The Making of The Surrendered Life Series
The Surrendered Life Series of books (Sweet Surrender, New Life, and Legacy) started out as a seed – a seed that God put in my heart that grew.
I had already published My Journey With God (my memoir) two months prior and had thought I was “done.” I had thought what I had to say had already been written. When God had told me, ‘I want you to write for Me … everything you’ve been through is so you’d have something to write about … I created you to write for Me,’ I had assumed that meant everything I’d been through up until that point, and – since I’d pretty much covered all the highlights in my memoir I didn’t believe there was anything left to cover. However, I realized I was wrong.
The realization came when I was at church once again. There had been an invitation to go up front for a “fresh Spirit of God” and I, along with others, went forward. Everyone was standing in a line that went across the front of the church waiting for the preacher that day to come by and pray for them individually. Before my turn even came the Holy Spirit filled my spirit to overflowing and I was so overtaken by it that I could no longer stand. So, first I sat down on the floor then laid down. God was working on me through the power of the Holy Spirit. He was answering my desire for a “fresh Spirit of God.”
My right hand got hot and I found myself banging it and shaking it and I thought about the possibility of God wanting me to write another book. I had no idea what it would be about and it made me cry since I was so humbled because I had thought I was done what I had to say and had no more journals to go by now. I felt groans in my spirit/stomach/gut area to some extent but they weren’t loud … more like breathing out heavy. Then I relaxed, had a few seconds for a break, then my left hand started shaking some after my right side was done. My leg muscles contracted and my mouth felt like it had hyperventilated (even though it hadn’t). I touched my mouth with my left hand since it felt funny, then took my hand off and it still had the same sensation. After all that, it passed and I “got over it” rather quickly and got up off the floor.
There were some people I had to talk to and make plans with to schedule a date for a meeting, then I had to go clean off my car where it had been snowy and rainy and I went home. I felt like I couldn’t (or shouldn’t) talk (to people) and I prayed for God to help me quick before I went inside my home (and I told myself it would be okay).
Still, I felt like I couldn’t talk English … my mouth was full of tongues (inside) and I kind of felt “drunk in the Spirit.” The English words I did say were slurred some and I prayed in tongues some out loud (privately).
I tried to talk to my husband a little but I was still “out of it” and didn’t want to “come back to earth.” Then, my husband decided to go uptown and I had something to eat, thought about things, and relaxed.
Previously (while I was still in the car before I came inside) I had made a note about a book idea that had come to me … the title (Sweet Surrender), the main character (Cassie), and a general idea of what the cover should look like (medium/dark pink roses on the cover that covered the book’s cover at that point). I wasn’t sure if those idea’s were just my own idea’s or if they were God’s idea’s. I thought it was sort of “just me” but also thought, “we’ll see.”
Eventually, I came to believe the idea’s in my head were actually something God wanted me to develop into a fictional story. Again, like with My Journey with God, it was a process. It didn’t happen overnight.
I had to go through a battle in my mind over what a fictional story even was and how I could use inspiration from my own life to write it and still be able to call it fiction. I had to realize that anyone who wrote fiction needed to use their imagination together along with their own personal life experiences and whatever “research” they did on the subject and characters they were writing about as their inspiration. At the beginning especially it was a complicated process for me to get my (wanting to be) logical mind around. However, I persevered and exercised faith as God directed me throughout the process.
As I came up with more and more characters for the first book in the series (Sweet Surrender) I realized how much work it was and how it sort of felt like it was too much work to go through for only one story. I felt like maybe there should be more stories.
One day as I laid on the couch to take a nap I started asking myself the question about Cassie (the main character in Sweet Surrender), “what had she done to show that her life was surrendered to God?” And I started realizing it wasn’t so much a specific, special thing she had done as it was the fact that whatever God asked her to do she did (like it was her life – it was a surrendered life). When that happened, it’s like the idea came to me: The Surrendered Life Series.
It wasn’t something special she (Cassie) had to do; it was more something she had to be – surrendered – a state of being – ongoing – having the mindset ahead of time – ahead of being asked to do something – something special or something ordinary.
And then I thought, “Do you have a surrendered life to Christ? Is your mind ready and willing to be obedient to God – no matter what the cost? Have a heart set on surrender – and your life will be a surrendered life to God too!”
And so, on that day, The Surrendered Life Series was conceived.