Friday, April 29, 2005

How I Got Here, Part 44


Fabulous Friday!

Well, got a fair amount of comments yesterday. I appreciate those who said “appreciate your post—it’s timely.” Guess that’s confirmation that I should tell this story, even though I was dragging my heels about it.

Megan—you asked how extensively I plot. I’d say I’m in the middle ground in this area. I know the premise, basic twists and definitely the ending twist of a book. I just don’t know all the details. These become clear as the characters are fleshed out and their motivations lead them to action. Although I have tried it, I simply can’t plot every chapter and scene of a book ahead of time. Just doesn’t work for me.

Okay, we return to our NES. We left off with a rather decent cliffhanger, if I do say so myself. Rats. Shoulda wrote that post today and left y’all hangin’ over the weekend.

One serious thing I want to say up front. This story is not typical. As a result of this experience, I don’t equate every bad thing that happens to me as the direct work of some demonic force. I try to keep a level view on such things. On the other hand . . . I’m a lot wiser about spiritual warfare than I used to be.

Final action in yesterday’s post—I prayed for God to show me whether the sense of oppression hanging over me and my inability to write was a direct spiritual attack. I can remember this prayer so well. I was jogging on the country road by our house at the lake in Idaho. I was up there by myself for a few days—trying to write some pages of Capture the Wind for Me.

Ha-ha.

The next day early in the afternoon I received a call from a writer friend (WF). I hadn’t talked to her in some time. She’d had to track me down, starting with calling our California home. She had no idea of what I was going through, including my hard time with writing. And she had no details of the current book I was working on.

“You’ll probably think I’m crazy,” she said. “But I felt so strongly that I needed to call you. I fought the feeling all morning, but—no, I’m meant to talk to you.”

Talk about a hook of an opener. She sure had me. “Okay. Shoot.”

“Well, I had a dream about you last night. And I’m supposed to tell you about it.”

Whoa. Those are prayin’ words. There had been numerous times in the past when God had led me to interpret a dream for someone. So when anyone says to me, “I had this dream . . .” I immediately begin praying for an interpretation if there happens to be one. I assured WF that the thought of God’s sending someone a dream with a message for me was not crazy to me at all. She didn’t know this about me (it’s not something I talked about), and was relieved to hear I wouldn’t want to send her to the loony bin.

“Okay, so here’s the dream. You and I were standing in a circle with a bunch of other people. I couldn’t see any of their faces. We were all praying in front of this building. I don’t know what the building is, but somehow I do know that it’s very important. It was made of brick and had a large front door with aluminum around it. Some of the bricks around the door were lighter in color than the rest of the bricks.

“Suddenly while we were praying, a black cloud of pure Evil came out of the sky. It swooped down, and I could see it was an evil spirit. And it wrapped itself around your neck and lifted you off the ground.” She drew a breath. “Brandilyn, I saw your eyes, and you were terrified. I immediately started praying for you. And that thing left you and came to me. I woke up in a terror I can’t even explain. I’ve never had anything like that happen to me before. All I could do was pray and say the name Jesus, Jesus, Jesus over and over again. And I recited scripture. And the fear passed.”

Oooookay. Myriad thoughts went through my head. The first of which was—WF may think twice before ever praying for me again.

There was no subtlety about the evil spirit part of her dream. I had been in the presence of spirits myself before. I know that feeling of pure evil. If you’ve ever felt it, there’s no denying it. I also knew that God had led WF to do exactly what should be done—call on the all-powerful name of Jesus.

But I wasn’t getting the building part. And I had to believe, if WF sensed it, that this aspect of the dream was very important.

“Describe that building to me again,” I said.

“Yeah, I feel really frustrated because I don’t know what it’s supposed to be.” WF said the same things she had before. The bricks. Some lighter in color around the door. And that large door with aluminum around it. “You know,” she added, “like the door on a grocery store.”

Bingo.

The knowledge hit me in the chest. How had I not recognized this? For a minute I could hardly speak.

In chapter one of Capture the Wind for Me, a tornado hits the town of Bradleyville. The old grocery store, made of brick, sustains some damage. Some of the bricks around the door are loosened and blown away. When the building is repaired, the new bricks are lighter in color than the old ones.

WF’s building was straight out of the book I was trying so desperately to write.

Well, God, guess I have my answer.


Yes, I was under spiritual attack. And I was going to have to pray, along with the help of some trusted friends, against this attack.

One thing I know about evil. Just like what happened in WF’s dream, it doesn’t like to be prayed against. And it’s likely to fight back.


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Read Part 45

12 comments:

Hope said...

