God will give us the desires of our hearts. It says so in the bible, right? I’m sure I’m not the only one who sees those words and says to myself, “oh, goody, what do I want? For what shall I ask him?” I get all giddy just thinking about the things He can do for me. Like a big, genial Santa in the sky just waiting to rain down presents on me.
When I turned forty-five, I realized the desire of my heart was slipping away. If I were going to be a published novelist, I needed to get moving and quickly. I wrote my first novel and I began to pray. I asked God to find me a publisher, to give me a book contract, to help me find an agent, in short to hand over my heart’s desire on a silver platter. And quickly, if you please.
Seven long years passed. I wrote more novels. I attended conferences. I practiced my elevator pitches and buttonholed acquisition editors in hallways. I crafted query letters and synopsis and wrote more novels. And I prayed. God, please let me be published.
Nothing happened. Even after I snagged a great agent, the manuscripts didn’t sell.
Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I had a full-time job, two kids, two cats, a tank full of fish, and oh yes, a husband who occasionally wanted my undivided attention. If God was supposed to give me my heart’s desire, what was the holdup?
Never once did it occur to me that God knows what’s best for me, He has a plan, He gave me the talent for writing, He is in charge of when the plan unfolds and He knows what the desire of my heart is better than I do. I finally asked Him flat out: Father, what would you have me do? Give it up? Because I can’t take it anymore. I’m too exhausted to go on. Should I stop? Should I write something else? Give me a sign. Please.
A few days later I received a call from my agent telling me I had a contract offer. Not for the first novel I wrote, but for the third one. God knew I needed seasoning. He knew I needed to ride the learning curve. He knew when the time would be right, when my talent and my craft would be honed enough to produce something worthy of publication. He gave me what I needed when I needed it.
More importantly, He knows the hearts that need to be touched by the stories I write. He knows those who are in need of hope and light and encouragement. He writes the stories on my heart, not for me, but for someone else who needs to read them. He delights in giving others their heart’s desire by using me as an instrument forged by his hands.
In order for that to happen, I had to be still, listen, and be willing to accept the answer that came. Be still and listen and you will receive the desires of your heart on God’s time and by his hand and his plan. After all, the bible says so!
Kelly Irvin is the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series, both from Harvest House Publishing. Her latest release is A Plain Love Song, set in Amish country in Missouri, which debuted July 1. It is the final installment in the series, which also included Love Redeemed and Love Still Stands.
She is currently working on The Beekeeper’s Son, the first book in the Amish of Bee County series, for Zondervan/HarperCollins. She has also penned two inspirational romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine.
Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-six years. They have two young adult children, one gorgeous new granddaughter, two cats, and a tank full of fish. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories and read books by her favorite authors.