I have recently rediscovered the healing power of story.
In the space of a week, I devoured two manuscript submissions, novellas for our D.O.L.L. Women Book Series. What I found amazing, however, was how these stories helped me the way I hoped and prayed the book series would help other women!
The D.O.L.L. Women Book Series was designed for women to find themselves in fiction, if only for a moment...
Think short books and short chapters. Think relatable Christian characters who don’t always get it right. Think large font for ease of reading. Think of women being given the gift of self-care through encouraging stories. Think of women experiencing a sense of completion for reading a book. Think of women finding themselves in fiction to avoid feeling like they are just an overactive participant in the daily grind. Think of women finding themselves in fiction to avoid simply being someone’s daughter, wife, or mother, and all that entails. Think of women finding themselves in fiction to escape the confines of their own minds as they wade through bouts of depression and anxiety. Think of women finding themselves in fiction in order to be reminded that they are a Daughter Of Love & Light.
I found myself in these stories. From a place of complete emotional overwhelm, I read these raw beautiful stories in my spare moments throughout the day. Soon, what I discovered was that it brought relief. It got me out of my own head and actually helped me be more present because my mind had taken a break. I had briefly lost myself in fiction to recharge and find myself again.
I had prayed expectantly that this book series would help other women. I had no idea it would provide such a place of respite for my own soul.
As writers, we have a responsibility to use our gifts, our words and stories, carefully. Words have power. The God of the universe used words to speak creation into existence. He still speaks to us through the words He Himself inspired through the pen of man. What a legacy.
Has He placed a healing story in you? Even if you've never written fiction, is it a dream that stirs beneath the surface of your God-given imagination?
As many of us will know - and frequently experience - the main reason we don’t read books is because of time.
At Daughters of Love & Light, our hope is to provide books that are short with defined easy chapter breaks to put down and pick up the story again; that are small enough to fit in a handbag but with writing large enough to read at the end of a long day. Our hope is that through various voices we will – God willing – be able to build a book series that covers a range of interests and faith journeys. Some women prefer escapism whereas others prefer the raw details of reality. Whatever your story, there is a reader out there! And it may be just what she needs.
If there is one warning that comes with this project, however, it would be that the spiritual battle is very real and there will be forces working against you (Eph 6:12). The enemy doesn’t want us building a community of women and encouraging and supporting one another. To this end, we cannot stress enough how important it is to pray for and about your project and to be in God’s Word.
With that said, we are daughters of the Father of Lights. We have the Holy Spirit aflame within us. And we have the blood of Jesus Christ our beloved Saviour over our lives. So pray.
'... whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.'
Elizabeth Chapman is the founder of Daughters of Love & Light. She lives in Adelaide with her husband and young son. She has a Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing and is currently studying a Master of Divinity. She's an avid tea drinker, Jane Austen reader, and novice historian. Her upcoming novel The Watson Women will be released 20 August 2021. She also blogs about her historical adventures at www.reformationfascination.wordpress.com
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