This still amazes me—how I can pinpoint the one moment of my life that literally changed everything about everything I would live after that. One decision on which still swings the entire direction of my life and really even my eternity.
I remember the decision was not an overly easy one. Oh, no. I struggled with it.
I can remember sitting with my fingers on the keyboard, the scene in my mind, playing out before my eyes as I sat here trying to decide what to do.
That surely sounds overly dramatic to you, but it did not feel overly dramatic to me. I would not, at the time, have been able to tell you that the rest of my life hung on that decision, but I knew even then it was important.
You see, 20 years ago I was working on my first novel (second if you count the one I wrote in 8th grade!). I had always loved writing and had always dreamed of writing novels, but this was the first stab at it I had taken since stepping away from teaching the year before. And now, here I sat, with a young woman in a life-threatening situation, and I froze.
If I was that young woman, I would be praying like crazy, but…
I had read a lot of romances and never had I read of anyone praying in them.
I had read a lot of books, and the only kind that ever talked about praying were not fiction titles.
I knew from having talked to others that you could not mention God in a book and have any hope of it ever being published.
Oh, yes, I knew all of this. If my character prayed, I was almost assuredly dooming this book to never being published…. Ever. If she prayed, this would be for me and only me. Was I willing to accept that, or should I go “around” the praying part in order to make this book “marketable”?
It was a valid question, and one I knew I couldn’t make lightly. So I sat and I thought. At the time I, ironically, would not have thought about praying about it. I did not have a lot of the spirit-understanding techniques I have today. Those have developed since then.
Finally, I just said, “They say, ‘Write what you know.’ I can’t write what I know if these characters can’t pray. I just can’t. Prayer, reliance on God—that is what I know.”
So, this young woman cried out to God for help in a very desperate situation.
And that cry literally changed my whole life.
I have gone on to write many very Christian books, and God has opened the way since then for a whole world of Christian fiction to open up like arms waiting to embrace the books I wanted to write.
But I will tell you, that decision was not easy. It was as if Satan was saying, “You can have the world’s idea of success, or you can stick with God, but you can’t have both.”
I know now that was a lie.
The coolest thing is, after 20 years, that book and that scene will soon be in readers’ hands. That book, “Flight 259,” is featured in the upcoming collection “Whispers of Love.” And the best thing is, you don’t just get my book, but 12 all-new novels by some of your best loved Contemporary Christian Romance authors. All for only 99 cents. Yes, I’m hoping you buy it and love it.
But what I’d really like to state for the record is this: Thank You, God for giving me the courage to stand with You when the world tempted me not to. I will forever and into eternity be grateful that on that day, I chose You, no matter that the world tried to tell me I was stupid for doing so!
May that choice bring You honor and glory! I know it’s already brought me more peace, joy, and love than I ever could have imagined!
Copyright Staci Stallings, 2016
About the Author:
A stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading.