Tuesday, May 31, 2016

El Roi -- Part One

El Roi (EL raw-EE) – The God Who Sees Me.

I know I'm not the only one struck by the depth of those words. This special name of God – used only once in the entire Bible, has given hope to so many – starting with the very woman who named him that -- Hagar presumably the only person in the Bible who “renamed” God.

Hagar's story was a short, mysterious one, but one that had a tremendous impact on this world today. You can read the whole story Here.

Who was at fault for Hagar's heartache? Everyone. Sarai for taking matters into her own hands then reacting with fierce jealousy when it came back to bite her, Abram for not trusting the Lord and going along with Sarai's scheme, and Hagar for allowing her arrogance and stubbornness to stoke Sarai's sorest point.

But the damage is done when we find Hagar huddled beside the spring, eagerly moistening her chapped lips and dry throat with the water, nursing her bruises, cradling her growing belly, wondering what would become of her and her child as the desert sun baked down on her.

In this state of desperation, perhaps she did what she'd been refusing to do all her life – she called on the Lord. Perhaps as an Egyptian, she'd been struggling with the beliefs of Sarai and Abram and, after her terrible experience with them, was ready to forsake the Lord all together but for the looming future that seemed so dismal.

But the Lord refused to forsake Hagar. Imagine. Knowing the pain and sorrow that her child would bring. Seeing the future. The wars. The pain. The death. He still loved her, just as he loved her child and his descendants. He loved her so much, He sent an angel to speak to her, to show her a glimpse of his plans for her and her child. It was an encounter that changed her life forever.

Her response was to give both God and the spring a new name. El Roi – The God Who Sees Me.

When I think of that name, I think of God holding me in His arms, watching me with unwavering love and interest. But I think this name has a double meaning, which was part of why Hagar named Him this. Despite His undying love for me, as God is seeing His perfect plan coming to fruition in my life, He can also see all my faults and sins.

I think Hagar named Him, El Roi, because of how He saw her needs, pain, and sorrow and came to comfort her, but also saw her defiance arrogance and came to correct her. For He told her to go back and submit to Sarai who was mistreating her. Imagine! Who would want to go back to that situation? But note that Hagar obeyed the Lord, despite the fear churning her stomach. She humbled herself, asked forgiveness, and trusted that El Roi was still watching over her.

Sometimes, that is exactly what we need to do. We need to turn around and return to the very things we are running from, quelling our fears, and trusting that El Roi, who sees us, will work that situation out for His Good and Purpose.

So what do you think? Have you seen evidence of El Roi seeing you?

Check back Thursday for part two. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Sound of Emeralds

As a young writer, I've found Go Teen Writers an invaluable source to learn about the writing process. During one of my earliest days there, Roseanna M. White showed how she made the beautiful cover for Rachelle Rea's debut book. From the moment I saw the cover for The Sound of Diamonds, I knew I had to read this series. I preordered it immediately, and when I finally held it in my hands, it did not disappoint.

I eagerly read The Sound of Silver and awaited the arrival of The Sound of Emeralds. Rachelle's realistic, broken characters and beautiful writing carried the story to a glorious conclusion in The Sound of Emeralds.

Dirk and Gwen will forever hold a piece of my heart and a place on my shelves.

When I read on Rachelle's blog that Emeralds was one of the choices for May's Clash of the Titles, I had to vote for it. I encourage you to do the same. It only takes a few seconds. Vote here!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Carrying on the Story

Times change, people come and go, but the story ever marches on.

Through this blog, I am recording my small part in this master Story. I'm "carrying on the Story" with shaking knees and a pounding heart in Ireland this fall and from there, into the world of writing and publishing.

I'm just a small-town, country girl with big dreams and steadfast faith in the One who is the author of this Story. I never really planned to be an author until a few years ago. I was so absorbed in trying to decide what I wanted to do with my life, that the Lord had to smack me upside the head with a career that wasn't even on my radar -- writing.

I didn't think I had what it took to write a book -- I didn't even know where to start! But my trust in the Lord led me through, and I haven't looked back. I still have a lot to learn and improve, but I'm confident that the Lord will carry me through. I'm going to Taylor University to major in Professional Writing to learn and become well equipped with the knowledge I need to answer the Lord's call and bring Him glory.

I've learned that it is okay to be a little scared, nervous, and all around not sure of what you are doing. Just don't let fear cripple you, or the unknown stop you from stepping out on faith. Trust me. Faith is strong enough to carry you. Faith can make you fly.

I don't know all the adventures I'll have, or what all the future holds for me, but I'll cling to the Lord and trust Him to guide me to a glorious ending, and I know He will do the same for you.

So, please join me in carrying on the grand Story that the Lord is writing. Comment and give an example of a time the Lord used you to carry on the Story.