Coming Full Circle

by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Today’s guest blog is from Kim Vogel Sawyer a best-selling author whose books have topped the sales charts and won awards since 2005, when she left her elementary school teaching job to write full time. Her books have won the Carol Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Her stories are designed to offer hope and encouragement to her readers. Kim sees a correlation between the writing of a good story and God’s good plan for every life, and she hopes her stories encourage readers to seek God’s will in their own personal lives. Bestselling author Tracie Peterson says: “Kim Vogel Sawyer is an exceptional storyteller who is sure to please fans of historical fiction. Her attention to detail and love of God shines through.”

In addition to writing, Kim Vogel Sawyer is a popular speaker, freely sharing her testimony of God’s grace and healing-both physical and emotional-in her life. She and her husband Don reside in Hutchinson, Kansas, and have three daughters and four grandchildren. She is active in her church and loves singing, acting, playing handbells, quilting, and chocolate! You should visit her web site!

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In 2002, as my health was crumbling to the point that full-time teaching was no longer a possibility and I didn’t know what I was going to do, my dad–feeling as though I needed a major lift–took it upon himself to make my publishing dream come true. He sent a story I’d written, titled A Seeking Heart, to Steve Laube, who, at the time, owned a self-publishing company called ACW Press. And Steve agreed to help me get it into print.

Thus began a journey beyond the scope of my wildest imaginings.

You see, all of my growing-up years I had held tight to aspirations of being a writer someday. But a series of rejections from publishing companies in the early 1990s convinced me I had no future in writing, so I’d poured my heart into teaching. Loved it, too–felt secure and successful in the classroom. But God, the planter of dreams, had a different course for me. I truly believe He allowed my health to deteriorate so I would be forced to step out of my comfort zone and take a second look at writing. And He prompted Daddy to reactivate long-held dream at the perfect time.

A Seeking Heart found an audience, and the feedback from readers gave me the courage to once again submit to traditional publishers. In January of 2005, one of my stories found its way to Bethany House, where Carol Johnson enjoyed it enough to ask Janette Oke to take a peek at it, leading to an endorsement from the “Queen of Christian Fiction” for my first traditionally published novel, Waiting for Summer’s Return. (I still hyperventilate when I think about it!) I contracted with Bethany House in March of 2005 and have been celebrating a full-time writing ministry ever since.

But y’know what? God still had a few surprises up His sleeve. :o)

Between 2002 and 2005, I had arranged with a print-on-demand company to print two follow-up books to A Seeking Heart, creating a three-book series.

Between 2006 and 2010, my agent, Tamela Hancock Murray, sent out queries to traditional publishers about the Mountain Lake Series, but none were interested. As much as I wanted these stories–these very special, first, straight-from-my-heart stories–to be given new life, it seemed as though it was a dream that would be forced to fizzle. Until now.

Recently two things happened: 1) Tamela joined the Steve Laube Agency (the same Steve Laube who had a role in placing my very first book into the hands of readers); and 2) a company called Hendrickson purchased rights to reprint the three books in the Mountain Lake Series. My editor for this reprint project is (are you ready for this?) Carol Johnson.

I realize there are some people who would call this coincidence. I don’t. To me, it’s a very clear picture that God is right in the center of my writing ministry. Which is, of course, where I want Him to be. He truly has brought me full circle, drawing me fully into His plans for my writing. Is there any better place to be than the center of God’s will? I don’t think so.

Years ago, I adopted the verse “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart (Ps. 37:4, NKJV).” I wanted to delight myself so thoroughly in Him that seeking and following HIS will would become the deepest desire of my heart. Then, whatever He gave me would be exactly what I wanted. When I adopted that verse, I didn’t know where He would take me, but now I can look back and see how my heart’s desires have been met abundantly and exceedingly beyond my expectation.

The rewritten and updated Mountain Lake Trilogy will release in 2012–ten years after the release of my very first self-published novel. I intend to host a celebration of praise for all God has accomplished within that decade. He simply amazes me!

May God bless you muchly as you journey with Him!

~ Kim

12 Responses to Coming Full Circle

  1. Avatar
    Eugene Scott August 18, 2011 at 5:34 am #

    Kim:

    Thanks for the encouraging story. And congratulations. It seems God often holds our dreams more dear than do we.

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    Peter DeHaan August 18, 2011 at 5:43 am #

    That is so inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story.

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    Michelle Sutton August 18, 2011 at 5:53 am #

    Your story is truly inspirational. Love you!

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    Diane Ashley August 18, 2011 at 6:09 am #

    Hi Kim, I loved reading about your path to publication. We serve an amazing God. Psalm 37 is my favorite chapter of the Bible. It thrilled me when Heartsong allowed Aaron McCarver and me to use verse 4 as the key scripture on our very first book. It has such wonderful meaning for all Christians. Thanks for sharing your heartwarming story with us.

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    Julie Jarnagin August 18, 2011 at 6:20 am #

    I love stories like this where God’s hand is so visible on something. Thank you for sharing it.

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    Janet Lee Barton August 18, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    Love this story Kim! Thanks for sharing it. It truly is a blessing to see how God works in our lives when we turn it over to Him.

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    Kathleen L. Maher August 18, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    Rejoicing with you, Kim. I love how God is not only the author and finisher, but the publisher, the agent and the marketer of our faith, too. 😉

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    Kim Vogel Sawyer August 18, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    Thanks, everyone, for celebrating with me. God blows my socks off!

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    Sarah Joy August 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your story, Kim! Very touching. 🙂

    Sarah Joy, an associate agent-in-training

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    Carrie Turansky August 18, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    Hi Kim, I loved reading the rest of the story! I remember you showing me A Seeking Heart at ACFW on year before Waiting For Summer’s Return had been accepted. I remember commiserating with you in the bookstore as we talked about waiting and wondering when God would open the door for us. It’s wonderful to read all God has done and continues to do. Hope to see you in St. Louis in September!
    Blessings,
    Carrie

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    Wade Webster August 18, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    Your story just goes to show that the truth can, indeed, be stranger than fiction. Especially when God is involved, such a BIG and Glorious God.
    Psalm 37:4 has always been one of my favorite verses, especially since I’ve been called to writing for this BIG GOD!
    Keep on keeping on for Jesus, Kim. He’ll never let you down!

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    Lenore Buth August 19, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    Isn’t it a blessing when you can clearly see God’s hand in how things “work out?”Usually that comes some time after our plans fall apart. If it were not that way we would be patting ourselves on the back, rather than thanking God.

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