Introduction: I believe that we all have a story to share. Oftentimes, our stories are intertwined in God’s mysterious ways. That is the case with my guest blogger, Donna Cronk, of Pendleton, Indiana. She writes even more than me and is the first-time author of a Christian novel: Sweetland of Liberty Bed & Breakfast. (You can check out her book and more writing at her Facebook page: Sweetland of Liberty Bed & Breakfast by Donna Cronk. The book is available on Amazon and has great reviews. I know because I have read her book and wrote one of the five star reviews!)
God’s Mysterious Appointments
By Guest Blogger Donna Cronk
There was no reason, frankly, to think that I’d ever hear from, or maybe even about, Debbie McCray again. About a decade ago, Debbie and her family moved from our subdivision in Indiana, to the southwest corner of Ohio, a few hours away. Debbie and I had been friendly, and sometimes sat next to each other in church. Our sons played together and two of them were even very good friends as well as childhood playmates. Other than place on the map and our boys, however, Debbie and I didn’t on the surface have a whole lot in common. We enjoyed passing the time as neighbors. But close? We weren’t.
I guess that’s why it surprised me when Debbie included us on her Christmas card list. Still, it was nice to catch up with a few lines around the holidays. This went on for a decade and honestly, it was all her doing. Every year I half expected for the cards to stop. They never did. Then, about a year ago, an email arrived, out of the blue, from Debbie. She told me about some devotions she wrote that her church published. She told me about some other writing she was doing and about her dream to write a book. I was stopped in my tracks. At the very same time, I was working feverishly on my own book. In fact, my husband and I had established 2013 as The Year that I get my novel out there. What are the odds that Debbie would contact me, one, and two, what are the odds that she would mention a dream of her own book, randomly, at the very same time that I was pounding daily into the computer on chapters of mine?
I wrote back to her about what I was up to and Debbie said we should be accountability partners. This threw me. I told her it sounded too “AA” for me. And maybe, I just didn’t want to be accountable. What if my book did not happen? What if hers sailed through on a breeze and here I am, a 30-year journalist, who couldn’t complete one small novel in the year designated for that purpose even though I’d been plucking away at it for four years? Best to keep such dreams to oneself, I thought. Debbie told me that she meant being accountable in a “fun” way. OK, we’d try it. Before I knew it, we were exchanging great information that we learned at writing conferences. We discussed the merits of professional editing, of selecting publishing houses, of how to handle sticky situations. We were becoming colleagues.
For me, it really was the year to publish. My Christian women’s fiction novel, Sweetland of Liberty Bed & Breakfast was published in January. Soon after, Debbie was blogging. And here we are. Email buddies. A writing support group of two. And even though I’m not fond of the term, yes, we became accountability partners.
God chooses whom he chooses for his purposes. There is no other explanation than to recognize that God decided that Debbie and I needed to be friends and to encourage one another at this particular place and time in our lives. God knew before we did and watched as we discovered his special gift to us. We are sisters in Christ with the same heart to honor the Lord in our writing.
Romans 15:4 (New Living Translation)
Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.