I have to let you read this story. An author recently wrote this to me:
I’d like to share something with you that I’m not sure a lot of authors get to share. Two months ago, I noticed my novels on my youngest daughter’s nightstand and found her reading them every night. I didn’t want to scare her off from reading them by asking questions, so I just let her read. A couple weeks ago, she approached my husband about getting baptized. She said over the last few weeks, a couple things brought her to the choice to follow Christ: our cat was really sick and she prayed God would heal him, she saw how gracious God has been giving us a permanent home, and reading my books helped her understand how to talk to God. Those three things brought her to Christ.
When my husband told me, I was moved to tears. My hope was that my books would first and foremost help me share my faith with my kids and my family. To watch God use my stories in saving the life of my youngest daughter is the best thing I’ll ever experience as an author.
I just wanted to share because books really can change people’s lives!
It is so true. The power of a book is the power to transform a life. To point the way. To carve a path. To break the darkness with a dawn. To embrace an emotion. To hear a new song that won’t leave the mind. To widen a perspective. To salve an open wound. To get kicked in the seat of the pants. To open the heart to the leading of the Spirit.
This is why we do what we do. We work hard at the business of writing because it can have life-changing results.
When the writing life gets hard. When it gets aggravating. When it disappoints you. When it seemingly fails. Remember this. Books change lives. Words matter. The right ones at the right time in the right place to the right person can have eternal impact.
Our agency exists to help change the world word by word. May the work you do this week bless someone in a way you never thought possible.
I write with the goal of changing lives. I see from my blog stats that my words touch people all over the world. But I hope those same words touch the people closest to my heart, my children and grandchildren. I agree 100% with your author: “To watch God use my stories in saving the life of my [loved one] is the best thing I’ll ever experience.”
Beautiful. Humbling that a gracious God would allow us to be part of someone’s journey to the cross. This my friend is why we get up early, stay up late, and pray constantly–to witness lives changed through the power of words.
Hannah K Johnson
This is encouraging. Because lately I sit in front of my computer and think, “this is so hard. Why am I doing this anyway?”
Thank you for sharing this story!
Amen. What a beautiful post. Thank you, Steve.
WOOHOO! Praise God!!!!
Love, love, love. ♡
This morning I sat before the Lord and asked him for a word of encouragement to help me persevere. He gave me Luke 9:57-62, and He gave me this post. Thank you for being an instrument in his hands. God does use our words to change lives, as he has used yours today. And so we press on …
John de Sousa
The power of words is staggering. Thanks for such a beautiful reminder!
Thanks for sharing this, Steve – what a wonderful story!
My life was changed by Richard Bach, and his early books ‘Biplane’, ‘Stranger To The Ground’, and ‘Nothing By Chance’. I read these when in my teens, and they gave me an experience of the almost spiritual calling of flight that has never died. I think they also protected me from some of the more idiotic things going on at the time; I realized that there was something deeper in life than protest and pleasure, and held myself aloof.
Through flight I had the experience of transcendence, and it set me on the long road to becoming a Christian. I truly found God in the air, and in the structures of the machines that allowed me entrance into those hallowed portals of cloud. And though at the moment too ill to fly, when I have the strength, these are bits of a truly badass Pitts biplane awaiting my attention on the workbench. (Yes, you can build an aeroplane from raw materials in your very own home, much to your wie’s consternation…but when Barb married me there was a wing in the living room.)
My aim with fiction was to tell a good story; people have told me that my novels changed their lives, and that’s just so totally cool. My nonfiction (mostly my blog) is aimed at bearing witness to dying with joy and hope, and the potential to intentionally enjoy life, even through the pain and debris of cancer. I’ve been told I inspire and will never be forgotten; and that is also totally cool.
I didn’t reach out to change or inspire; I just tried to do the best and most honest job I could.
