Who me? A writer? – By Rhonda Stoppe

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But Im not a writer,” I whispered to the Lord. It was the last day of my last childs last year of high school. Does that make sense? For this mother of four it meant my life was about to change drastically.

For more than two decades my focus had been upon parenting my children. I am a pastors wife too. So, I had worked hard to balance parenting with ministering to my minister husband, serving in our church and speaking at womens events.

But on that final day of my daughters senior year I weighed the idea of what I should do with the next season—as an empty nester.

Whenever I considered my options, the Lord would impress one word upon my mind… Write.”

For a person who dangles her participles and runs on her sentences this seemed like an unlikely assignment. But that day was different. That day I made no more excuses. 

I prayed, Lord, if this is Your plan for me then Youre going to have to open the doors because I dont even know where to begin.”

That same year I was the coordinator for the California Southern Baptist ministerswives annual retreat. I often spoke at the retreat and mentored a number of younger pastors wives. As coordinator, I considered how I might mentor more women throughout the year.

So, I decided to write a 52-week devotional entitled, I Sleep With the Pastor. (A lighthearted title for our serious work.)

As I wrote the weekly devotionals I imagined the ministers wife who would learn from my experiences, grow from the biblical principles, and be encouraged that she’s not alone in her unique calling.

I loved her. I cared for her. I wanted her to know how God had helped me in my ministry and He would help her too.

When every woman was gifted with my ebook, I was humbled and amazed by their response. And throughout the year I heard from a number of the women how God was using the devotional to strengthen their walk with Christ and equip them in their marriages and ministries.

The following year, at the same retreat, I had lunch with the Key Note speaker, Cindi McMenamin. As Cindi and I chatted she said, Rhonda, you should be a writer.”

I replied, Oh, Im not a writer. Im a speaker.”

Cindi responded, Writing is just speaking on paper.”

Cindis words exploded in my mind. How true was her statement. When I’d written the devotional for the pastors wives thats exactly what I had done. I spoke to them––on paper!

Cindi requested a copy of the ebook. A week later she called me and said, Im going to help you get published.”

How could I have known that the Lord would orchestrate my steps to meet Cindi after Id been faithful to write the devotional?

Only He could chart my path and open the doors to becoming a published author.

But thats how God works—right? He puts in our hearts a zeal to do whatever He has purposed for us:

For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13 ESV).

If you are living in surrender to Christ He gives you the want to. And then, in His providence and timing, He charts your path and guides your steps.

If youre a writer…write. And if youre a speaker…speak.

Saturate your mind with scripture so your words will be powerful and productive.

Pray, pray, and pray some more. And above all keep your eyes fixed on Jesus while running the race He lays before you. Because if you keep your focus on Christ, He will do in and through you all that He has planned. And you my friend, will have no regrets. 

Soli Deo Gloria.

By Rhonda Stoppe – No Regrets Woman