24 March 2019

Overcoming Setbacks and Attacks in the Christian Writer’s Life -- By Author Kathleen L. Maher

Author Kathleen L. Maher
Overcoming Setbacks and Attacks in the Christian Writer’s Life
Guest Post 
By
Kathleen L. Maher 
D i s c o u r a g e m e n t
We all know the writing life promises glamour, recognition, accolades, and if you’re really good, a movie contract or two…. Oh, wait. Did I just hear the record scratch as all that romantic music was reaching a crescendo? 
I hope you’re laughing with me (and not at me—haha). You either laugh or you cry some days when the rejection letters are thicker than your billfold. When you’ve been giving it all you have, even for years, and nothing seems to be moving, it can get mighty discouraging. But that’s just it—if our expectations are set in God’s promises, we don’t have to be disappointed. He promises to give us what we need. 
Need…. Hmm. Maybe God knows best when he withholds multiple huge contracts in the midst of a crazy-busy season. Maybe we need to build some resilience first. Thick skin. We can practice sharing the truth and hope He has shown us to more intimate venues. We mustn’t despise the day of small beginnings. But I get it. Small beginnings can be a hard consolation when writing is both a ministry and a business. We do live in the real world, and there are real bills to pay. 
Good news. We have an even more real God who says, “before you cry, I answer you.” He says, “Let God alone be true and every man (and circumstance, and obstacle) a liar.” He says, “When we are faithless (full of doubt and unbelief and worry), I remain faithful.” What amazing promises! And this principle is also true—"Give and it shall be given, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and pouring out all over.” Whatever our expectations and motivations for writing, when given over to God, they will be sifted and refined until they come out pure. And our offerings given to God will land on good soil and produce a harvest in His perfect time. 
“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie. Though it tarry, wait for it, for it shall surely come to pass.” Habakkuk 2:2-3
C H A O S  a n d D I S T R A C T I O N
One of the enemy’s tactics, at least in my home, is the little destructive foxes in the grapes. Do you know what I mean? The computer crashes not once, but five times in one day. Then when finally it decides to work, the dogs get into the garbage, or the phone rings with something urgent, or a meteor streaks down from the blue sky…. Constant interruptions. There is a real enemy who roams about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. There will be opposition to the work of the Lord. 
Sometimes it’s a crisis. Like a loved one in an emergency. Or a battle over finances, health, relationships… Times that try the soul and make you believe writing is the least of your priorities. Yes, there are moments when we must triage, but don’t put down your pen altogether, warrior, because it is a sword. 
We are not those who shrink back—we are overcomers! Sometimes you have to call in the troops and request prayer. Sometimes you have to play praise and worship and create an atmosphere where those trouble makers MUST FLEE at the name of Jesus. Take oil and anoint the doorposts (and keyboard—very lightly) and declare, “as for me and my house, we WILL serve the Lord.” 
And then, press on. Sit in the chair and write, trusting that the words will bring the breakthrough to whoever reads them. In fact, after all that warfare, you can be certain you’re carrying something vital—from the very heart of God—that must be released. 
I’ll leave you with a song that kicks opposition square in the pants:  Rend Collective, Every Giant will Fall
Write on, my friend! Nothing is impossible with Him.
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Kathleen L. Maher has had an infatuation with books and fictional heroes ever since her preschool crush, Peter Rabbit. “Love Brick by Brick,” a novella with her hometown’s history, appeared in BARBOUR’s 2018 Victorian Christmas Bridescollection. Her Civil War romance The Abolitionist’s Daughterreleased six years after winning the ACFW Genesis Award. Another novella of hers will be in Barbour’s schoolteacher collection Lessons on Love in Oct 2019. And Book 2 in her Civil War series, The Chaplain’s Daughter, is now available on Amazon. Kathleen shares an old farmhouse in upstate New York with her husband, children, and a small zoo.
New Release by Kathleen L. Maher

Come join us at Kathy's New Release Facebook Party for The Chaplain's Daughter on May 25th at 4:30 PM. (Click here for the Event page.)

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GIVEAWAY: Winner's choice of ebook or paperback of either of Kathy's Sons of the Shenandoah novels or a paperback copy of The Victorian Christmas Brides collection which includes Kathy's novella. Answer this question: Have you ever faced spiritual attack for doing what God has asked you to do?




57 comments:

  1. Yes, I have. Many times. I was told by God to do something that I had been taught, God would never ask you to do. I said no. I paid for saying no, but when I came to the conclusion that I was wrong about what God would ask you to do, and had to proceed with it, I faced so much angst and attacks from the enemy. Sometimes we like to put God in a box.
    Coming over here from Avid Readers and looking forward to experiencing your new book. Keep writing!

