I’m on vacation, with “H” and my parents. Yay, us! We’re at the beach! But don’t worry, I’ve got three great guest posts lined up for you, along with a special treat for The Sunday Community! Today, I’m happy to welcome my friend, Dena Dyer.
Dena and I work together at The High Calling. Dena has the sweetest voice you will ever hear, and she once used her no-nonsense cowboy boots to deliver me from the death grip of a scorpion. <——Hyperbole.
Enjoy! Comment! Make new friends and keep the old!
A boxing taco. That’s the subject of the first story I ever wrote. I read it to the other second graders at Morningside Elementary. I loved reading what I wrote to my fellow students, and writing became my passion, therapy, and calling. A few years later, an uncle in the newspaper business showed me how to submit to teen magazines. When I was twelve, I had my first poem published. (I still have the $8 check!) I continued to write during my teenage years and studied professional writing in college. After getting married in 1995, I wrote anything and everything, while working a variety of jobs and becoming a mom.
I mostly found success in writing articles and news pieces; it took fifty tries before I got a “yes” on a book proposal. But I was called, and I had a God-given dream, so I didn’t give up. In God’s providence, I signed with an agent and negotiated the contracts for my first and second books just two weeks after I found out I was expecting my second son. (Talk about perfect timing—the advances on those books almost exactly replaced the income from a more physical job, which I had to quit.)
However, several years later, my book writing career suddenly stalled. The publishing industry experienced a downturn, and it was if God had shut a door that would never open. I prayed, cried, doubted, and wondered what God was up to. He provided jobs through work for hire projects, magazine and editing work, and I was thankful. However, I longed to write books again.
After an intense, months-long struggle, I repented of my pride and discontentment and found peace in whatever future God had planned. In the meantime, my husband went through a huge career change and an accompanying depression, and I went to work full-time to help make ends meet. In addition, my health suffered, and I underwent two operations. Our income dropped drastically, and it was scary. (Oh, yes–we also moved three times in as many years. Sigh.) However, God met our needs in remarkable, unexplainable ways.
I longed to be obedient, y’all. I really did. So I prayed continually for strength, and I kept seeking Him…even when He seemed very, very quiet.
Wanna know something? Every. Single. Time I cried out to Him, He answered. Sometimes He reminded me of a Scripture passage that ministered profoundly to me. Songs came on the radio which seemed to have been written just for my situation. Friends and family members called, texted and emailed me when I couldn’t seem to take another step or cry another tear. He was faithful. So, so faithful.
Two years ago, my friend Tina called me with a book title, and I knew we were meant to collaborate on the project. We had been wanting to work together for several years, and had prayed for God to guide us to the right idea. Greg Johnson agreed to represent us, and (in a first for me), we actually had two offers on the book proposal.
The book came out this month, and my heart is full. It was a pleasure to write with such a kindred spirit. I couldn’t be more excited about the finished product (thanks, Kregel!). Everything I’ve lived through, in publishing and life, has prepared me for writing Wounded Women of the Bible: Finding Hope When Life Hurts.
A year and a half ago, God led my husband into full-time ministry and moved us back to a place we love. I am able to concentrate once more on writing, speaking, teaching, and being a mom. It feels as if we are finally coming out of the wilderness and into an oasis. I’m grateful beyond words. And I can see in hindsight that He’d been honing and refining me all along to minister more effectively to those who have experienced tumult and tragedy.
Are you hurting and/or frustrated today? Do you wonder if God has something against you? And do you fear that you’ll never feel joy again?
Oh, how I’ve been there…and I know I may be there again. My heart aches for you, and I wish I could reach out and hug you right now.
But this one thing I know: He hasn’t left. He is up to something, even when you can’t see it. Until then, trust Him with your wounded places, for one day, they will become ministry spaces.
As a busy mom, wife, author, and speaker, Dena Dyer adores her life—but there are days when she wants her own mommy! Thankfully, she has God, her mom, and a counselor on speed dial. Dena is married to Carey and they have two boys, Jordan and Jackson. When she’s not desperately trying to find her cell phone, she’s at her keyboard or in her favorite reading nook. Her writing credits include the books Wounded Women of the Bible (Kregel, 2013) with Tina Samples, Let the Crows’ Feet and Laugh Lines Come: Rediscovering Beauty and Self-Worth at Any Age (2010, Barbour), Grace for the Race: Meditations for Busy Moms (2004, Barbour), and The Groovy Chicks Road Trip series (2005, 2006, Cook, co-authored with Laurie Copeland and a lot of groovy girlfriends), numerous compilations and anthologies,and magazines such as Family Circle, Redbook, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Parenting. Her hobbies B.K.–before kids–included scrapbooking, watching old movies, and decorating. Now, her interests (obsessions?) are cooking, napping and hanging out with friends.
When the opportunities present themselves, Dena loves to speak to groups, lead worship, and give television and radio interviews. But her favorite place of all is home, where she nests with her three “boys” and tries to ignore the dust.