After completing her nursing training, Mary met her husband, Ray, at Bible college 50 years ago. They have ministered in churches in Australia, two years in England and now enjoy living in Tasmania. Mary has had 19 titles published and Ray has five devotional books out also.
Web and blog: http://www.mary-hawkins.com
|The joy of receiving that first book|
There is so much to share but where to start has been difficult to decide. Sounds like that first sentence, first paragraph of our novels?
The first thing before we can ever develope our abilities – which I think most of us would call natural talents – is to discover just what they are. There are many who may be multi-talented but is there one that stands out, one that God wants developed so He can use it to bless others and glorify Himself? For some, discovering this may be easy, but I suggest there are many folk who take their lives so much for granted they don’t stop and wonder about any specific one they have which God wants them to develope for His specific purposes.
I was certainly one such person. As many of you may have heard before, it was not until I was thirty years old I had any idea about writing more than my diary and letters. Would these years of being a published author ever have happened if my husband had not read my diary and simply told me, “You have a talent for writing, what are you going to do about it?”
But was that really the beginning of my writing career? What if I’d never met that wonderful man? What if I’d never had a Dad who wrote diaries and thus inspired a fourteen year old to start her own? What if I had never enjoyed books, never become an avid reader long before I was fourteen?
For me as a committed Christian, it ultimately goes back to the time I completely surrended my life, my will, all that I was and could ever hope to be to my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. For me, it was my husband He used to show me a talent I had never considered before, never realised it should be developed, refined, worked hard at so He could use it where and how, and even more importantly when He wants to.
Over the years I have been saddened when I have met lovely Christians who obviously have a real talent in some specific area but shrug off any suggestion of trying to develope it. Because I am a published author, I’ve heard this said too many times about becoming a writer, but also from talented people in many other arenas. The reasons are many and varied. While some are definitely quite valid, the ones that concern me and even grieve me are ones like, “Me? I could never be as good as...” And then they mention someone in that area of expertise they know of who has achieved success.
Some of the biggest reasons for not wanting to recognise a talent that should be developed include the fear of failure, not being prepared to do the hard work to improve, and perhaps the most important one of all is the lack of perseverance when the rejections and criticism of our efforts come. If God wants that talent, that ability he has given, to be used by Him, not to do so is simply disobedience and that earns a heavy price.
And that perseverance is certainly something we writers know only too well we must deal with. How do we persevere? Why should we persevere? The specific answers are many and varied for each person but I know personally it is because I know this is what God wants of Mary Hawkins. Because of my intimate relationship with Jesus, He has been and remains my comforter, my guide, my strength, my all in all. But He does use not only the Scriptures but fellowship with His people to bring me all of these. I can only pray that perhaps He has used me too to help others as they seek to obey Him in developing their talents to glorify Him and bless and challenge whoever He wants to.