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Never Too Late

    Nov 13, 2022 | by The Fellowship

    Both my husband and I have each written prayer stories for this ministry in recent years.  The Lord continually shows grace, and we want to give Him the credit that is due His holy name!  Not only is this ministry a great way to see how God is working in people’s lives but writing the stories can also be transformative.

    Two years ago, I happened to see online a call out for stories on various topics for Chicken Soup for the Soul books.  Since I had recently written a prayer story similar to one of the topics, I used that story as inspiration for a new one slanted to a Chicken Soup theme.  With a prayer, I submitted it.  My story was chosen for one of their books entitled “Making Me Time” that was published in February 2021. 

    I was thrilled and, more importantly, fell in love with writing.  That is when I started writing stories about anything and everything I could think of.  I submitted about 70 more stories to various Chicken Soup books.  Another of my stories was chosen that same year for “The Blessings of Christmas” book.

    Chicken Soup often receives more than 2,000 submissions per book, of which they select 101 stories to include.  Most of the people submitting stories are career writers, so it is quite difficult to get chosen.  Even so, it was hard for me not to focus on my 70 stories that were not selected.  But looking back over all of those, I see how much my writing improved by not giving up.

    Not only did I learn more about the craft of writing, but my mental health also improved!  As I write about something, it helps me to see things more clearly and to focus on the progress I have made in given situations.  My faith increases that God will work everything together for good in the end, even when I cannot yet see the solutions!

    Last December, I sold a story to Sasee magazine and in February I sold one to Your Teen for Parents, an online magazine.  Neither of these paid very well, but it was another publication credit to include in my biography – not to mention the thrill that someone appreciated what I wrote.

    A few months ago, I began to focus on a different market and started writing children’s picture books.  I have completed twenty, with a diversity of styles and topics.  I am now submitting them to agents and publishers with the hope of making sales. It is an extremely competitive market.  Whether any of them ever get published or not, they were a blast to create!

    Many times when you submit a story, article or book to an agent or editor, if not interested they do not even bother to reply.  It can be quite disheartening!  But, just like anything in life, God is in control. If selling my work fits in His plan for me, it will happen in His perfect timing.

    In the meantime, I have not quit my other jobs!  Right now, I squeeze in writing whenever I can.  In the future with increasing improvement, I hope to sell more!

    Just today another prayer was answered when I received the happy news that one of my recent stories has once again been chosen to be in a Chicken Soup book: “Lessons Learned from My Dog.”  This book will come out in late January 2023. I have been a fan of these books for more than 20 years, so now to have my own stories in them is amazing!

    All praise to God that even in middle age, a new interest that I love has entered my life – and I am also making a little money from it.  Best of all, writing about issues and relationships and the ways God is working in my life has great rewards.  It has helped me work through some difficult things from my past and to move forward, resting in God’s grace and love!

    Writing this prayer story also reminded me that God never said things will be easy or that I will always get what I desire. But He did promise me (and you, too!) that He will be with us always, through the best and the worst of times.

    M. L.

    The Lord will guide you always …
    Isaiah 58:11

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