Jill, thanks so much for inviting me to join you today! After the crazy summer—make that crazy year—I’ve had, it’s nice to spend a pleasant day with friends and readers.
What made my life so crazy, you may ask? Well, just before Thanksgiving last fall, our daughter’s family of six moved in with us, with children ranging in age from teenage to toddler. For the past eight months, our home, a comfortable fit for my husband and me, was bursting at the seams! It was a sacrifice we were willing to make, though, since at the end of July, our daughter and family left for another overseas missionary assignment.
This will be their third extended period of service in a foreign country, and each time they leave, we go through a few weeks of heartache as we experience the emptiness of missing them. But what can you do when those you love are clearly honoring God’s call on their lives? We let them go . . . and we pray. And thank the Lord every single day for internet, email, and Facebook!
There are times I wonder where our daughter got all her “missionary genes,” while I’m content to sit here with my laptop and write stories all day. The idea of forsaking my safe, comfortable, (mostly) predictable lifestyle for the unknowns of the foreign mission field . . . well, there isn’t even the teeniest spark inside me that suggests that kind of calling.
So I remind myself that we all serve in different ways. As Paul writes, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us” (Romans 12:6a, NIV). Several years ago, I experienced what felt like a clear and convicting reminder that God had called me to be a writer, so I’ve tried to honor that call by writing stories that reflect God’s love and forgiveness, the sure hope we have in Christ.
In Her Hill Country Cowboy, my newest romance from Love Inspired, Christina Hunter wants nothing more than to honor her calling as a social worker helping troubled children and families. But when a traumatic accident puts her life and goals on hold, she has to find another way forward. It means leaving behind the security and comforts of home and venturing into the unknown. It’s scary, and there are new and unexpected obstacles, but with God directing her steps, things turn out far better than anything she could have planned for herself.
Whatever our calling, even if things aren’t going the way we planned or expected, the one thing we cannot do is let fear of the unknown hold us back. God sees beyond the present, and His plans will not be thwarted. Just as I must leave my children his His hands as they serve overseas, I trust that God is with me as I use my gifts right where He’s placed me. If that’s behind a laptop screen, then I’ll do my best to write God-honoring stories to inspire and encourage my readers.
Has God helped you identify your gifts? Has He called you to use them in a specific way? Share some of the joys and challenges you’ve experienced. Two commenters will receive a copy of Her Hill Country Cowboy.
Single father Seth Austin will do anything for his children. So when he discovers the new housekeeper his grandmother hired for their guest ranch is a former social worker, he plans to keep his family far away from Christina Hunter. Seth once almost lost custody of his beloved kids because of an overzealous social worker. Problem is his children adore Christina and her sweet service dog—and he’s starting to fall for her, too. Recuperating from an accident, Christina is determined to slowly ease back into her old life. But the more time she spends with them, the more she realizes that her future might be with the cowboy and his family.
About Myra: Award-winning author Myra Johnson writes emotionally gripping stories about love, life, and faith. Myra is a two-time finalist for the prestigious ACFW Carol Awards, winner of Christian Retailing’s Best for historical fiction, and winner in the Inspirational category of the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award. Originally from Texas but now residing in the beautiful Carolinas, Myra and her husband love the climate and scenery, but they may never get used to the pulled pork Carolinians call “barbecue”! The Johnsons share their home with two very pampered doggies who don’t always understand the meaning of “Mom’s trying to write.” They have also inherited the cute little cat (complete with attitude) their daughter and family had to leave behind.
Twitter: @MyraJohnson and @TheGrammarQueen
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**All (USA) comments on this post before midnight August 18, will go in the draw for a copy of Her Hill Country Cowboy. The two winners will be announced in the Weekend Edition on Sunday, August 20, 2017.**