Friday, June 1, 2012

Brass Heavens

From around the year 2000 for roughly seven years, I experienced what my hubby calls a 'brass heaven,' or what I called disappointment with God - and it had nothing to do with writing. The Lord didn't answer my prayers the way I wanted Him to and I became very discouraged, to the point I found it hard to speak to Him (in any kind of deep and personal way). It is hard to explain in a few words, but I felt as though God had let me down. My relationship with the Lord had once been amazing, a giddy kind of romance, but then it all disappeared. A phrase in my head at the time was "oh the heights from which I've fallen." (I now know this was all me of course, God is perfect.)

When it comes to writing, I am a detailed plotter. I plan out characters and chapters, everything, before I start to write. However, in early 2009 an idea hit me so powerfully that I sat down at my computer with my bible and just started typing. Over the course of a year I wrote a whole manuscript and it seemed as though the Lord was speaking to me, waking me up, reshaping my thinking.

It is not a 'Christian Living' book. It is not even non-fiction. It is purely medieval fantasy romance, but it is allegorical in nature. The writing of this manuscript transformed my life and I will never be the same. I learned things about the grace and love of God that fundamentally changed my character.

All throughout that year, everything pointed to this story. The songs on the radio. Sermons preached. God was working in my heart and mind in a very profound way.

You can imagine therefore that this manuscript is closer to my heart than anything else I've written, as though pieces of my soul are stitched in the pages. Funnily enough, it is the one I have the most trouble getting published. I am looking at a complete re-write. But, I have no peace about re-writing. So, I wait.

I wait on the Lord to give me direction. He will bring it to pass in time. He will give me a nudge, or an idea. I am not discouraged or disappointed about the rejections. Ironically, if I had never written this story, I would not be so at peace with the process. And if it never sees the light of publication, so be it. It has done its job in me. Or rather, He has done His work in me.

Have you ever written anything which God has used to teach you?


Amanda Deed resides in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne where she fills her time with work, raising a family, church activities and writing historical romance novels. Her new novel, Ellenvale Gold was released at the beginning of November, 2011. For more information, see:
http://www.amandadeed.com.au/
http://amanderings.wordpress.com/



22 comments:

  1. Lovely to hear your story and how God used that manuscript.
    Some years back I wrote bible studies for an inderdenominational bible study group and God taught me a great deal before I could atempt to teach anyone else.

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    1. Wow Dale. I imagine you would learn heaps when putting together actual bible studies. Good for you. :)

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  2. I'm sure I've learnt something from everything I've written (and everything else I've ever done). That seems strangely like saying that I've learnt from myself, but I'm sure there's more to it than that. :)

    I met a successful writer who said that he still gets quite a few rejections. He then calls those works 'practices'. Very healthy attitude!

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    1. True Peter. Our whole lives are a learning curve aren't they? I think rejections, or 'practises' as you put it, are common to all of us writers.

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  3. Thanks for sharing that interesting story Amanda. I have to say that a lot of what I write comes out of my personal experience. And then afte I write it.... God sends me a few major tests to see if I really mean what I say. He sure does have a great sense of humour. Very often - when I am editing my own writing - God speaks very clearly to me and challenges me. Seems strange somehow - but something wonderful too.

    Your special manuscript sounds very intriguing. God is an amazing God. That's for sure. And He uses all things in our lives for good - even those brass heavens! :)

    Anusha

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    1. Isn't it great that while we are writing to inspire others, God teaches us as well? And then tests it out in us. Thanks Anusha. :)

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  4. Wow Amanda, I'm certain there's a place for that special manuscript. Sounds as if it's so vital in some secret plan of God that He's going to keep you guessing the what and when of publication. When the time comes the reason for the waiting time may become clear to you. Anyway, one of its purposes has been fulfilled already, as it helped you through your 'brass heaven' phase. Having said that, it'll be awesome when we can all read it too.

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    1. "some secret plan of God that He's going to keep you guessing the what and when of publication". That's exactly what I think, Paula. Every now and then He gives me a glimpse of the next step forward ... and then I wait some more. Kind of an adventure, really. :)

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  6. I'll have another go! Thanks for sharing from your heart, Amanda, about this precious manuscript you have written. I love your image of the pieces of your soul being stitched into the pages. That sounds to me like the sort of thing that makes for great writing and I'm sure God's not to going to waste once bit of the effort and emotion that went into this book. I have just signed a contract for a book that's very close to my heart too and one I never thought I'd write - but here we are! So maybe that will encourage you. God bless.

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    1. Thanks Jo-Anne. Awesome news about your book contract! Congrats. I guess if the Lord wants my manuscript out there, it will happen in His time. Thanks for the encouragement. :)

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  7. Oh yes, Amanda. I well know the feeling of prayers seeming not to be heard let alone answered. And how wrong I have been. These requests we make to our Heavenly Father ARE heard and will be answered in His time and in His way. I think with our writing, it is especially close to our hearts because we are opening ourselves to real vulnerability. We are sharing with others things we are struggling with and hopefully taking into our own hearts and lives.
    Just persevere and trust in your dear Father to know what's in His special plan for you.

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    1. Exactly so, Rita. His plans are perfect. :)

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  8. Hi Amanda
    The book I have just released relates an enormous struggle with God. The story is now over fifteen years old, but I've only just written it. The time lapse added so much wisdom and understanding to the writing. I wonder if your story needs to mature a little, sit and wait like a good wine. Then you may find there is some more richness to be added when you can look back with greater understanding of what God has done. For the moment bask in the glory of what he has revealed to you and let the weaving of His truth strengthen you. One day it will be your best seller. Blessings. Jo

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    1. Yeah, you're probably right, Jo. I also think maybe I'm still too close to it. Probs have to let it go some yet. :) Thanks for the words of wisdom.

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  9. Wow, I really needed to hear that today. Some news today had made re think what I thought God was giving me.

    Anyway, a devotional aticle I had submitted was accepted and thought great. But when the book came out, I re-read this article. I still don't remember writing the last two paragraphs. I checked my original and I had written that. but I know it wasn't me it was God's words.

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    1. Hi Melanie. So glad you were enouraged today. We have to keep trusting in Him. :)

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  10. I had a similar experience last year I had never writen a book or had the inclination to do so, but in June last year i felt to sit down and write a book, and it just happened I strongly believe the Holy Spirit was there pushing me on as it all came from my head after i quoted scripture I then looked them up and they were right, I too have had trouble publishing the book, i them went to Xlibris (mistake) bt have only sold 10 copies in one year...... But I do believe the message was what the Lord was telling me, and doing this did change my life, it made me bolder for Him, and now I can walk in the streets and proclaim my faith, not that I hid it but now i am out there. As the title of my book says I don't ride with the flow now I have stould up and walk on water trusting that I will not sink.

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    1. Hi Michael. Yes, I'm not about to rush of and self-publish. It's hard enough to market even with a publisher on your side.
      I'm glad someone else has had this experience with the Lord changing their life through writing. Amen!

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  11. You have a beautiful attitude, Amanda. Nothing God takes us through is ever wasted. Isn't that freeing to know? It's what keeps me going! I know it's the same for you, little apple pie. (sorry - semi private joke) xx

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    1. LOL Dots! I love that about being a Christian writer. If I didn't have God, I would probably see it all as a waste of time really. :) In fact, nothing is further from the truth.

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  12. I have quite a few 'bits' of writing that I know will never be published. There are just times when writing words brings more peace than vocalising them.
    But I can't help thinking, Amanda, that this manuscript has further purpose. Hold onto it - timing is everything.

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