For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.~Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV
Creating realistic characters, plunging them into chaos until they fall in the arms of Jesus, is an amazing adventure for a Christian fiction writer. But it requires inspiration.
Any author would admit how difficult it is to weave scenes and create intriguing dialogue. It’s imperative for the writer to immerse themselves into the lives of those they create, to feel what they feel, and to allow the trials he or she faces to encourage personal growth, which ultimately leads them closer to God.
As a writer, I’m able to appreciate God’s passion for His children as He plans our lives, directing us in the path of righteousness. When the enemy creates an obstacle or we take a detour, God is faithful and will redirect our steps. As events in a novel, situations are not coincidental, but purposefully placed liked pieces of a puzzle.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.~Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
While praying over this devotional, God gave me insights into how the events of my past were perfectly placed to influence the future. Eighteen years ago, intermittent pain in my jaw and tongue intensified over a period of weeks which prevented me from talking, eating, or drinking. The neurologist diagnosed me with a disorder called trigeminal neuralgia and treated me with medication, but I developed an allergic reaction. My desperation for freedom from the torturous pain motivated me to undergo a major operation. Although the surgery ended favorably, the doctor warned the procedure would only provide relief for five years at most. Twenty years later, I am still pain-free.
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.~James 1:2-4 NLT
In 2020, my sister asked me to pray for someone at her church. She had temporarily taken on the interim role of prayer leader even though she didn’t feel led to assume that position. A woman emailed a prayer request for healing from trigeminal neuralgia, and my sister immediately thought of me. The moment I read her prayer, God prompted me to reach out. Not only did I relate to her suffering but felt I should share what I’ve learned about healing and walk this journey with her. Three weeks later, her pain episodes were less severe and sparse. And when twinges of discomfort reared its ugly head, the pain would depart when she praised God for blessing her life.
This woman’s courage and spiritual strength, as she eagerly sought God, pressing into her faith, moved me. I may have been a blessing to her, but she equally blessed and inspired me to never give up and to embrace challenges, remembering that whatever the enemy means for evil God will use to accomplish His will. We continue to communicate on a regular basis, exchange prayers and stories, and plan to remain friends for life.
When I asked God if my experience with trigeminal neuralgia years ago was intended for this one person, He led me to this verse. “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14b NKJV).
Trials and tribulations may come, and at times feel unbearable, but never forget our Almighty Father in Heaven who already knows your story. Take courage, because whatever tool the enemy attempts to use against you, God will use for good.
What experiences in your life can you share with others who may need encouragement?
Dear Lord, You are the Author of my life, and Your plans are to give me hope and a future, not suffering and grief. I pray for Your wisdom and guidance when I don’t understand, and the strength to never doubt You are in control of all things. Help me to use the experiences of my life to support and encourage others.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright 2021: Planned Perfectly: Irene Wintermyer: All Rights Reserved