Coming Full Circle

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 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 lives. Best-selling 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 ten grandchildren. She is active in her church and loves singing, quilting, cats, and chocolate. In September 2020, she celebrated the release of her fifty-fifth novel. Please visit her website. (She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray.)

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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, and 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 my 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,  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.

Then two things happened: (1) Tamela joined The Steve Laube Agency in 2011 (the same Steve Laube who had a role in placing my very first book into the hands of readers); and (2) Hendrickson Publishers purchased rights to republish the three books in the Mountain Lake Series. My editor for this reprint project was (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 came out in 2012–ten years after the release of my very first self-published novel. I celebrate and praise God for all He accomplished within that decade. He simply amazes me!

May God bless you muchly as you journey with Him!

~ Kim

[An earlier version of this post ran in August 2011.]

12 Responses to Coming Full Circle

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser February 17, 2021 at 7:41 am #

    Life’s gone round, and round again,
    full circle to the present day,
    and through it all the dreams remain,
    and they are kept in play
    by the faith that there is hope,
    by hope that there is something more,
    that at the end of cancer’s rope
    I’ll find a bright-lit open door
    that God has placed here, just for me,
    and that He’ll draw me through
    to a place of His own victory
    in which His will’s made true,
    and that He’ll put my pen to use,
    my Holy Lord, my Love, my Muse.

    • Daphne Woodall February 21, 2021 at 5:32 pm #

      Andrew praying for you. Thank you for always sharing your words here. I look forward to what you share as much as the post itself.

  2. Kristen Joy Wilks February 17, 2021 at 9:05 am #

    I have marveled at how God brings life full circle at times. When my husband was in high school, he had one Christian friend that he respected. He was not a believer at the time and for the most part, actively avoided Christians as the ones that he knew tended to be hypocritical. But he did have one friend who showed kindness. She prayed for him all through high school and then in college, God brought my husband another Christian friend who lived kindness in his life for three years until finally the day came when he shared the gospel and my husband was ready to hear. Fast forward and that Christian girl who prayed for my husband in high school was a mom who sent her three kids to AWANA and my husband worked as their AWANA leader. Then those three kids came as campers to the camp where we work, and finally counselors, and then two of them have been camp interns for us. That faithful Christian girl raised faithful children who have ministered to our own children as their camp counselor, intern, and eventually amazing camp speaker in the case of her son. Her daughter has been our intern and recently posed with a chicken on her head for my latest book! It is so amazing. That girl long ago prayed for my husband, he cared for her kids, both of us taught her kids how to counsel, her kids counseled and ministered to our kids, and now our oldest son is a camp counselor who learned many of his skills from her son. So amazing! And yes, the chicken book cover is also amazing! How could it not be? God is the best storyteller!

  3. Ash Knepper February 17, 2021 at 9:32 am #

    Ahhh! I loved reading every word of this post. So encouraging. I want God to be the center of my writing career as well. It’s so beautiful how He takes care of everything, down to the very last spectacular detail! Thank you, Jesus.

  4. Stacy Simmons February 17, 2021 at 10:34 am #

    What an encouraging post, thank you. It’s a wonderful lesson on cleaving to faith and following Jesus’ gentle nudges, where sometimes you head right back to your “starting place.” And, it is exactly where you belong. Wishing you all the best!

  5. Iris Carignan February 17, 2021 at 1:44 pm #

    Such an encouraging post. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I too had a dream at an early age to write, but my dream of becoming an artist also shared my aspirations around the same age of 9. As things progressed in my life, Art and painting, became my vocational focus. Yet along the way, God continued to bring writing inspirations too. Then as time weathered me and the world of art became increasingly harder for my older body to handle the physical part of doing shows and such, my art focus slowed to a near stop. So in my senior years, the Good Lord re-lit the fire of writing in my heart. Since 2016, I’ve been able to publish two books and have recently written my first novel. I’m excited to see what God will do with this new venture of life and how He will now guide my hands to paint a picture of His redeeming love through writing. After all, it was also at the age of 9 when I came to faith in Christ.

  6. Dinah Rogers February 17, 2021 at 2:17 pm #

    What a fabulous story, Kristen! These are the ways that no one can deny have to be orchestrated by God. You just know He enjoys these little escapades in bringing events full-circle…and gives us who write the best example of how to weave stories that do the same.

  7. Dinah Rogers February 17, 2021 at 2:21 pm #

    Thank you, Kim, for sharing these events and the creative way that God worked all that stuff together for His good and yours. I love the “coincidental” placement of individuals in your life and how they entertwined in your amazing future. Your story is ecouraging to me.

  8. Dawn Shipman February 17, 2021 at 10:46 pm #

    Thank you, Kim, for sharing this with us. 🙂 Your story is so encouraging–it gives me the positive oomph I need to keep on keeping on!

  9. Patti Jo Moore February 18, 2021 at 8:23 pm #

    Kim, I was so excited when I saw that YOU were the guest blogger!! I loved reading about your beginnings in your writing journey, and love how God has used you and your books to touch many lives—including mine!

    I’m looking forward to reading many, many more of your stories, and treasure your friendship. Thanks so much for sharing today!! 🙂

  10. Daphne Woodall February 21, 2021 at 5:41 pm #

    Kim, I did not know the backstory. So awesome how God works things for our good.

    I was gifted Janette Oke’s book series in early 1990’s where I found my lost love of fiction. And eventually it led to studying the craft of writing.

    Blessings to you!

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