One Book’s Journey: Inspiration

Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong.
Ella Fitzgerald

Have you heard the old saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” It makes me think of Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone. Some attribute his invention to the listening and hearing challenges both his mother and wife faced due to profound deafness. (Hold that thought.)

If you’ve ever made the trek to the top of Pike’s Peak, you may have heard or seen references to Katherine Lee Bates. She was a writer known for penning the lyrics to “America the Beautiful” after being inspired by the view from Pike’s Peak. (Hold on, Dear Reader, this will click in a sec.)

Thinking about Alexander Graham Bell and Katherine Lee Bates made me wonder if inspiration falls somewhere between necessity and invention. Dear Reader, as much inspiration as I receive from wonders of life, I’ve discovered  challenges in life can also be sources of inspiration.

Behind the Halo  was originally titled …and Jesus laughed. Its inspiration came from a time of unrest and uncertainty in my life. Our family was in a period of transitions, frequently uncomfortable, and sometimes unwanted. My career had taken an unexpected turn and brought me little satisfaction, Dear Reader, much less joy. There was very little laughter in our lives.

But God was there with us, and He is good…all the time.   

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.

Job 8:21  TLB

I’m convinced the Lord knows what dwells within our spirits, and what we need before we do. I needed some laughter in my life to ease the stress. That’s when the Lord began opening my eyes and my spirit to seeing Jesus from a different perspective. I began to see humor in some accounts of His ministry I’d never seen before. 

God used a hard time in my life to stir in some inspiration, but that was only the beginning. After pitching …and Jesus laughed to a publisher I’d met at a writer’s conference, she said laughter might be only the beginning of the book’s message. Perhaps there were other emotional connections that could be made with Jesus. 

What began in a hard place was taking me on a journey to a greater inspiration to write and share a new perspective on the gospel of Jesus.

Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.

Proverbs 3: 6  MSG

That’s when the words really began to flow, and it became clear that I was writing for my son. In recent years our son had vasillated between estrangement and rejection of our family and faith. He eventually shared how unsatisfied he had become with church experiences and a Savior we had embraced, but that he felt he had nothing in common with. 

Our kids can be powerful inspiration for us to go further, reach higher, can’t they, Dear Reader? Weekly conversations with women serving as beta readers revealed that each of them had an adult child dealing with the simlar issues. The more we shared about the ones we cared about, the more focused and intense our sessions became.

Isn’t it cool  what the Lord will use to bring inspiration into our lives, Dear Reader, even being in a hard place, or a great love. I’m thankful for the unexpected inspiration for Behind the Halo that He drew from both. What’s an unexpected source of inspiration the Lord has poured into your life?

What kinds of things inspire you the most, Dear Reader? What’s your favorite way to express inspiration you’ve been given?

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