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  2. Thank you Martha. I’m glad you persevered and I’m sorry for your attacks. I can’t wait till you see the fruit of your labor in souls and heavenly reward

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  3. Thank you for having me Carrie! You have modeled over coming in more ways than I can count. You’re my personal hero

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  4. What a greatly encouraging post! I'm at one of those triage moments, but determined to not let the devil get any satisfaction. I love that song! AVIDly looking forward to reading the new release. Congratulations!

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    1. God bless your determination not to let the foxes win! Thank you so much for coming by, Naomi. Good luck in the drawing.

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  5. It looks like my comment may not have gone through. If it did, you can delete this.;)

    I saw this from the Avid Readers of Christian Fiction FB group.

    I have recently experienced the attack of Satan this week, as I was paralyzed in fear on Sunday night. I'm almost sure it has something to do with my plans for my blog and writing in the next couple of months. I won't let Satan's minions keep me from moving forward, but I would appreciate prayers as I push through the resistance.

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    1. Yes, you have my prayers, Lila. Can we swap a prayer for a prayer? This post seems to have awakened the hordes of Hades--my day has been unusually bad. But I trust there is a truth going forth that the enemy cannot stop. God wins. I'm going to put on some praise and worship and try to turn this thing around!
      Hugs

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    2. Kathleen, I'll be praying for you, too!

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  6. Thank you, Kathleen, for such an inspired post. I, and I'm sure many others, identify with all that you've shared here. It's essential to keep our focus on Jesus instead of our circumstances. We have an enemy who wants to thwart our calling, so acknowledging that is critical in helping us to persevere.

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    1. You said it. Our sights must be set high—In heavenly places.
      Thank you for sharing

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  7. One of worst times was when God told me to do something and due to fear of people in authority over me I procrastinated. When I did do it, I felt such release and peace and empowerment. Later when when the above people found out, they threatened to take my job away and tried to hurt me. I did not lose my position, but did go through great amount of trials.
    God never forgets us. He will restore and renew. He did that for me.

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  8. Wow, Linda. God bless you for your courage. You inspire me.

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  9. Yes, but I found the strength to move forward.

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    1. I admire your fortitude! Thank you for sharing. Good luck in the drawing Mary.

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  10. We're going through an attack right now with our Home Fellowship group that only started last August blessed by our church. The three core couples all left due to moving away, one only for 6 months for an interim position, the other two far away. Then we had the extreme weather and had to postpone, then I was very sick for two weeks, another cancellation. Even though some of the individuals were PALS of ours, they had "life" happen and had to cancel. We're feeling discouraged and wonder if God is allowing this so we won't be so busy. We do a lot of other activities for our church family, but my husband really enjoys preparing a message and playing his guitar so we can all sign a few songs. We want God's Will no matter what it is.

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    1. I will pray for clarity Sally. It sounds like a wonderful undertaking. The body really needs those intimate groups to get to know one another. I hope God sends you just the right people to build what he put in your heart.

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  11. Wonderful and encouraging post Kathleen!
    Yes I have many times over the years.
    Blessings,Tina
    *PALS*

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    1. Thank you for sharing Tina. I bet your experiences could write a book of your own :-)

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    2. Per random.org you are our winner, Tina! Congrats!

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    3. Thank you Kathleen and Carrie!
      Blessings,Tina

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  12. Yes, I have. We are overcomes through Christ. Thank you for sharing. I’m an Avid reader. Blessings

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    1. Hey Lucy, thanks for coming by. I love that scripture in revelation that says we overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony… I think we encourage each other ;-)

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  13. I don’t think I have, or if I have I didn’t realize it at the time. I’ve enjoyed your first two books and am looking forward to this new one. I am an AVID Reader ader and a PAL in case that matters, LOL. Blessings for much success with The Chaplain’s Daughter!
    perrianne(DOT)askew(AT)me(DOT)com
    perrianne Askew

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    1. Aw, thank you so much Perrianne. You are so sweet and supportive. You bless me

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  14. Not that I can think of but I’m sure there has been. I loved this post. So inspiring. Thank you for sharing with us. PAL’s member. somi19ad (at) aol(dot)com

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    1. I appreciate you coming by Sherry. God is the ultimate encouragement, isn’t he? So grateful for his word and his promises.

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  15. Oh my land... you know Kathleen that in so many ways we are living the same life with the issues and the battle is real... Computer died 10k words gone, Faith says Mom , start over... you must be meant to start over... forget not knowing the ended right, now its about the beginning again and deal with the huge trails in life, very huge and yet God continues to come through in ways I didn't even see and even if I am stressing at times, He has it all written and knows the beginning to the end... I love you so much and you are an inspiration to me Dear Heart...
    Hugs & Blessings
    Always Faithful...
    Linda Marie Finn
    Faithful Acres Books

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    1. Linda, you are the definition of an overcomer. I’m sorry you lost so much of your work! I hear you, sometimes I don’t handle my stress as Calmly as I should. But God is gracious even in that. Thank you for being a reflection of his awesome power at work. You rock!

