Wednesday, April 23, 2008

In the Shadow of His Wings

Today I read the first negative review of my work. It struck me as a blow. Like some stranger had passed by and proclaimed my child ugly, unworthy to be born.

I suppose I have been spoiled thus far in my journey as an author, as it was the first to wound me so. I found myself questioning everything, even my heart’s cry to proclaim the love of God as I pour all I have into these stories.

As I read the words I wanted to explain, to bend and weave my own magic to change a mind and seduce a heart. But no. That wasn't right.

Instead I soaked in the pain and felt it and breathed it and knew it. Suddenly, in the car to pick up my son from school, I remembered and prayed:

Lord, you are God over my emotions. You are the one that feeds
me and knows my deepest heart. I lay this at Your feet.
I cast off my burden of fear and rejection and left it to Him to do with as He willed. Whether to change me or still me. My eyes were on Him.

Later in the day, I received an email from a woman who had recently read one of my books. Her words were like the balm of Gilead:

Dear Jamie,

Since I know you receive so many letters telling you how much Snow Angel was enjoyed, I find myself at a loss to know how to express myself differently and sincerely to a person who is a natural at expressing emotion...... But, I'll try....... I have been an avid reader since I could read at about age 4, so you can imagine that if I had kept a list of read books, it would be very long. I tried it once, but in 7th grade when my notebook held a list of 200 books for the school year, I discontinued the practice. Having said that, my interests cover a wide range. But this book, this Noah and Elizabeth,..and Jane.....your ability to express emotion and stay pure without becoming bogged down in just wonderful. I must say that at 65, being a romantic at heart, I have read a lot of quality romances.....but this one was not only beautiful, but exciting, informative (Alaska, goldrush)and full of suspense. I could hardly put it down! All that with a lovely Christian ribbon running through it. I read with a 10x magnifier, and have had to do that for a lot of years now..and have been in the talking book program for about 30 years.but readers read,...and in your case, writers write! Thank you so very much for writing Snow Angel. (Would you consider a sequel to Noah & Elizabeth's life in Alaska? I can just imagine Jane and Ben resettling there, close to the Wesleys..........)

Very Sincerely, Sue Bridges Niles, Mi

How eloquent, how dear to my heart, how timely her email was. It was, to me, a gift from God and a message that renewed my strength. I know I will never please everyone, but the woman in me wants to. Her words, coming from a woman who has read so much, probably seen so much, and like me, is a true romantic at heart, meant more to me than she could ever know.

All For His glory and hiding in the shadow of His wings . . . as I am nothing,



Shannon said...

I don't know who would ever give you a bad review! I just discovered your books and took them on vacation. Lets just say, four days later my husband knew the titles and your name because I couldn't put them down!! I read them both in four days and when I got home I checked your web page to see if you had another one coming soon!! They were really great books...ones I will keep and re-read later. Thank you so much for writing them! I have to there anything coming out soon?!?! :)

Smilingsal said...

I have not yet read your works, but I have been hurt by words as you have. God is good, and you are correct: He will pick us up at JUST the right time!