I've been a writer for 30+ years. Started in the cradle, obviously. (Okay, stop laughing.) But I can't claim that I understood the power of story, the importance of written words, until I'd been writing for over a decade. That's when I read the mainstream release of Francine Rivers' Redeeming Love in November 1991. She calls the book her statement of faith.
I had read some of Francine's secular romances from the 1980's, and although I didn't know her then, I did notice when I didn't see any of her books in a long time. Years, actually. In the summer of 1991, I read about her upcoming release, and the article told about how she had come to Christ and lost the ability to write until God showed her the story He wanted her to write, based on the Book of Hosea. At the time, although I was a Christian, I wasn't walking closely with Him (another way of saying I was in rebellion). But I was longing to get right with Him again, and her story in that magazine called to me.
I bought Redeeming Love the moment it released and stayed up way into the middle of the night to finish it. I wept and wept, declaring it the best book I had ever read. God used that novel to plant in me the desire to write something that beautiful, that meaningful, that powerful for Him. But first I had to go through a renewal and healing process in my own life. I never dreamed in 1991 that I would soon have the privilege of calling Francine my friend. Nor did I dream that He would open the door for me to write books for Him.
Sometimes our dreams for ourselves are too small. Aren't they?
Speaking of the power of words, this weekend I watched the DVD of The Iron Lady. I can't call it a great movie, even though Meryl Streep's acting was awesome (as always). I give it 3 stars and feel I'm being generous. It could have been great if they hadn't muddled it up with her descent into dementia. The parts about when she was Prime Minister was when the film excelled.
Anyway, toward the end of the movie, I had to stop the DVD and write down Mrs. Thatcher's words:
Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become your character.
And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
Oh, yes! Wish I'd written those words myself.