Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ships, Sails, and Dream Come True Tales

Years ago, I had a dream in which I was to board a giant white ship to go to some writing related endeavor. I felt unprepared and ill equipped to go, yet somehow in my heart a strong resolve rooted in purpose and calling drove me forward. When I told my husband, Jerry, about the dream the next day, his only comment was, “Maybe your ship’s coming in.” We both laughed, but there was something about his musing that struck a chord—maybe of hope—maybe of wishful thinking. I didn’t know which, but I preferred to err on the side of hope that my writing related giant ship was actually coming in.

When Jerry retired in June from Gateway Church where we’d been for twenty-five years, the women there presented me with a lovely original painting of a ship, a crystal ship model, as well as a poem by a dear friend and author entitled, “Beverly’s Ship.” It spoke about waiting long for that ship to come in. The last two lines read, “He knows my need. He simply can’t fail. Oh, look yonder! I see a sail,” and ends with this verse from Romans 5:5, “Hope does not disappoint.”

Just a couple of weeks later, I signed with Elevating Entertainment for an option on my screenplay, “Give My Love to the Chestnut Trees.” Someone said, “You’re on the ship now.” Yes, I did feel I was walking up the gangplank, but I knew there was much still to be done, because I believe God had given me a dream for my books as well.

This weekend, I attended the East Metro Atlanta Christian Writer’s Conference with several incredible presenters including Amy award winner, Rusty Wright, and Reg and Eleanore Forder, founders of American Christian Writers.

I’d entered a writing competition with EMACW weeks earlier, and looked forward to the awards presentation on Friday evening. However, as I heard others talk about their compelling book projects, I was sure there were so many others there whose work would be preferred over mine.

When the vice president of EMACW, Joyce Fincher, presented the first place award, I waited for her to honor another writer whom I was sure would win. Instead, she stood in front of me and handed me an envelope. In that moment, I saw more than a sail. I saw rigging, a hull, and deck upon deck. You see first prize was a self-publishing book contract for my novel “Give My Love to the Chestnut Trees” worth several thousand dollars with Westbow, a division of Thomas Nelson.

In one moment in time, a dream came true.

Joyce Fincher, Bev, Colleen Jackson EMACW President
Terri Webster, 3rd Place, Bev, Paticia Manns 2nd Place
Yes, of course, there’s still much work to be done, but the words of the “Doxology” float continuously through my brain, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” In addition to thanking God, I thank the people at East Metro Atlanta Christian Writers, their president Colleen Jackson and vice president, Joyce Fincher. Their untiring work serves to help and inspire so many writers like me.

Thank you to those who’ve prayed for me for many years including Jerry and my sister, Tammy Todd, my Face book and Gideon friends in addition to those faithful folks on my email prayer list. Thank you for having hope, sometimes when I didn’t--for believing it would happen when it seemed so far flung. To my friends, the givers of so many ship related reminders, thank you for these mementos, which prophetically pointed to God’s work.

And to the sender of all ships, thank you for your precious words, “Hope does not disappoint.”


Freida said...

Sail away, Sailor!! Congratulations to a very deserving soul! Love you and am so proud for you!! Freida

Julie Garmon said...

Yipee!! Huge congratulations, Beverly.

Much love,

Beverly Varnado said...

Thanks so much Freida and Julie. God is good!

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