I'm the author of Winter's Past, a contemporary Christian romance, and Stage Wars, a Christian fiction Youth Theater Adventure for 5th-8th graders. I'm also a playwright and director for youth theater. I've written 19 full-stage productions and directed 24. My husband and I have been married for 38 years, raised four kids, and now we live in a country setting near Blanchard, Idaho--where deer and wild turkeys play in our front yard. I believe in second chances, and I believe we all have a gift to share.
Mary, what prompted you to want to know more about Jesus?
I was from a broken home. My parents divorced when I was nine. We moved to Alaska, and my mom remarried. By the age of thirteen, I was experimenting with drinking and smoking. Feeling alone and lost, I would lie in bed and wonder about God. Was He real? Did He care about me? What would happen if I died?
While my brother was in Vietnam, he read a book about end-time events that really made him question things about God. He returned from the war looking for answers. Later we found out that our neighbors used to pray for us every time they saw us walk by their house. Isn't that cool? Their home had a sign on it that said, "House of Prayer," so my brother visited them and asked questions, and they prayed with him.
In the following weeks, his life changed dramatically. I'd warn my friends, "Ignore my brother. He's acting weird." But it went way beyond weird. He had peace. A smile on his face. He stopped smoking and drinking. I couldn't help but ask him about the changes. That's when he told me about Jesus and how I could have peace and God's love inside of me. He assured me I would be changed and brand new if I asked Jesus into my life. Right there in our living room, he led me to the Lord. And he was right! I felt changed, like I was clean and shiny clear through. Peace filled my heart. On that day, I began a journey with Jesus that I'm still traveling on forty years later. Following His path has made all the difference.
What kinds of ups and downs have you experienced along the way?
One fault of mine is insecurity. Take writing, for example. I felt so inept at writing that I'd stand in front of the mirror and tell myself, "You are a writer!" Even though I'd written 18 full-stage productions and a dozen Christmas plays and smaller works that had been performed, I didn't believe I could be a writer of books. When I had Winter's Past professionally critiqued, I buckled under the weight of failure. I convinced myself I was NOT a writer after all, and I stuffed my manuscript in the proverbial drawer for fourteen long months.
When I finally dusted off the cobwebs, the old insecurities mocked me. So I'd stand in front of the mirror, reciting my mantra, "You are a writer!" until I believed it. This is an area I must give to the Lord whenever I feel insecurity knocking at my door. I need to believe my Father is working for my good, making all things beautiful.
When I get my eyes off myself and look at Him, insecurities disappear because my confidence is in Him and what He is doing. But when I look at my abilities ~ or lack thereof ~ and compare them with other people's accomplishments, which is a big no-no, I am overwhelmed with weakness. I must remember He is God. Nothing is impossible with Him. Therefore, all things are possible for me. I have no reason in the world to feel insecure. Whatever gifts I have to share were given to me by the Lord. I need to grow them as best I can and share them whenever possible. As long as my eyes are on God and others' needs and not on me, I can do anything ~ even become a writer!