God is an encourager.
Have you ever noticed that?
Right about the time I'm convinced I'm writing drivel, that I can't hear from Him anymore, that surely this is the worst thing I've ever done, He sends encouragement from unexpected places. This morning (Friday) I opened my email to a most encouraging note...from a completely unexpected place.
The woman who wrote it -- I know who she is, but I truly don't think she knows who I am...at least not in any real way. We write for the same house, but haven't really crossed paths. Yet the note she sent me was jam-packed with encouragement. Right when I needed it most. The kind that makes me think maybe I am ready for the next step God seems to be preparing for me.
And earlier this week I gave one of my first readers the first 110 pages of Captive Dreams. I know Canteen Dreams is a great story...it's the story of my heart. And while it could always be better, readers have really connected with it in a way that is blowing me away. And I really like Sandhill Dreams and how it turned out. I love the historical backdrop and the struggles I've forced the characters into. My first readers and editors have loved it, too. Always a good sign...the rest of y'all have to wait until May.
Captive Dreams has been harder. Almost felt like a job at times, as I struggle to locate the historical details that make the time come alive to me and hopefully, by extension, to the reader.
So I've struggled with this story. I even warned Sue she might not like it. Instead, she returns it a day later asking for more. Now the pages are lined with notes, so I know Sue actually read it carefully, and she's still in love with the characters and story. Wooh!
Me, I'm too close to it. I know everything I want to add and change. Yet the core of the story is working. And I desperately needed to know that as I race toward deadline.
So this morning, I am so incredibly thankful that God saw my deep need to know that I was on the right track. That I haven't missed Him. That He is pleased. And this week He sent two of His servants to convey that message in terms I cannot ignore.