than I've gone before.
For The Bartered Bride, I had two verses, one for each main character.

Proverbs 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will.

Jonathan Kennebrae prays over and over that God would change his grandfather’s heart. He believes God is capable of doing this. What he doesn’t realize is that God is capable of changing his own heart. And that his heart is in need of changing.

Often I find myself praying that God would change someone else. That He would direct someone’s heart or decisions so at the very least won't harm me. What I’m learning is that I need to pray this prayer for myself, that God would direct MY heart, and stop worrying about what He might be doing with someone else.

Jer. 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Melissa is trying hard to cling to the belief that God is in control and that He is working everything out for her good, not to harm her, even when things don’t seem to be going the way she planned.
I am a planner. I like goals, maps, and schedules. I like knowing where I’m going, how I’m getting there, and when. Sadly, publishing doesn’t work that way. There are roadblocks, delays, detours, traffic jams, and uncertainty every step of the way. There are no guarantees, no lists of tasks to check off that, when you complete them, you can say, THERE. I’ve done everything and now I will be published.What Melissa and I both had to realize was that God working things out for our good doesn’t mean working things out the way WE want. Often we don’t know what will be for our own good until God brings it about. I needed to be reminded that God loves me, cares about me, and He knows what I need and when. I need to trust that truth and allow Him to work His will out in my life.
So, what have you been learning lately?
Have you ever taught your character a spiritual lesson that God wound up teaching you as well?
Has there been a novel that you've read that has touched you and taught you a spiritual lesson or illuminated something that was formerly a little cloudy for you?
Blogs hosting tour stops today (and there are a bunch!):


  1. YES! For sure. That's why I'm such a huge fan of Christian fiction. Both writing it and reading it. My character's spiritual lessons often end up becoming my own.

    The book that made the biggest impact on my spiritually had to be the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers. Wow. Just wow. :)

    I'm celebrating on my blog today! I think you know why. :)

  2. Great lessons, Erica. Funny how God will find a way to show us what He wants us to know, even through our own stories. I'm a planner too, but things seldom work out according to my plans. A reminder is always nice :)

  3. My lesson to learn is patience. And the what I want isn't always the way it will be. I make plans and God laughs (-;

  4. hmmmmm - my WIP's are always considered "fiction" but perhaps they're autobiographical in disguise. ;) Great post today!

  5. I love the first verse and it was a moving moment in the book when Jonathan realized he needed to be praying this prayer over himself instead of his grandfather.

    It definitely made me pause and think and realize there are times I should be doing the same thing.

  6. Great lessons, Erica. I learn constantly along side my characters, it's why I write.

    As far as reading, the strongest one I've read so far was years ago, but it still sticks with me. Karen Kingsbury's 911 series is a powerful message of Live Life. No matter what devestation comes to you, live your life with purpose, don't give up on it.

  7. Rachel Overton8:47 PM

    Karen Kingsbury books always grab me (when I have time to read for myself), but one book that I absolutely love provides a stunningly clear picture of Christ's love for us. It's "Covenant Child" by Terri Blackstock. Oh. My. If you haven't read it, you should.

  8. What an awesome idea. I can see how the author could gain insight into her characters. I am writing my first historical novel, this will be helpful to me.