All right, guys.
I meant it when I said this post will be brutally honest. And to start, I’ve got to tell you that I’m freaked out to finally be writing this post. I’m about to be very vulnerable about a lot of things, and I’m scared for that. Admittedly, that’s part of the reason I’ve held off on this. Yes, I needed time to figure everything out, but I was also scared to reveal what’s been going on.
Y’all know that for weeks I’ve been mysteriously referencing a sort of crisis in my life in regards to The Apostle’s Sister and The Anointed. But really, it’s so much more than just with my novels themselves. I need to share what’s been going on.
And about the title… I know some of you might have been quite startled when you read it. Don’t worry, I am absolutely not clickbaiting you – I did delete my manuscript, or rather, manuscripts. I’ll get to that in a bit.
First, let’s kick this off with an announcement. I’m sad to be making this announcement, but at the same time it’s freeing, and I hope y’all will understand.
Story Sundays are coming to a close.
The sad news is that Story Sundays are coming to a close.
I’m sad about this because I’ve immensely enjoyed the weekly discussions. It’s so much fun to give you guys updates, write the diary entries, and discuss! Your responses to the Discussion Questions are always enlightening and brightening for me to read. I appreciate the support you all have shown for this story and these characters.
I’d like to take a moment to give Madi’s Musings a special shoutout. She has taken the time to regularly read Story Sundays and share with me some wonderful, long, in-depth thoughts. Thank you, Madi! Your comments have opened my eyes to so many things. I’d like to thank her specifically, but all of you have taught and encouraged me.
I’ve learned so much from Story Sundays; the diary entries and discussions have really helped me to gain a much better understanding of my story and characters. But I had to make the decision to discontinue them, and I know y’all will understand.
I don’t have the time to put these out weekly. Oftentimes I find myself scrambling at the last minute to put them together, staying up late to be sure I get it out on Sunday. And it’s been a joy. But God has impressed upon me that I need to slow down and get some of the pressure off myself – both pressure to give updates on my writing and to complete a diary entry each week.
So I will no longer be doing Story Sundays. I’m really going to miss them! I hope you guys loved this series as much as I did. I’m sad to be bringing it to a close, but at the same time I’m relieved that I’m no longer making that an expectation of myself.
I know this was probably unexpected news, and I sincerely apologize. Thank you so much for always understanding and supporting.
And remember that all Story Sundays will always be there for you to read and discuss if you’d like!
What happened to The Anointed?
You may or may not have noticed that The Anointed is no longer listed under my Works in Progress. This is because I will no longer be working on that novel.
This decision came with a lot of meditation and prayer, as I make it a rule never to decide anything on a whim. I have had it impressed on me that this novel wasn’t quite right. And when you ask God for guidance, you’ll know in your heart that he’s leading you to start a certain thing, continue with it, or stop it. I knew God was giving me this feeling that something wasn’t quite right, and as things became clearer I knew I was going the wrong direction with The Anointed. I hadn’t been listening to God’s voice, and that had to change before I did anything else. So I deleted the manuscript – I believe I had about fifty or so pages written.
I don’t regret the decision because I know it was the right one. In fact, I believe it’s been over a month already since I deleted that manuscript, and I’ve never felt anything but unburdened. I’ve never once regretted the deletion.
However, guys, don’t get discouraged, because I’m certainly not discouraged! I am absolutely not giving up on Seth’s character – God is not giving up. I’m excited to see what direction God will take Seth. He’s such a crucial and important part of Paul and Temira’s story, and he needs infinity times more attention and depth. And he’s going to get it – I can promise that and never break that promise. Trust God, not me – and God says it’s going to happen. So whatever direction he leads me, do know that he has amazing plans for Seth, and everything will turn out incredibly. I know that, and I want you all to know it, too. Even if we don’t know how God will do it, we know he will.
That’s not the only manuscript I deleted.
Now we get to the part I’m sure may come as a shock to many of you. And this is also the news I’m most nervous to give.
I deleted my entire first draft manuscript of The Apostle’s Sister.
I actually did this only last Friday, and I can’t begin to describe how freeing it was. And still is.
So why did I do it?
