Thursday, September 3, 2009

Rain Dance by Joy DeKok

Author Spotlight
Rain Dance & Me
by Joy DeKok

Louisa Mae Alcott once said, "Housekeeping ain't no joke." She wasn't kidding.

As I cleaned our home, an idea for a novel came to mind. Although I thought it was a good one, I didn't want to write it. I was gearing up to write kids' books---my dream since childhood. The novel idea was persistent. In case it came from God, I told Him I hoped He'd find an author for it. At unexpected moments, conversations between the two women in the idea took place in my head. I resisted them. They would not be ignored. Over time, I saw them in their homes, knew what cars they drove, knew how they voted, and understood their deepest fears. Again, I asked God to find someone else. He didn't. The story grew, and I started to resent the whole thing.

I nearly stomped my foot one day and said to no one in particular, "It makes no sense for a never-before-novelist to tackle one dealing with abortion." Then a quiet voice answered back, "Who said it has to make sense?" I argued that publishing and marketing-wise it would never fly. Besides, to write this story, I'd have to put my heart and life all over the pages. I didn't want to. I attempted another argument I was sure was a strong one. "This much author intrusion in fiction is unacceptable---I've been taught this at every writers' conference I've ever been to."

To admit I was having this discussion with God at this point is a little scary. It may come across as arrogant, and you might ask, "You mean God told you to write Rain Dance?" I'd also heard editors laughing at and even mocking writers who informed them that God told them to write something, so telling you the truth is like swallowing a rock. So let me answer this way: Writing Rain Dance is part of God's plan for my life. It is not the inspired Word of God. It is the fictionalized story of my journey through infertility and into a surprising ministry with and to women who have chosen abortion.

I said yes to the gentle Voice deep in my soul. The story was almost whole in my head and heart by the time I started to write it. I wish I could tell you I never questioned His leading again, but I can't say that. I'd ask Him, "You want me to write what?" Other times I begged, "Oh please, not that!" In bursts of rebellion, I'd hit the delete key and attempted to remove whole chapters at a time. Then I'd read my improved version out loud only to "hear" the emptiness in the words. I'd mutter, "Okay, Lord," and I'd add back what I'd cut.

It may seem a bit clich├ęd to say this---I can only hope you can read my heart in these words---when I surrendered this book to God, it wasn't at all what I expected. I pictured me on a battlefield of words waving a white flag, head down, weapons relinquished; and I expected a "shame on you!" from my eternal Father. Instead, it was as if He tenderly lifted my chin and I saw the banner He was waving over me---the one emblazoned with LOVE. Doubt exited and courage took its place.

I am very aware of my ideas when cleaning house. Louisa Mae was right---sometimes it just ain't no joke!

My Review:
The characters in this book will draw you in. You want to keep reading to learn more of Jonica's and Stacie's story. This book is packed with emotion, faith and healing. Spiritual challenges are in ever turn as the characters tell their story. In each chapter you flash between Jonica's and Stacie's life. The characters find that God is just and fair as well as loving and forgiving. The readers will learn to a degree what it is like to be childless, infertile, with Jonica and how she deals with the struggle daily. Through Stacie's life you'll learn the struggles mentally that having an abortion has on a women. Learn how each handles their own struggle and how their lives eventually intertwine. Jonica and Stacie must come to grip with the fact that God has a purpose for everything that happens in life.
They must let God touch their lives in order to change their life and outlook on life. God can help in any painful experience no matter what your going through. The author puts herself into this story and it shows in her telling of each person's life. She draws from her own experience. She'll draw you in no matter what. Very, very well written and thought out theme. Two thumbs up on this one.

Read author interview here.

Joy's website click here.

For more information about this book click here


1 comment:

Shawntele said...

Wow, another testimony to listen to 'that' voice!! Awesome!