Around 2:00 a.m. the next morning, after agreeing to the three book contract from Publisher #5, I woke up in a cold sweat. If I’d been buying a house, I would have called it “buyer’s remorse.” I was scared stiff about this new commitment.
My fear wasn’t because I didn’t want to write for WaterBrook. It was because the deal had been struck based upon a dream and an experience from my past — and nothing else. I had no synopsis, no plot, no experience in writing contemporary or Christian fiction. I didn’t know if I could do it. And if I couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t just be failing myself and my publisher. I would be failing God.
Yep. Full fledged panic attack.
I went into my office, pulled out my Bible and started to read. My mind was so blank, I couldn’t even pray. As “chance” would have it, I was reading through the Old Testament at the time and was in Isaiah. About 15 minutes into my mindless, fearful reading, I came to this passage:
“And I will lead the blind by a way they do not know,
In paths they do not know I will guide them.
I will make darkness into light before them
And rugged places into plains.
These are the things I will do,
And I will not leave them undone.”
(Isaiah 42:16, NASB)
Everything inside me grew still. I knew the Lord was speaking to my heart. The book that I was about to write had come from Him. He’d given me that dream, and He’d drawn me from where I’d been to where I was, and He would take me to where I was going. I didn’t have to know what the book was about or how to write it, because He did know. I was blind but God wasn’t. He was going to lead and guide me. He was going to make the rugged places into plains.
And so the contract was signed and my career as a writer of Christian fiction was on its way as 1997 rolled to a close.