I have chills!

Cheryl Russell said...

Hope isn't the only one with chills. Me too. ::shudder::

Tracey said...

Great post!!! Can't wait to hear what happens next!!!

Kelly K said...

Oooh, our God is so AWESOME. If the part of our lives that is hidden from us was visible, fiction writers would be out of business. I.E. Elisha's frightened friend who's eyes were opened to the fiery battlefield surrounding him. How could any of us come up with a scene as amazing as that?

Well, Brandilyn could maybe still spin a suspenseful tale.....or two...after all we all keep coming back for our NES fix. Guess we're BC-NES junkies.

Thanks for sharing your story. I wonder if artistic thinkers are more spiritually discerning?

Katy said...

You are going to keep going, aren't you? This is something I need to understand, too.

Lynette Sowell said...

This is exactly where I KNOW how powerful fiction can be. I live in a world of people who are quick to pooh-pooh Christian fiction as mere fluff and entertainment. It makes me keep on track--and realize that sometimes there is a battle going on. Have you have had to battle yourself to get a book finished (barring any spiritual attacks)? I find I'm my own worst enemy sometimes.
Happy Friday~

Cindy Q said...

Brandilyn, I gave a copy of Capture the Wind For Me to my niece for Christmas last year. She's read the book three times.

Also, in her English class they are required to read a book--any book of their choice--during class. She brought your book to school. Isn't it cool that your book has made its way into the public school system?! I know those demonic forces didn't want that to happen!

Love you and appreciate what you do!

Cindy Q

Ron Estrada said...

I understand, BC. The more in tune I am with the Lord, the more strange things happen. Two years ago I felt something come into our bedroom (before the evil cats). I could even feel it (physically) sit on the edge of our bed. I just started saying the name of Jesus and it left. It's hard to explain what evil feels like, but you sure do know it when it's there.

Rich said...

Now I know where the "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus" comes from in Dead of Night!

Evil is real. When I was in full-time ministry, my co-worker woke up in the middle of the night and saw a dark presence in her bedroom. She was scared stiff and prayed to Jesus. When she turned on the light, it was gone. This was right after a victorious ministry event. The most convincing thing was her two cats: normally rambunctious, she found them hiding and trembling down stairs. They wouldn't go back into her bedroom. After a few days of this, friends came and prayed for her and her home. When they finished, she found the cats asleep on her bed. Kind of reminds me of Balaam's ass in Numbers 22:28 (seriously).

Kathy Kovach said...

Maybe you should use the tag, "Seatbelt Suspense, Riveting Reality!" Coming from an occultish family, (grandfather toppled tables, sister read Tarot cards, I dug into astrology,) I know what spiritual battles are being fought around us daily, especially if we are about our Father's business. It is so important when God gives you or someone else a dream, that they are interpreted by the Holy Spirit. I had a panic attack just a month ago as I was stepping into a new door in the writing world. Brain freeze like I've never had before! Exactly as Brandilyn describes it. I had the ACFW prayer loop pray, and within an hour I could feel it lift. By the next day I was my same wacky self, ready to tackle my writing. I had two dreams later, both where I was in what normally would have been a scary place for me, but I had perfect peace. There was a little girl with me in both dreams, whom I comforted as we walked around. I believe that little girl was me, and that I need not fear the unknown. I'm working on two different writing projects that are the next step in my career. Scary? Yes. But I'm holding God's hand, just like the little girl was holding mine.

ValMarie said...

Hi Brandilyn! I'm a new poster. I borrowed "Eyes of Elisha" from a fellow teacher at school and I loved it. It was the first book of yours that I've read and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of your suspense novels.

I just read my way through your archives and I can't wait to hear the rest of this story. It's been really encouraging to me as I'm working on writing a novel.

I also have a question for you. I love Christian fiction and have ideas that I'd love to write for that market. But I also feel like I should write for the secular market as well. Not anything that compromises who I am as a Christian, but rather tackles some of the tough issues in a novel that's targeted to non-Christian readers. So my question is this: Do you think God can call a Christian to write for the secular market?

Dineen A. Miller said...

Hi Brandilyn,
Just caught up on the blog, and when I read the last two posts I got goosebumps. Why? Because I felt like I was reading my own current struggle. Writing has been like a trickle the last few weeks and the interruptions have been unbelievable. My kids are under attack too. I feel like I'm walking in acquagmire! I've been warned of this before by a WF but didn't understand. Now I do, but I'm not sure how to fight it. My prayers and request for prayers have been more directed for my perseverence and my family's. Maybe it's time to ask for prayers of protection. Any suggestions?