Before I tell you guys why I did it, I want to immediately explain something first. I AM CERTAINLY, UNQUESTIONABLY, UNWAVERINGLY STILL WRITING THE APOSTLE’S SISTER! DON’T EVER FEAR THAT I WILL EVER STOP.
I apologize if that sounded like I was screaming internally, LOL, but I just had to capitalize and bold that statement. I am not ever giving up on The Apostle’s Sister, because my Jesus is not giving up on me or the novel. He’s given me this beautiful passion, purpose, and calling in my heart, and I’ve got to do what he wants me to do. He wants me to write The Apostle’s Sister. So I’m going to do it.
Like the decision with The Anointed, I did not make this decision on a whim. It was something I came to realize God wanted me to do, after much meditation and prayer.
Now to explain why I deleted my entire manuscript. And to be honest, I’m just not sure how to explain so you will understand. Perhaps you won’t understand this, and I’m fine with that. I don’t expect you to. This is something that only God and I will always understand best. I know you all will support me and cheer me on, and that’s what I need.
Why I deleted my first draft manuscript of The Apostle’s Sister:
I didn’t take the novel in the direction which God wanted. Like with The Anointed, I wasn’t listening to God’s voice when I wrote the majority of it. There were some parts of it that showed I had been following Christ’s guidance as I wrote them; but sadly, there were many more parts that showed I hadn’t been giving ear to his wisdom. I was grieved over that. God gave me an incredible calling, and I treated it lightly. I asked for forgiveness, and I deleted the manuscript. God gave me an incredible gift – the gift of knowing St. Paul as a real person and writing his beautiful story; and consequently, the gift of opportunity to draw closer to Jesus. And I treated that lightly. I never want to do that again. I want to start over, taking everything in God’s own time, prayerfully and seriously. Still having fun, of course, but not taking lightly his holy calling. I deleted everything except the few snippets I’ve shared on this website and a couple on Kingdom Pen. I also kept the first four chapters, which I have transformed to be truly God-honoring.
I want to ask forgiveness of all of you as well if I have ever shared anything at all on this website that wasn’t truly God-honoring, or if I have ever acted like I am a perfect Christian writer. This is very humbling for me to admit.
God has laid The Apostle’s Sister on my heart, and I believe in my heart that the story is inspired by him. I’ve finally realized that this gift is not to be taken lightly. I’m amazed that he’s given me this and entrusted me with this, even while knowing how broken, proud, reckless, and ungodly I am. I’m amazed that in his mercy, he is still saying to me, “I want you to write The Apostle’s Sister.”
I am so grateful.
I’m going to get closer to Jesus. I’m going to strive to be a better Christian. I’m going to strive to be kinder, more compassionate, gentler, quieter, more loving, and more caring. I’m going to write the Word on the tablet of my heart. That’s what I’m going to focus on.
The truth is that where I am right now, I don’t have much of the spiritual maturity needed to write this incredible story. I need to grow in my faith. I no longer want this novel to be published before high school graduation, because I know I won’t be ready. I won’t be ready for a long, long time. I’m in this commitment, this covenant, for the long haul. We’re looking at ten years at least. Maybe I’ll still be writing this story when I’m thirty. Maybe forty. Only God knows. I’m willing to do that. I’ve already made my vows to Jesus. I’m going to do it. What I do know is that this story will be published one day, and when it is, there will be nothing in it that is not God-honoring and spiritually mature. There will be nothing in it that I regret. Oh, how joyful and rewarding it will be the day I see it published, all because I know I kept the faith while working so hard on it! I’m so looking forward to that day – but just as much, I’m looking forward to getting incredibly close to God all these years I will be writing it.
This story has captured my heart because God commanded it to do so. I’m not overwhelmed or even disappointed when I think of the years of work ahead. I’m joyful and excited and honored that God actually trusts me with such a calling. He could have given it to anyone else, but he chose me. I just can’t get over that. Now I know more than ever how Paul felt when he thought with amazement and gratitude that God chose him for the apostleship, despite all he had done.
This story is my statement of faith.
And y’all? I have so much peace in my heart.
I can’t wait.
So lead me, Lord Jesus!
Love and blessings to you all.
And, of course, you know the drill – eat, pray, write, repeat!