14 November 2013

thankful thursday

When I first arrived home from the ACFW writer's conference I posted about my experience a little bit, and I shared that I'd met my favorite author--Robin Jones Gunn.

What I wrote in that post: Her books have whispered to my heart through different stages of my life for 20 years. It was such a sweet honor to meet her and hug this lovely lady. The fragrance of Christ is all around her. That moment alone would have been enough to call my conference complete.

cjoy allen and Robin Jones Gunn

As a teenager, her books were a sweet reminder that I wasn't alone in pursuing the Lord and wading through the mess of life as high schooler. I know now why they rang true for me--she had young girls living that life, coaching her in what she should write. And it all began when those same girls were tucked into a tent, reading books that gave her pause. She told them to find something else to read, but that was hard to come by. They finally begged her to write books for them, and Christy Miller was born. Recently, Robin posted a picture of some different girls tucked into a tent reading her Christy books. This story of full circle gives me tingles of delight.

I've read most of her books over the years--I feel like I've grown into adulthood with her stories. But what has spoken the deepest to me was Victim of Grace, a recent nonfiction about Robin's own life, her story. Her open, humble spirit was so touching. The genuine experience of God's grace pouring over her life--precious to read. I was in tears by the second page because it met my heart so perfectly where I was needy--as her books often have. I'm slowly re-reading it just to be refreshed once again.

I was blessed beyond words to hear her as our keynote speaker at the conference, her lilting voice washing the room in a breathy "Aloha" as she shared from her life. I'm grateful I had the opportunity to meet this Godly woman--it was a God Thing, I believe, divinely arranged in a quiet spot by the elevators while classes and appointments were going on. I'm still not sure how she remembered me from an email months prior. But she did, remembering the the question she told me she'd ask if I would come up to introduce myself.

I am so thankful for this amazing author whose stories stirred my own passion to write. It was during the early days of reading the Christy books that I began to dream of writing something that could draw readers to know Christ better, to long for Him in a deeper way. Now I just pray I am obedient to His heavenly vision, because the blessing is truly inside the obedience... 

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