And I hope this is acceptable, but I found a perfect, upbeat and uplifting song for Monday morning, “Better Days” by The Dirges. Bet you can’t keep from dancing!
What invigorating words to grab and take with us as we step over Monday’s threshold. I’ve already shared this in a few circles of writers and am heading now to share it with my readers. Love it! Thanks, Steve.
A great reminder of why we should never give up, Steve. Our books are like rocks dropped over the side of a canoe on a glass-smooth lake. The ripples spread out until they reach a shore, and we have no way of knowing how many times they make a difference or how they do it. But the one short review that called my novel a “wonderful life changing story” made the many hundreds of hours I poured into writing and rewriting that book worth every second, and it’s a greater treasure than a Pulitzer Prize or a 7-figure royalty could ever be.
The ultimate reward for being a Christian writer is that somewhere, sometime, something we write might make a world of difference for someone we won’t meet this side of heaven.
Thank you for the great story.
The words I needed. Thank you, Steve.
Thank you for the elegant reminder of why our Lord gave us our writing drive, and for the boost in our motivation.
The light flickers and grows dim sometimes. This beautiful post sparks courage and hope. Thank you!
What you shared is evident in evident in the reading of Scriptures
Such an encouraging story. They lifted me as I sit down to write today. What a privilege it is to be a conduit for God’s messages to individuals we most likely will never know.
Wonderful! What a beautiful story. I mentioned before that my mother was the first to encourage me on my writing venture. She is not well these days, but she enjoys it when I read my blog out loud to her. Somehow she is able to follow it better than other venues. It’s precious to me. Now I get to encourage her after years of her encouraging me. That’s called blessedness!
Yes, words are powerful and sharing the message of life is an honor and a privilege.
Thank you for sharing the note you received.
Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. I printed a copy of my unpublished manuscript and took it to my 84-year-old dad who has been suffering from depression since we put my mom in an Alzheimer’s facility in January. Dad never reads anything but the Bible and watches the old westerns on TV. I told him if he found himself bored with nothing to do, he could read the romantic suspense novel I wrote. To my surprise, he read all 363 pages and wanted to know if I had another one. Did he like it because his daughter wrote it? Probably. But, it had to hold his attention or he’d have given it back to me and not asked for another one. I’m encouraged my dad loved my novel and it helped take his mind off living alone after 66 years with his bride.
Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D
Steve, thanks for sharing that incredible story. In my first novel, which I just sent to my agent last week, I have a man and a woman who are faced with a spiritual decision and the story deals with the results of their decisions. I wrote the scenes in the hopes of reaching others for Christ. Actually, the whole book was written with that as the backstage focus, so I pray that others will be touched and decide to walk with Christ as a result of reading the story.
Yay! I’m so glad to hear the novel got off all right! I was praying for and thinking about you in March because I knew you had that deadline!
I love this post so much. I had to read it because if one thing rings true in my life is the fact that books have impacted me. Due to their impact, I’m always looking to share a good book with others.
Books do change lives.
Beautiful and true! Thank you so much for sharing. It encourages me that someone might just read my words and find comfort in God’s arms.
Rebecca M. McLafferty
Thank you for this post, Steve. It literally gave me goosebumps. I cannot think of anything finer than making the ultimate change in the life of your own child–leading her to God. That makes every bit of work worthwhile. God is surely smiling down on you.
Words fitly spoken are like apples of gold in pitchers of silver. Somewhere in Proverbs.
One, single changed life is worth it all!! Love the post.
Thank you for such an encouraging word.
Oh my goodness. Yes and amen. May it always be so. Thank you.
What a precious story! I imagine that mom’s depth of writing just went a little deeper.
When we get to heaven I wonder how many lives—if every single writer would grasp the truth that books DO change lives, even if just one—will be changed as a result of reading a book (other than the Bible, for the illustration of this blog post). I get goosebumps just thinking about it.
I love this! What a great testimony to the power of words that Jesus can use to save! Thank you for sharing.