Part of my vision is to encourage teens to find their own gifts from God. Below is a sample of my message. Please contact me if you would like more information about arranging a speaking engagement.
I believe our purpose in life is to use our gifts from God to glorify Him and lead others to Him.
A daunting task indeed.
Some people’s gifts are easy to spot and it’s easily understood how they can be used – an excellent speaker, talented musician, inspiring teacher, but not everyone knows what their gifts are or how to use them.
If this is you, don’t be discouraged.
I think the easiest way to find your gifts is to focus on what you are good at and what you enjoy. Of course this is easier said than done.
At this time I believe I am called to write Young Adult Christian novels. I spent many years searching for my gift, trying different things and failing at many of them before it became clear that I should focus on writing.
While I’ve always enjoyed writing, the catalyst for my Young Adult writing began in 2009. My bookclub was reading Twilight and I heard that Stephanie Meyers had started to write the same exact story but from Edwards point of view. I went to her website and read the few chapters she had written. This concept, seeing a situation from two sides, fascinated me.
That is when the story of Jake and Sophie literally popped into my head. Characters and situations just kept coming to me until I finally had to start writing them down. Then God really led the way. Odd things kept happening, such as mailings about the Olympics and snowboarding training facilities showing up out of the blue. When I chose the town’s name I googled it to see if there was an actual Silver Springs, Colorado. Oddly enough, I found out there once was a Silver Springs in the exact spot I had envisioned it.
Originally my book was not written as a Christian story. I simply wanted to write good moral Young Adult fiction. As a mother I searched for young adult stories that were full of adventure and excitement and exemplified the morals I wanted to instill in my own children. There were some great books out there, but there were also many books written for YA audiences with very mature themes and topics that didn’t always fit with my value system.
I eventually came across a book which combined all the elements I loved in a story – humor, action, mystery, a little romance and a Christian message. I realized this was exactly the type of story I wanted to write, fun and exciting with positive role models and good values. I wanted my characters’ faith to be part of their daily lives. I like to call my style Potpourri Fiction since it encompasses so many styles all in one.
When I adjusted the book to fit in the Christian genre there suddenly was more interest in it from publishers. My success has been a fairly long process. The original idea came to me in the spring of 2009 and it took until August 2015 until it was published – six and a half years. These years included:
97 query letters send to publishers and agents
35 rejection letters received
5 requests to see the whole manuscript
2 letters of feedback even though their answers were “no”
and finally –
So even though God created me with many different interests, it took me a long time to actually know what my calling was and to be able to answer it.
The Perfect Blindside’s overall theme is to use your God given gifts to glorify Him. We are all blessed with talents and interests and I believe God wants us to serve Him by using these gifts to bring others to Him. An Unexpected Role is about discovering who God wants you to be. And Where You Lead explores the idea of saying “yes” to God’s call.
There may be some of you who are already doing amazing things for God. Others may be thinking you have no ideas or talents, but you do. It may take years to fully figure it out, but I would say continue to hone your skills and interests and one day when you least expect it, God will have a plan for you. You may try numerous things along the way that may fail, but that’s ok – it’s all part of making you who you need to be for His greater purpose. Our setbacks do make us stronger and amazingly can help people in the future.
Most importantly pray for guidance, patience, and perseverance, because focusing on God will always lead you in the right direction.