Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Never-Ending Story Hits Home

Last week I received this email. It reminded me how efficient God is. He'll use one person's struggles to help another. (Email printed with permission.)

Dear Brandilyn,

Can I tell you that you're an answer to my prayers?! Oh, wow! I have to begin by confessing that I've not yet read any of your books. However, I sat down at 2 today and read through your 65 entry "Never Ending Story". I could barely tear myself away! And what I found there was relief and the confirmation that I needed. Thank you!

When I was a 25 year old English major at Methodist College (now Methodist University), my senior project was to write a feature length screenplay. My professor, a Jewish-born atheist with Buddhist tendencies, (Yes, at a Methodist school) wouldn't allow me to write anything about God, faith, or religion in my screenplay. Though I received an A- on the project (and his recommendation to send it to Hollywood), I knew in my heart that I hadn't written something that God was satisfied with. I wasn't satisfied with it either, but in the press of graduating, moving, and beginning a "real" job, I knew that I wouldn't have time to do anything further. I put my screenplay and all of its accompanying paperwork into a Reebok shoebox, wrapped it well with packing tape, and stuck it on the top shelf of the closet of my spare room.

Two weeks ago, sitting in my quiet living room at my laptop, with my dog snoring at my feet (typical), I heard God's still small voice tell me to rewrite my screenplay. But the strange thing was that God didn't tell me to rewrite it in screenplay format. He told me to adapt it into novel form. OH MY GOSH!! I'll be quite honest with you-- I thought that God had missed it or that I had lost it. I haven't thought about that screenplay but a dozen times in the past five years that it's sat in that closet! I have a BA in English, but my creative writing classes were all in popular magazine writing and poetry. And my concentration was in ESL. Those credentials do not a novelist make!

Once I'd regained my composure, I began to seek God about how I was going to go about obeying Him. The first thing He told me was to start reading novels and diagramming them as I did so to teach myself structure. I'm a VORACIOUS reader (I spend more on books than I do on clothes, shoes, makeup, and jewelry combined) and so this was not a chore for me. The second thing He told me to do was to go back and study the characters He'd given me for the screenplay. And the third thing He told me to do was to read your blog-- a little amazing since I'm not very familiar with your work.

I honestly don't know that this novel will ever be published. God didn't tell me to publish it-- just to write it. And when I started studying my characters, I realized that each of my characters contains a lesson that God wants to teach me about myself. In a way, they're all me... The young ones, the old ones, the men, the women, and the children... Even the dog... They all contain pieces of me that God wants to use to show me myself and Himself. Wow! I'm so amazed!

When I read your blog, you confirmed what God was doing with me. You pointed me (and your faithful BG's) back to God and said this is not about me or you. This is about God. And in saying that, you absolutely confirmed what God's doing in my life... And this confirmation means everything. I may not have the skills or the talent, but He does. And as long as I learn the lesson He has for me to learn, I've done the most important thing.

The "Never-Ending Story" referred to is titled "How I Got Here" in this blog's archives. This gal has joined ACFW and has already begun writing her book. How interesting it will be to see where God leads her on the journey!


Anonymous said...

Inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

Pam Halter said...

Very cool!

Nicole said...

When God uses us, it's just the best, you know? The best. What a great letter.