Friday, January 28, 2011

Today I Have Guest Blogger, and my Friend, Rose McCauley!

Waiting, patience, prayer...and receiving my first contract!


I have been writing for over nine years and joined ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) 8 years ago. My writing has steadily improved since then, but the elusive first contract had remained out of reach until Friday evening, September 17, 2010.

God has taught me many things over the past nine years, the main things being patience and learning to wait. When I awoke that morning and read my chapter in Jeremiah, there was a devotion by Catherine Marshall on the facing page, so I read it, too. It was entitled "Waiting" and here are a few snippets from it that spoke to me:

"Waiting...is God's oft-repeated way of teaching us that His power is real and that He can answer our prayers without interference and manipulation from us."

She then goes on to give the example of a child who brings a broken toy to their father but gets impatient and snatches it back still in the broken state, then reminds us that if we leave the "toy" in His hands, "not only do we eventually get it back gloriously restored, but are also handed a surprising plus. We find for ourselves what the saints and mystics affirm, that during the dark waiting period when self-effort had ceased
, a spurt of astonishing spiritual growth took place in us. Afterwards we have qualities like more patience, more love for the Lord and those around us, more ability to hear His voice, greater willingness to obey." Those qualities are ones I still desire more of, even if it means I have to wait again.

Now for the rest of the story as Paul Harvey used to say. I told my roommate , Jennifer Johnson, about my devotion, then we attended a class, ate lunch, shopped at the mall, and went to the opening worship session at 3:30. The worship leader Rachel Hauck, chose the song "While I'm Waiting" by John Waller for us to sing at most of our sessions:

"I'm waiting

I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait
I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait
I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting"

Are you getting the message with me? Wait with patience! And keep serving and worshipping while you are waiting!

Next our president, Cynthia Ruchti, read from Colossians chapter three, and verse 12 was very familiar since it is posted on my bedroom mirror: "Therefore as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." That last word jumped out at me and I leaned over to Jennifer and told her God was still telling me to wait and learn patience.

Then Becky Germany, editor at Barbour Publishing, took the stage and said she was ready to announce the 3 new authors who would receive their "first contract", something Barbour has done at each conference. When she announced the name of one of the stories as Nick's Christmas Carol, it sounded vaguely familiar but I still didn't realize it was a story I had written until she said my name! Then I went up on stage in front of over 600 people, amid cheers and shouts, and was handed an envelope with my name on it and a letter offering me a contract for my first fiction story! Jennifer took my picture but the flash didn't work so she motioned for me to go back up on the stage and she took it again. Then Donna Rich was announced, again amid cheers and shouts, as the recipient of a contract for a Heartsong book, also pubbed by Barbour.

Of course, I couldn't wait to call my husband and children and a couple friends, but the story doesn't end there. I got to attend the Barbour Banquet at PF Chang's that evening and kept receiving hugs and congratulations all weekend, but the best part was when one of my dear friends and prayer-partners, Connie Stevens who had received her first contract in 2009, told me that God had impressed on her heart to pray for the ones who would receive their first contract the following year. So, she prayed that prayer that whole year and didn't know she was praying for me (and Donna and one other lady)!

Later that evening, I told Donna about the prayer cycle Connie began, and we both agreed to continue it by praying for the persons who will receive their first contract in 2011. Kind of paying it forward by praying the prayer that was prayed for us. So, the cycle continues. Can you think of a better thing to pay forward than a prayer for someone? I can’t.

I hope you will check out my blog at http://www.rosemccauley.blogspot.com/ and/or website, http://www.rosemccauley.com/ and check back again when my first book hits the shelves next September! I do a monthly book drawing among those who leave comments, and I will definitely do some giveaways of my first book later on! Until then, let's all keep waiting patiently and praying and worshiping the One who deserves all our praise


Wonderful, Rose! Thanks so much for visiting.
Blessings!

6 comments:

Ann H. Gabhart said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story. Your faith comes shining through in your writing the same as it does in person to all you meet. Thanks for being an encourager and a friend, Rose. Look forward to your book in September.

Ann H. Gabhart said...

Thanks, Rose, for sharing your story of faith in waiting. I was there when they announced you as winner and we were all so happy for you. Not just because we knew how hard you'd been working toward that goal, but because you are ever an encourager and a blessing to all you meet. Looking forward to your book in September.

I tried to send a comment earlier. I'm hoping this doesn't turn out to be a duplicate - well, sort of a duplicate since I couldn't remember exactly what I'd written before. If it is, just read it and smile at somebody who has "comment" problems.

Heather Sunseri said...

I was so excited for you and the two other recipients that night, Rose! And I didn't even know you, yet. I'm looking forward to holding your book in September.

I also loved that song Rachel Hauck sang. Actually that entire night spoke to me, as well, about patience and waiting on God's glory. Congrats, again!

Kathryn Page Camp said...

I'm still waiting to sell that first fiction book, and it's good to be reminded that God's timing is better than mine.

Ramona Cecil said...

Hi Rose! Although I knew much of your story, I love the way you recounted your faith-filled journey to publication. I was on my feet cheering when you received that first contract. You are a wonderful writer, a great lady, and a dear, sweet friend. I wish you many, many more writing successes.

Karen Lange said...

Congratulations Rose! Thanks to both of you for sharing this. It's inspiring. :)