Revelations: Divine appointments
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BY JENNIFER PREYSS
As a reporter, part of my job is to find unique story ideas and schedule interviews with sources. Sometimes, we meet at their home, or out in the community. Other times, they meet me at the office, or we schedule a time to chat over the phone.
As a religion reporter, my interviews often include discussions on God. And whether my sources are Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Humanists, I know many of my appointments are divinely scheduled - even if they seem at the time, just another part of the day-to-day grind.
Not every interview changes my life, or encourages me to consider my own relationship with the Lord. But many of them do. Many of my sources in and throughout the Victoria area have left tattoo-like markings on my heart and soul.
I know these people may forget me, but I almost never forget them, or their stories.
I had such a meeting last Monday when I met Patricia Pruett, the author of "It's Never Too Late: A Life Changing Choice."
Patricia was scheduled to meet me at the Advocate for what I thought would be a rushed interview and discussion of her new book. What I realized half-way through our interview, is that God definitely scheduled our meeting. Hers was a story I needed to hear.
Not only did we both have similar come-to-Jesus stories, but we also shared a passion for sharing God's love through writing.
In publishing her book, she's accomplished something I've desired to accomplish for the past eight years - write and publish a book. But not just any book, a book about Christ's restoration powers and mercy, and the transformation that follows salvation.
For the past eight years, I've been writing a novel - that's right, eight years.
I've outlined my book "Blueberry Moon" several times. I've changed the settings, characters, and written and re-written many chapters. But for the past several years, more than 14,000 words of an unfinished manuscript has sat untouched in my computer hard drive since its inception in 2003.
While wrestling with the stresses of life the past three weeks, I was motivated to open up my dusty novel and started writing again, this time, with an usual amount of determination to finish. I've finished four chapters, so far, and it seems the fire is finally lit to complete my novel.
And then I met Patricia, who managed to convince me in an hour (without her knowing she did so) there's a reason I haven't lost the dream to finish my book: Because someone, even if it's just me, needs to read the story. And there's a reason why we must finish the tasks God puts before us -- because sometime in the future your success (or completion) of a project, may motivate someone else to keep going.
That's what Patricia's book did for me - motivate me (again) to finish my own divine task.
Although my book is fiction, and Patricia's is non-fiction, our passion for bringing God's message of hope to the forefront using the written word, is exactly the same.
During the interview, we talked about how we've both experienced the nagging voice (over a period of years) to write something for God that changes hearts for Him. We talked about how we've both experienced doubt about completing our books, concerned with the possible judgement of others, or the real possibility that no one would care at all to read what we had to say.
But what I realized during our talk, is that God puts a dream, or task, or vision in our heart for a reason, and it really doesn't have anything at all do with us. If the dream belongs to Him first, He'll give us the resources to finish it accordingly, and make sure it does what it's supposed to.
She also reminded me that when we're on the right track, God will direct people and circumstances to our paths, to let us know He's walking alongside us like a cheerleader on the sidelines of a football game.
Sometimes, those cheerleaders are family or friends.
But many times, they're random sources that show up in our lives for a completely unrelated reason, just so they can tell you they can't wait to see you finish God's task.
Jennifer Preyss is a reporter for the Victoria Advocate. You can reach her at 361-580-6535 or email@example.com.