Trusting The Master’s Plan with Author Edie Melson

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Author Edie Melson with map behind her, with resilience expert Elizabeth Van Tassel

I first got to know Edie Melson like many writers do, through her terrific website The Write Conversation, a top site for writers to learn the craft. Then I heard her story of amazing resilience while her son served in the military, and saw her encourage other families. I interviewed her for a special project benefiting wildfire victims HERE. Most recently, I’ve watched Edie’s dreams of writing fiction come to life and found such encouragement in her writing path, and how she’s always used each experience to the fullest. She is a champion for writers, but also for those who need a boost in hard times. Whether you are a writer, parent, or taking on a tough project requiring perseverance, I hope you’ll enjoy her post as part of the #LetResilienceArise guest blog series. And be sure to subscribe to Thorn & Vine on the home page HERE to be entered in the giveaway!

By Edie Melson

I’m one of those who’ve always wanted to be a writer. I wrote my first book longhand—in purple ink, no less—in eighth grade. I still have that year’s annual where friends signed it with things like, “I know I’ll see you in the bookstore when I grow up.” It was heady stuff.

So that became one of my life’s goals—publish a book. To do that, I was going to have to become a writer. But that dream wasn’t all-consuming. I got married, had a family, and did all the things a young wife and mother does.

But God had a plan.

That seed He’d planted so long ago began to grow. I wrote a Bible study. My husband loved it, and my church loved it so I decided to give it a try. I signed up for a writing conference. It didn’t go exactly like planned—everything I heard sounded like discouragement. I came home, hid the Bible study away and vowed to never write again.

But God had a plan.

My pastor got word I’d written a Bible study and invited me to teach it at church, and with the success of that experience I screwed up my courage and sent off a query letter to a major Christian publisher. They ended up requesting the full manuscript and once again, I felt like success was right around the corner. Correspondence from the publisher continued for almost a year as the manuscript went to committee.

Then, I got what I thought was the letter I’d been waiting for. I ripped open the envelope only to find they’d ultimately declined to publish my book. It seemed I had no platform. That was the first time I’d heard that term in that context.

I once again put away the Bible study, but this time it was to learn more about the publishing industry and how to succeed.

Because I knew God had a plan.

I took a chance and attended another writing conference. I submitted articles, got involved with other writers and continued to learn and grow.

Over the years I’ve continued to grow in my craft, and I’ve had success as a full-time freelance writer, several times publishing over seven hundred articles in the space of a year. But that elusive book contract was always just out of reach. I’ve watched my friends move on and publish their first book, their second book and more. I’ve watched those who began their careers after me publish first one book, then another. Even worse, I’ve watched those I’ve helped train, publish first one, then other books, and still no book contract for me.

But God had a plan.

Several years into my journey, our oldest son entered the Marine Corps, He went straight from high school graduation to boot camp to Iraq. Those four years were tough as we all endured his two deployments to the Middle East. All the while, I continued to write, finding success in freelance writing, as well as editing. And still no book contract.

But God had a plan.

While our son was in Iraq, I’d made a promise to God. If He could get me through these deployments, He could use my experience any way He wanted. My thought was I’d be a resource for others who had loved ones deployed.

But God had a plan.

Author Edie Melson, watch, quote, with resilience expert Elizabeth Van Tassel

And in 2011, I opened a box of my very own published books. It was the book of my heart—and one I never dreamed I’d write, Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle. I’d waited years to hold my first book in my hands, and it had all been worth it. I wouldn’t have traded a second of that waiting for the experience of having this specific book come out as my first. Because through this book, God has redeemed the time our son, and our family had suffered.

Sure enough, God did have a plan, and it was exceedingly beyond what I could have imagined.

For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Jeremiah 29:11

You’re going to experience a lot in this life, many of you already have. But the hardest is the temptation to compare your journey, your calling to someone else’s. Yes, we share a similar gift, but the path each of us takes is unique. But that uniqueness is what makes it so special, so specifically ours.

