I told you in my last post how I prayed that God would show me exactly what I was supposed to write and for whom. I didn’t want to write for the CBA as just another place to sell my stories. I had to know I was supposed to do this. I couldn’t just think it, and I couldn’t just walk through an open door and hope it was the right one. I needed to know.
Many things about how we as Christians are to live our lives are made clear in Scripture. But I haven’t found the verse yet that says, “Robin, you are to write for XXX.” Still, I was praying for a clear and unquestionable word from the Lord.
In late summer, I was driving to an appointment, talking to God as I went, and I said, “Lord, I know that You talk to Your people. But if You’re talking to me, I’m unable to hear. If you need a two by four to get my attention, please use it. I need Your answer.”
In September, the editor with whom I had breakfast at RWA asked if I would take part in a conference call with the publisher and marketing director of her house. She said she knew my heart for God and she wanted those two people to know it too. So in early October, we had that call. We were still talking about the possibility that I would write historical romances for them. The call went well. Nothing extraordinary, but well. And then as we were about to end it, I had this sudden “inspiration.” I don’t know what else to call it. I asked if they could spare me a few more minutes. Then I proceeded to tell them the dream that I’d had six months earlier, followed by my personal experience from which it sprang. When I was done, everything felt different.
About ten days later, I had an offer for a three book contract. That was amazing and wonderful. But what I didn’t have was a go-ahead from the Lord. I still didn’t know if this was what He wanted from me. Talk about putting my prayer time into overdrive. The publisher was waiting for an answer and I couldn’t say yes or no.
More than a week after getting the offer, I was in church on a Sunday morning. Two missionary couples, one of them from Sri Lanka, were sharing with the congregation. And suddenly, out of nowhere, God spoke to me in one of those almost audible voices: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:10)
As clear as if it had been shouted from the pulpit, God told me that He had prepared the writing, the books, my career, so that I could walk in them. He told me that what was in store for me was beyond anything I’d hoped for or dreamed of. I was shaking as I heard Him speaking to me.
And after a pregnant pause, God told me what He wanted from me in return: To be sold out to Him. 100% sold out. No holding back sold out. It wasn’t only my career that changed in that moment. I changed, too. I knew that never again would I allow my faith to grow cold or lukewarm. Never again would I walk a fence. I would be bold in my faith and I would cling to Christ, no matter what.
On Monday morning, I called my agent and told her I wanted to accept the contract offer and to please start working out the small details. By the end of the month, I had signed with WaterBrook Press (a subsidiary of Random House), Publisher #5.
And then came the fear!