I’m honored to feature a story of hope this week by my friend and debut author, Debra DuPree Williams. Never give up hope!
When I was a child, I sat for hours devouring our Childcraft books. I read and re-read the poems, memorizing all I could. By the time I entered junior high school, now known as middle school, I wrote my first novel.
Even with all these things, I was never told that I had a calling to be a writer.
My desires to do such were swept beneath the but-you-have-such-a-beautiful-voice rug, and singing was the only thing my family could see in my future. Don’t misunderstand me. I was delighted to have been gifted with the voice I once had. And it was my honor to have been able to use it to God’s glory.
When I turned forty, my husband sent me to a romance writers conference.
I had no idea such conferences existed.
I naively took my writing samples, even sent them off with a publisher for her company.
God bless them, they wrote me back a lovely letter telling me they had no place for it. I put the story away, and I didn’t lift my pencil or keyboard until 2011.
It was during a six-month stay in our son’s home, caring for our two young granddaughters that I felt the tug upon my heart to write again.
Fast forward to 2014 when my sister mentioned a favorite author’s website. I had no idea authors had websites. But I went to hers, scrolled through, and found a link to Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.
This may sound like your normal search, but it simply wasn’t. See, the conference was located in Asheville, North Carolina. My husband and I were in the process of moving to our new home, under construction, in Asheville.
It was a God-incidence that the conference happened to be scheduled for the very week we had the final walk-through of our home.
Of course, I was thrilled. Hubby and I packed our bags and headed out for a week’s stay at Ridgecrest, the home of the conference.
I had no idea what to expect. This was all new to me.
I spent the week in awe. Of all the famous authors whose works I’d read. Of how no one was a stranger. Of how people prayed over me and for my family. Of God and how He was opening doors, even though I had no clue at the time.
Now fast forward to 2020.
In just two short weeks, my debut novel will hit the shelves. I’m still in awe of all the amazing things God has done for me. The people He has put in my path would make anyone stop and say, wow!
Back in the 1980s, I chose as my life verse, Psalm 39:7, when our church choir sang Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem. My hope is in Thee is one of the most melodic lines in this beautiful work.
The first time I sang it, I was transported to the throne room of God.
That simple verse holds all the hopes, dreams, and desires of my heart. Here I am, seventy years old and God has brought me to the fulfillment of a dream I had long abandoned and forgotten.
Friends, here’s the thing. I’m no one special. Not in earthly terms. But to God, I am His child. One in whose heart He planted a tiny seed many years ago, and that seed grew, and as I fed it, it blossomed into a dream come true.
A hope fulfilled.
If God can do this for me after all these years, there is no limit to what He can and will do for you.
Never give up hope.
For anything. For dreams, for unanswered prayer, for lost children. For broken hearts. For any of the earthly things that afflict us day in and day out.
I am profoundly grateful. Thank you, Father God. My hope is in Thee.
Join the conversation. Have you accomplished a dream later in life? How has God encouraged you to keep going when you were tempted to quit?
Debra DuPree Williams is an award-winning author whose work has appeared in Yvonne Lehman’s Stupid Moments, Additional Christmas Moments, Selah Award finalist, Moments with Billy Graham, and Michelle Medlock Adams’s Love and Care for the One and Only You, expanded edition, in addition to other publications.
When she isn’t busy writing, you will likely find Debbie chasing an elusive ancestor, either through online sources or in rural graveyards.
Debbie is a classically-trained lyric coloratura soprano whose first love is Southern Gospel. She’s been married forever to the best man on earth, is the mother of four sons, mother-in-law of one extraordinary daughter-of-her-heart, and DD to the two most intelligent, talented, and beautiful young ladies ever. Debbie and her husband live in the majestic mountains of North Carolina.
Debbie’s debut novel, Grave Consequences, releases July 15, 2020! Click the book cover for the preorder link.
In 1968, twenty-six-year-old Charlotte Graves wrestles with more than just her decision to return to her hometown, Loblolly, Alabama–she is also fleeing a broken heart, colliding headlong into a second one, and about to stumble onto a deadly secret.
Now settled back in Loblolly, Charlotte is hired to oversee the Woodville County Historical Society, a job she was born for. But no sooner has she banged the gavel to bring order to the first meeting than she is accused of being incompetent to lead the group by her old nemesis, Boopsie Swets. Later that night she finds herself arrested by her old beau, the current deputy sheriff, Roan Steele, for killing Boopsie.
After being released on bail, Charlotte uses her skills as a genealogist to leap into the investigation. And when Charlotte goes digging up dirt, she unearth a long-kept family secret. Will it lead to Boopsie’s murderer … or to grave consequences for Charlotte and her family?
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