I had some good news in my email box this morning. Heard from a friend that my novel, THE DEBT, won the National Readers’ Choice Award last night. And since I wasn’t at the ceremony to say anything, (clearing throat, tapping microphone), let me say that it was an honor to be nominated with the other inspirational category finalists: Colleen Coble, Denise Hunter, Arlene James, and Deborah Raney. They are my sisters in the Lord and they glorify Him with their voices and their talents. I’d also like to thank the Oklahoma chapter of RWA for recognizing that women not only have hearts that yearn to be fed, but spirits, too.
A personal note about THE DEBT: I’ve written sixty-seven (sixty-eight?) novels, and this was one of the few that came to me in a heartbeat. I had other things on the back burner, but the Lord said to me, “Write this one . . . now.” And so I did. It’s one of the shortest novels I’ve ever written–barely 70,000 words, if memory serves–and yet I struggled and prayed over every word. I wrote with a literal trembling in my bones, because the lesson of THE DEBT was one I was–and still am–learning. I remember asking my prayer team to pray long and extra-hard over that one!
I knew that the story of The Debt could cause great offense, but I also suspected the story would have great power and potential. I was anticipating bucketloads of negative letters from readers, and I haven’t received a single one. (Yet.)
Like my pastor friend says, God didn’t send Jesus down from heaven with a merry, “You take care, now!” I think He sent him down with a whispered admonition: “Take risks.”
The Debt was a risk for me. Living the story, for most of us, would be a far greater one. But its message is simple: live this day with an ear cocked to the Holy Spirit’s voice. Listen and obey. That is our one calling, nothing else matters.
Listen . . . and take the risk.