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I remember a day when I plopped down on the carpet in my office and cried. “Lord, why am I working so hard at this writing career, yet producing few results in terms of sales and income? Should I quit and take up real estate or sales or . . .?”

No answer came that day, but not long after, a woman from the Midwest phoned and thanked me for writing my book, When Spending Takes the Place of Feeling (Thomas Nelson) about women and their money addictions (spending, credit card abuse, gambling, and so on). She told me the book had changed her niece’s life. After reading the chapter “It’s Not About Money After All,” the young woman was inspired to return to Christ and accept the consequences of her actions. She confessed to God, to her family, and to the authorities her secret sin—embezzling funds from her employer for the previous two years. She went to prison for four years.

After hanging up the phone I fell on my knees and cried out my apology to God for having questioned his plan for me as a writer. An image of a lost sheep returning to the fold came to mind. Was the Lord telling me my book had served this purpose? I believe so. I never doubted his plan for me again.

How humbling it’s been to realize the truth of the bible verse:

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”

Proverbs 16:9 NIV

 Have you ever had a run-in with God when you feel stalled?



Lost Sheep — 16 Comments

  1. Karen, thank you! This has happened to me more than once. Just one person being touched or helped in some way by our words is worth the long hours we put into our writing. We only need validation from God, but the human comment is helpful also.

    I’m working on another book – and, at my age, question my sanity but I feel better when I write and that tells me He is leading me.

    Keep writing, Karen, you have fans everywhere, including Palm Beach Gardens, Fl.

    • You are so dear, Marie. Thanks for your encouragement and support. I’m so thrilled to know you are still writing too. You’re an inspiration to many.

  2. Great perspective, Karen. Writers never know the full impact of their work. It’s important to follow your calling. Thanks for this post.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Joe. It’s so good to connect with you again. Looking forward to our classes at MH in 2015.

  3. WOW ! Just think if you had not received that phone call and “listened” AND responded to God’s calling, we would have missed all of the great books you have published Thanks, Karen.
    Love to you . Margaret

  4. Boy, do I know this one. Exactly spot on. I have thought that very thing in my writing. I have been writing since about 1995 and after having written and self published one book, it seemed as though it all came to a stand still. I decided to get some schooling and enrolled in CWG to learn how to write right. Thanks to you Karen and one more mentor for your encouragement and teaching. My writing is not going anywhere yet and I continued to question God. Then the reports came in and many people started telling me how they were blessed through my writing. Although I am still not able to support myself with my writing, people’s words still bleed me. I have a sphere of influence and I think that this was God’s plan all along. I am not reaching the world, but I am teaching a handful of people that seem to appreciate my efforts. How gratifying that is Karen. I am happy with my writing and thankful to God for the opportunity to be a part of His plan to bless even one person. Thank you Lord.

    • What a beautiful testimony, Jim. As long as we are writing according to God’s leading we can be sure we are touching the people God has chosen for us to influence. You are doing that everyday.

  5. I am embarrassed. The word bleed above should be blessed. I’m on ph and can only see a few words at a time. I want to thank you again for your teaching and encouragement toward my writing career. Thank you. May the Lord richly bless you.

    • I noticed the word and figured you meant
      ‘blessed.’ You were a very loyal and committed writing student. I’m happy to have been part of your journey.

  6. Karen, I love your writing. It gives me hope about sticking to my faith to God and keep writing. (I just spent almost half an hour composing my writing but was knocked off line, my writing was all lost. I’m trying to make it short this time and see how it goes. Same disappointing thing happened last week in answering your writing. But had to give up. Frustrating. Time to get a new computer.)

    • Thanks, Jing. I hope you find the ideal new computer. And thank you for encouraging me.

  7. I feel the same way at times. Then God reminds me of what Mother Teresa once said: “God has not called me to be successful; He has called me to be faithful.” Thank you for your transparency and for the reminder to keep following His call. “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” (Paul)

    • YES! We are the planters. God’s the grower. Takes a lot of pressure off of us, doesn’t it?

  8. Dear Karen,
    What a powerful example of how the Lord really really does hear our prayers. Your writing always inspires me to get closer to the Lord and to keep on writing. Your love for the Lord and tremendous compassion for people makes your writing a gift to anyone who reads it.Thank you so much for continuing to write!
    Bless you and your family Karen.


    • Thank you, Sandy. So nice of you to take time to comment. I’m happy to know that my writing has inspired you to keep writing and most of all to stay close to the Lord.

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