I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying, “When God closes a door, he opens a window.” That statement has resonated quite deeply with me lately both in my life and as an author. In truth, when my husband had his double stroke, practically every door in my figurative house slammed shut on me.
I’ve been a successful full-time author for many years now and love writing contemporary western romances for Harlequin. But with his stroke, my husband had to retire early and is on disability, so nearly half of our monthly income was gone in a snap. I’m his full-time caretaker, but I was now also faced with having to be the sole breadwinner. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to do both.
In a panic, I started pounding on windows, most of which remained tightly closed. Other than Harlequin Love Inspired series romances, I couldn’t sell a book to save my life. I seriously started to think about going back into retail—my family likes to do this really weird thing called eat—but that wasn’t the answer. Who would be there for Joe? Plus, Joe absolutely hated the idea, when I’d worked so hard to become a full-time author in the first place.
While I won’t say the panic and stress has completely gone away, the Lord is opening some very interesting windows. I contracted with Guideposts for fifteen devotionals for their All God’s Creatures daily devotional book. I wrote about horses and pigs and goats. I know—right up my alley, right?
I’ve got a couple of really exciting writing projects coming up. The first is a secret collaboration I can’t WAIT to share with everyone. Let’s just say be ready for some Ho-Ho-Holiday cheer. Second, I signed a contract with Sweet Promise Press, a brand new small publisher headed by self-pub savvy Melissa Storm, to write a romantic comedy called Mommy Loves the Dog Doctor.
I’ve also got some of my first self-publishing efforts in the works as time allows.
I’m still writing for Harlequin and have a December book, A Christmas Baby for the Cowboy, which is the last of my Cowboy Country books. I just got my first glance at the ADORABLE cover and will be sharing that with you soon. I’ll probably keep my next series set in Serendipity, Texas, but I’m excited to propose something brand new.
Last, and this is the avenue the Lord has given me to make the month-to-month income I need to feed hungry mouths, I’m doing freelance editing through Upwork under the name Debra Kastner. (Any of you self-published authors out there looking for an editor? Hint, hint!!!) It’s hard work and I often have to put in a lot of hours, but it’s been a great joy working with different authors and various genres. I’ve done everything from business books to memoirs (one of Ireland, one of India…talk about fascinating!) to contemporary romance (natch!) to an epic fantasy where the young man who authored the story is sending me a chapter a day. I SO look forward to editing it. What a phenomenal story! He keeps me on my seat’s edge every single day.
So…yeah. When God closes a door, he opens a window. Sometimes several. Some just a crack, some wide open. I’m going in directions I never would have dreamed of a couple of years ago before Joe’s stroke. But I’m grateful God has given me a way to care for my husband so I can meet all his needs. I made a vow over 31 years ago to love that man with all my might, for better and worse, richer and poorer, in sickness and in health. Thank you, Jesus, for allowing me to do that.
And thank you, readers, for allowing me to bring my stories to you and follow my heart’s dream. And are you a member of Deb’s Daydreamers VIP? If not, I hope you’ll sign up for my newsletter here: Deb’s Daydreamers VIP Newsletter
Has God closed any doors or opened any exciting windows for you lately? Can’t wait to hear about those in the comments!