Love, the greatest miracle of all

When this writer has no words, the call is for me to “be still and know.” Wednesday night June 1, 2022, when The Endling won two major industry awards, my first response was shock. People I have grown to love had interacted with me for four days without a hint that I would win either award, let alone both.
Before I could get back to my seat, both times, deep, bottomless love filled me, and I longed to be alone with Father. He was so present I could barely separate myself to interact with people. While I got busy saying, “thank you,” and socializing, simultaneously my heart was longing for alone time with Him.
The Endling, an “unconventional, non-preachy” story was a gift from Him. One that I gave back, with no expectations. My heart wanted my character, Emerson Coffee, to show readers how God speaks through nature. I wanted her to live a life that faces the biggest of threatening challenges, with an assurance that God would speak through everyone and everything around her to guide her, His beloved child. I prayed Emerson would show how being awake, aware, and responding to His voice in nontraditional ways would be all she would ever need.
While my mind wrestled with the excitement of the awards the call within was to go silent. To escape, seclude myself, and work out on the long drive home, during hours of solitude, the mysteries of the gift. The gift of the story I could not allow to die in me for so many years. The gift of the characters that propelled me to use their voices and wisdom. The mountains that spoke to me, begging me to share their treasures. The gift of my own history so intricately braided into the struggles and victories of Emerson’s. The gift that in true gratitude, without knowing where The Endling would land, I so completely gave back to Him as a sacred offering. I can tell you where and how the rush of the Holy Spirit filled me when I realized I was receiving that novel to teach me, love me, and allow me to feel His presence. I knew with no expectations for success or failure, that The Endling was a gift. And I could freely and completely offer it back.
I was prepared on award night for all other names to be called as winners, for The Endling, and my name, not to spoken into that huge room. I was not prepared to hear it twice, nor for the wild applause, or the shouts of “We love you Maxey.” To this “new girl” twenty-one times in twelve years of public schooling, hearing all of that was never something I could imagine. And I will cherish the healing of that until the day I die. Then… the look of love on so many people. Their beautiful faces shuffle through my mind like a slide show of precious souls who raised their hand when God asked who might volunteer to show me the face of Christ.
I had prepared for The Endling, to be between us, me and God. I know now I was prepared for silence, thinking the gift had been enough, a close walk. But my God has always supersized my dreams. And so, He did again, that Wednesday night.
Oh, the honor of it. Not for me, His scribe, but for the story he gave me of Emerson, an orphan who can face anything as long as she listens for His voice in everything. That is truly, most powerfully, the story of me. And the story I wanted most to share.
I could not post the wins while excitement or happy were key words. I knew better. Even now, God is still doing a powerful work in me through those awards. So much like Emerson, I needed to find time in nature, alone with the core of my being, in His Presence, to find the words that would speak my truth.
And when I began to untangle the knots of the years of planning, writing and editing, it was as though I had dipped my hand into a bowl of alphabet soup, and looked down into my shaking palm to see bright letters, in perfect validating formation, “I am always with you.”
Overwehlmingly what I realize is that my love for Him, is also a gift from Him. How miraculous is that?!
And now, weeks after having Covid and more slow time to heal, that feeling of love for Him is even greater!
Thank you, precious Lord, for being so close that I cannot separate myself from your presence.
Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference 2022
Selah Awards First Novel
Director’s Choice Award

The Conversation

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    The Conversation

  1. Diane E Tatum says:

    So grateful for your success, but more for your spirit.

  2. Asher Dasher says:

    A beautiful & well written book of God’s never ending love from an equally beautiful cild of God. It is no surprise to me God chose you as his scribe!!

  3. Paula Saihati says:

    Congratulations. I’m so happy for you.
    God Bless.

  4. Denise Grandstaff says:

    Soooooo well deserved. Couldn’t be happier for you!!

  5. Dot Harris’ says:

    Thank you Deborah.
    I received so much strength and peace just reading this.
    Ty, Dot