I’d like to introduce my blog guest, a woman engraved on the heart of God. She’s an Arkansas girl and a brilliant light to those of us who know her. She’s my friend. And, I say this with the utmost gratitude. Tara came into my life about five years ago when I joined American Christian Fiction Writers of America and the Arkansas chapter. Now serving as president of our Arkansas group, she’s a mentor to everyone involved and a valuable encourager. I’m so proud of, Tara. God has blessed her this year. He has rewarded a faithful, loving, and kind heart.
Tara has a journal to give away along with an added surprise. Anyone in the United States can enter to win by leaving a comment and your email address on her blog post below. I was blessed by her website blog this past week, and encourage you to subscribe to her website. (If you haven’t already, consider subscribing to mine). Tara’s link is below. Please leave your comment and email by December 13, 2017 at midnight.
I’ll plan a fair and random drawing on December 14, 2017, and one winner will be announced.
And now? Tara Johnson with a stirring blog that I needed to hear.
It’s an odd thing to see a long awaited dream fulfilled.
You reach, you pray, you cry, you plan, you anguish and lament, you work and beg, and pray some more. Hoping, wondering. Sometimes, your focus can become muddled. That was the case for me a few years ago. My dream was to become a published author. An admirable goal, especially since I wanted to write stories that pointed people towards Jesus, right?
The problem with dreams, with any dream, is they can become gods if we let them.
In all my dream striving, I lost my joy and instead became plagued with despair. God tenderly revealed to me I was pursuing the dream more than I was pursuing Him.
Pause. Time for a heart check and reevaluation. My prayers changed. Instead of asking God for a publishing contract, I asked Him to help me write stories He could bless. I asked Him to reveal my own wounds and give me the courage to expose them to His healing light…and then have the audacity to write about the scars afterwards.
I’m happy to announce I recently signed a three book contract with Tyndale House Publishers.
The very first book of this Civil War series, Engraved on the Heart, will be released June 1, 2018. I have no idea why God has blessed me so, but I’m typing this through tears, still amazed. When God said, “Yes”, He said yes in a big way.
I’m excited to step foot on this new adventure, yet I pray I don’t lose sight of the beautiful lesson He’s taught me during the past few years of waiting.
God promises if you delight yourself in Him, He will give you the desires of your heart. (Ps. 37:4)
The world will tell you to reach for your dreams before time runs out. God says to trust Him because His timing is perfect. The world says the only way to be more is to work harder, push, do, strive. God says if you’ve given yourself to Him, you are His child and heir. Your identity is already rock solid. (Rom. 8:15-17) The world says the only way to reach your dreams is to become a better multi-tasker. Cram in more. Do it all and have it all. God says to be still. He will give you rest. The world issues demands and still, many people never see the fulfillment of their dreams. God promises if you delight yourself in Him, He will give you the desires of your heart. (Ps. 37:4)
Goals are wonderful things, but they are not the destination. True satisfaction and lasting joy can only be found at the feet of Christ. Jesus is not walking with me towards a dream. He is my dream. It doesn’t get any better than that.
I pray God will use it to touch the hearts of people who are struggling with the lie “I am worthless”.
My main purpose in writing Engraved on the Heart was a spiritual one. I grew up with a seizure disorder, just like my heroine Keziah did. All of us face hardships of some kind or another, whether physical or emotional, but if we aren’t on guard, the enemy will tell us we have no worth.
A lie is only harmful if we believe it. The truth is Jesus thought we were so valuable, He died to keep us. I want my readers to know they are loved. They are wanted. They are cherished by the God of the universe. The scars in His hands prove it.
A lie is only harmful if we believe it. The truth is Jesus thought we were so valuable, He died to keep us.
I love freedom fighters and those in the Civil War were among the very finest. Please pray for God’s divine favor as Keziah and Micah’s story is released. I pray God will use it to touch the hearts of people who are struggling with the lie “I am worthless”. May the truth of the cross set them free.
Learn more about “Engraved on the Heart” here: https://www.tyndale.com/p/engraved-on-the-heart/9781496428318, and it can now be preordered: https://www.amazon.com/Engraved-Heart-Tara-Johnson/dp/1496428315
Her first nonfiction book Hollow Victory: How to Identify and Disarm 5 Landmines that Make Victorious Christian Living Feel Like a Lie was released in 2014.
Tara Johnson is an author, speaker and singer from Alexander, AR. A passionate lover of stories, she loves to travel to churches, ladies retreats and prisons to share how God led her into freedom after spending years living shackled as a people-pleasing preacher’s kid.
Her first nonfiction book Hollow Victory: How to Identify and Disarm 5 Landmines that Make Victorious Christian Living Feel Like a Lie was released in 2014. Her first historical romance with Tyndale House Publishers will be released in the summer of 2018, and is the first of three stories set during the Civil War. She has won the Bronze Medal in the Frazier awards hosted by My Book Therapy and has articles published in Plain Truth Magazine and Live It Loud Magazine and has been a featured guest on Voice of Truth radio and Enduring Word radio. Tara is a member of ACFW and is represented by Janet Grant of Books & Such Literary Agency. She and her husband Todd have been married for nineteen years and the Lord has blessed them with five children: Bethany, Callie, Nate, as well as Taylor Lynn and Morgan Lane who are with Jesus.
Novel Preorder: https://www.amazon.com/Engraved-Heart-Tara-Johnson/dp/1496428315