Woman with reflection pool, quote by Author Edie Melson with resilience expert Elizabeth Van TasselEvery experience—good or bad—is going to move you further down the road in your own journey. But don’t let discouragement derail you from the path God has for you.

My life has had plenty of ups and down. And many times I was close to throwing in the towel on my dreams. So why didn’t I? I have to admit, a lot of it had to do with just plain old hard-headedness. But it was also made up of other things. Here are just a few that kept me going:

  • When I got discouraged, I always returned to the last thing I felt like God had told me. I camped out there until I had clear direction.
  • I stayed actively working my dream. By staying visible, I inadvertently created a situation of accountability. I really didn’t want to tell all those people I was quitting.
  • I developed a small group of friends who were following their own dreams. Our group provided each other the support and commiseration we each so desperately need.

Today, with the perspective of time and distance, I can state unequivocally that sticking with it was well worth the effort. I challenge you to stay the course, find a band of fellow travelers and get ready for the ride of your life!

Author Edie Melson

Find your voice, live your story…is the foundation of Edie Melson’s message, no matter if she’s writing for fiction readers, parents, military families, fiction readers or writers. As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives.

Connect with her on her website, through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Find her books in your local stores and through online retailers.

GIVEAWAY!

Edie has offered to give a reader their choice of one of her books below:

While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military (physical book)

While My Child is Away: Prayers for When We’re Apart (physical book)
Or
Alone (Edie’s scifi novel in Kindle version or a physical book)

Simply sign up for the blog and newsletter to come to your email on the home page HERE to be entered! Current subscribers will be included in the lottery.

While My Child is Away book cover with Edie Melson, Author.While My Child Is Away

Parents and children are separated for many reasons: divorce, school, camp, even work. It might be for just a few days or indefinitely. These prayers give voice to all that you are hoping for your child when you can’t be the one to meet their needs. Prayers of blessings, protection, instruction, and grace. Or prayers for those around your child to choose wisely, see their needs, and love them as you would. Prayers for friends, teachers, coaches and mentors to step in and fill every need. Knowing that a loving Father God is caring for your child, even when you can’t, gives you the peace and assurance that all will be well.

What is the Let Resilience Arise series all about?

Elizabeth Van Tassel is a wildfire survivor who lost every possession and her home in 2007. Since that time, she’s been cultivating fiction and nonfiction projects of her own to inspire kids and adults alike with her lessons. But she’s also developed a wonderful network of amazing authors in all different genres and professions who have compelling stories to boost you or perhaps a friend you know who’s struggling with a similar challenge. Subscribe to this blog (on the home page HERE) for these articles and a monthly newsletter to come to your email or stop by again for more amazing stories. Also have your teens and tweens check out their own page and posts HERE. Want to share your story with others or have Elizabeth share hers with your group? Contact Elizabeth HERE and she’d love to discuss bringing lessons of hope and new beginnings to your group too.

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11 Responses to "Trusting The Master’s Plan with Author Edie Melson"
  1. Linda says:

    Such amazing words of encouragement. Thank you, Edie, for sharing your journey. It helps all of us to realize how God is at work in our own lives.

    • evantassel says:

      You are right Linda! Sometimes I don’t see it until much later, the way He’s woven something beautiful from a time that seemed so lonely or discouraging. And then there’s a more grand purpose than I ever could have thought of, or I can talk with someone and really relate. He can use anything for good.

  2. Emme Gannon says:

    A beautiful reminder of God’s timing and the courage to keep moving forward in the dream He placed in your heart. We all need Edie’s reminder.

    • evantassel says:

      I agree Emme! We are moving right now and everything feels so topsy-turvy, upside down. Yet I see her post, and remember the threads of a great goodness can be woven when we let go and let Him be in charge.

    • Edie Melson says:

      Emme, we’re interested with the dreams God gives us and it’s a gift to be able to share them with others! Blessings, E

  3. Lynn says:

    I love this!! God always has a plan, even when we cannot see it and have no idea what He’s up to! Thank you for this encouraging word!

  4. Cathy Baker says:

    So inspiring, Edie! Thank you for sharing your back story. 🙂

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