I have from time to time been asked when I knew I was a writer.
For the majority of my days, I have always considered myself to be a musician as a profession. Yet, when I look back over the course of my life, I see that it has always been in me to write. I actually began when I was a little girl. I was always creating books, plays and musicals. Many of which I recently came across when going through old boxes of memories saved by my Mema (my maternal grandmother) who was a child of the Great Depression and saved everything. In this case, I’m glad she did.
While I was a church music director, I loved writing musicals and songs but still saw myself primarily just as a musician. In my mind, the stories I told through musicals and the songs I wrote were to be used to further the music ministry of the church and win hearts for Jesus, but I did not see myself writing books.
Then, when I quit my job and became a stay at home mama, I started writing down the sweet and imaginitive things my children did. I dreamt one night that I had turned those stories into books and in that dream, I saw an entire land, a land of pure imagination, full of characters, adventures, lessons and songs that I was going to create. That land was the Bearwood Forest and the stories became The Huggabears Series.
As time passed, I found my love for creating these stories to grow immensely– especially since the stories were about and for my children. But I knew that my children would continue to grow and The Huggabears, sweet as they are, would not be able to always minister to their hearts in their teen years. Knowing that, and with all of the books in the world that were celebrating things which the Bible clearly teaches us to stay away from, I asked God for a series that would draw teens and adults alike to Jesus, to God’s Holy Word, and to the power of prayer, in the setting of an adventurous, mysterious and sometimes romantic narrative.
I’ll never forget the night God gave me the answer to that prayer. I was vacuuming my mother’s carpet in preparation to steam clean them the next day as a Mother’s Day gift. As I was working, I was praying, asking God to bless me with that book series. I had prayed this prayer for quite some time, but that night, I really poured out my heart of concern for the youth of our world to God.
The next evening I was busy at work with the steam cleaner, trying to make my mother’s carpet cleaner than it was before my children had put their own personal touches to it. I was happily working and singing away, praising the Lord for all of His goodness when I reached the exact spot that I had prayed for the series the night before. At that moment something truly remarkable happened. I saw glimpses of The Intercessors series, the characters, places, events, they were flashing before me. I was awake, but it was as if it was being played before me in my mind on a movie screen. The images I saw were powerful, it made sense to me and I have never forgotten any of it. In that moment, I knew God had given me something special. He had answered my prayer and given me the series I asked for. I sat down quietly, turned off the steam cleaner and took it all in.
That night before I went to bed, I thanked the Lord over and over again for giving me the series. Out of all the people in the world, all of the professional, educated writers and people who created brilliant stories… He chose me.
After several days had passed and I had time to process the information God had shown me in my vision, I talked to my husband, Josh, about it. I can’t remember why we were in Mesa… or Gilbert, but I know we were out there on the east side somewhere and while we were driving, I told him everything I had seen about the series.
Josh was very quiet, which is rare as he is usually interrupting me with questions, but this time was different. What I was telling him was different. He sat quietly driving, listening and processing the story.
After I finished, he looked at me and said, “Don’t tell anyone else this.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Because someone will steal it,” he replied.
“So… then you think that–”
“–I think that this is very good, it’s really good and someone will try to steal this idea,” he said firmly again.
I nodded but didn’t reply.
That was when the fear began to creep in. Not necessarily the fear of someone stealing it, though I did protect it and still protect it fiercely, only trusting to talk about the stories with a very few special friends who pray with me while I write. No. It was the fear of, could I do this? Instead of me praising and thanking the Lord for choosing me to do this work, I then found myself thinking, “God why did You choose me to do this work?” I had never written a novel, much less seven, which is how many books the Lord revealed would be in the main series. I was a music major and had only taken some creative writing classes in college to meet a requirement. Why, out of all the people in the world who were writers and were really good writers, why would God allow me to do this incredibly important work?
Until then, I had only written children’s books, plays and musicals. But novels? Not even close. Even after I prayed and asked God for this series, and even after the miracle of Him giving it to me, I had doubts that I could do it. I was becoming my own worst enemy. But God, being the amazing, magnificent, all powerful, mighty, great God that He is, had a plan to reach my heart and calm my mind.
One Sunday morning at church, a beautiful and precious woman, named Marilyn Leininger, who I didn’t actually know at that time, approached me and told me that God told her to tell me the meaning of my name. She asked if I knew the meaning of my name. I said I thought it was French for “baby angel from heaven” or something like that. (I never thought that was very significant as all babies are angels from heaven!) But she told me that God wanted me to know the true meaning of my name in the language of Greek and of His people in Hebrew, and she had it all written down for me.
Greek: “The Messenger”
Hebrew: “Messenger of Jehovah”.
That moment changed the course of my life forever. I did not know this about my name. Neither did my mother who chose it for me. It was the name of one of the characters of the Dark Shadows show that she watched. But God spoke to her heart and told her to call me Angelique because He knew the plans He had for me. He knew the work that I was to do and He called me for it by name.
I knew once again God had spoken to me in a way that I would never forget. He sent a lady that I had never met to give me the meaning of my name and confirm the work that I was to do. I remember chills spreading all over me from head to toe and from that moment on I never doubted that I could write the stories God had given me. Jesus taught people through stories and parables and I believe, after receiving the stories I have from the Lord, He still wants to do that today.
I also learned that the reason why God chose me and not some professional, highly skilled, educated and trained writer, was because He wanted me to lean upon Him for every word in every book. If I was a master at the craft of writing I might not do that. I might rely on my own knowledge and training and do things my way, which then would take the control of the books and put it into my hands; taking it away from God’s.
As long as I keep myself grounded, humble and seeking the constant direction of the Lord through prayer, the stories have never ceased to flow. I don’t always have the time to write them that I would like, but when I do, the story is always there, whispered into my heart and mind (at the oddest times too) by the Holy Spirit.
I know who I am and what my work on earth is. I am a mother and wife, for my home is where my ministry begins. I am both a musician and a writer, each talent joining hand in hand with the other to create stories and songs that will teach people about the love of Jesus, and I am a servant who has a great desire to assist children and those in need.
I honestly don’t know who will read the books I write and I don’t know who will listen to the songs I compose and sing. But what I do know is, I will work for the rest of my days creating all that my Lord gives me because I am now and always will be…
…a Messenger of Jehovah.
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