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    2. His timing is perfect and His Mercy & Grace is sufficient for me !
      Linda

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  16. I have never faced spiritual attack and I hope I never do.
    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Hi, Melanie
      I'm guessing you have, and you're too strong or too gracious to let it get to you. But if life has TRULY been all smooth sailing, I WANT TO KNOW YOUR SECRET! LOL
      Thank you for coming by and good luck in the contest.

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  17. I am glad you kept up even though the hardships! I can't wait to read the book

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    1. Thank you Debbie. To God be the glory. 💕
      Good luck in the drawing

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  18. Yes, when I spoke out against divorce and remarriage without a scriptural reason

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    1. That’s a big one. Marriage is a good thing to defend. God bless you.

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  19. Yes, I have, especially in a situation where I stood up for what was right. I lost quite a few friends, but the Lord remained faithful.

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    1. I love psalm 37 where it talks about our vindication being as bright as the noonday sun. I hope you experience that in this situation.

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  20. I’ve faced spiritual attacks, and it’s hard to stand up for what’s right. As long as you recognize that the enemy is what’s behind the attacks, and know that you are being tested, you can get through anything with God leading you. *Pals
    Trdivincenzo (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Good word. Because one of the tactics I’ve dealt with is confusion over the source. I thought it was God not wanting me to write. But God doesn’t bring chaos or confusion or torment. Very good point!

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  21. Yes many times. Some people don’t like when God speaks. grandmama_brenda(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Yes people prefer the darkness rather than have their sin exposed and be set free.

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  22. Absolutely. Satan doesn't like it when we allow God to use us. I always find persevering in those times songs of the most rewarding, knowing I didn't let Satan win!

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    1. Lifting up victory shouts! Yes :-) it’s good medicine. Thanks for sharing

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  23. Kathy (and Carrie), this speaks to me. Always struggled for time, a quiet place, issues with technology etc. My husband is an ordained elder in our denomination and when he received his call an older minister told him, "Be sure of your call. Sometimes it will be all you have." The writing life parallels the Christian life in general. Sometimes His will is all we have, but it is enough.

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  24. Good morning Kathleen and Carrie. I know both of you have dealt with rejections and with setbackssas you work to spread God's Word through your words, I believe that Christian fiction is so important in this time. One special thought in an enjoyable story may be the seed that causes someone to consider their own spiritual condition.
    Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. So true! At least, that is my hope. Thank you for sharing that encouragement, Connie.

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  25. I think if every Christian is honest, they have been attacked spiritually at some point. I'm thankful though that with God, we can overcome the spiritual attacks and give God the glory for it all. God knows what is best for us and we just have to remember that and trust him no matter what. Pals.

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    1. Amen! Keeping our focus on Him instead of the wind and the waves.

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  26. I'm sure I have been under attack in my life, but I cannot think of a particular time right now. However, I KNOW that the Lord has always been there for us and has supported me even when I couldn't see the 'forest for the trees'! Even though we had to live in a tiny travel trailer for a month, God had a place for us to shower and we could eat at the restaurant that my husband was leasing. PALS member bettimace at gmail dot com

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    1. Your faith and optimism is so beautiful and inspiring. God is good, and it takes a special person to recognize that sometimes

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  27. Kathleen, Each day seems like it's been a spiritual battle. I have been criticized for my work not being Christian. It's definitely Christian. That's the whole point of my novel. There were times that I could barely function. Yes, I had the technical difficulties on many occasions, I have trusted people that I shouldn't have and now I am delayed again due to incompetence. I don't know when my novel will be published, but I assure you it will be. The obstacles I have faced have made me stronger, wiser and more confident. Great blog, by the way! Congratulations on your continued success!

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  28. Maria, thank you for coming by and sharing. Our times are in God’s hands. What I didn’t mention in the blog is it took me over 30 years to have my first work published. That would be discouraging to some. But, God can be trusted to know best. It seems like once the dam broke, everything came at once. Three Novellas, two novels, and two works in progress. I really admire your perseverance and your trust in the Way Maker. <3

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  29. Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your weblog posts cheikhoubalde

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  30. Oh I needed this!! I've been under attack from every side the last few months, it just never seems to end some days. So thankful that God is always with me and we'll get through all of this together!

    alander87(at)allcom(dot)net

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  31. Our pastors have been preaching s series on spiritual warfare and putting on the armor of god. today it was about the breastplate of righteousness. First we need salvation and then growing in the Lord. We need to stay close to the Lord, in his word and fellowship with other believers. Awesome message! Vivian Furbay I've read The Abolitionist's Daughter and thoroughly enjoyed it. If I win, I would like a paperback copy of The Chaplain's Daughter. Vivian
    Furbay jtandviv (at) q (dot) com

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