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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Guest Post--Kathleen Y'Barbo

What I Learned About God While Writing Hollywood Texas

My job as the author of Hollywood Texas, a Southern contemporary romance was to fit what I hoped would be an enjoyable tale into a greater lesson about God. A funny thing happened on the way to finishing that novella. These unruly characters taught me a thing or two. I love it when that happens.

Movie industry insiders may call actress Amy Foreman the next Grace Kelley, but Texas veterinarian Adam Chambers calls her the woman who broke his heart. Now she’s ignoring Adam’s questions and grooming dogs in his clinic while the trouble she left back in California untangles in her absence.

In essence, the most famous face in Hollywood, California just wants to hide. Ever resourceful, she’s sure she knows exactly how to make that happen. So she makes her plans without taking time to consult the Almighty and then gives the scheme all she’s got only to find out she is the subject of a legal investigation and being blackmailed by her less-than-scrupulous agent.

Has that ever happened to you? Not the blackmailed by an agent thing, but the running so far ahead of God and the path He set you on that you don’t even know how to turn around and get back where you should be.

Me too.

See, I am a planner. I keep a calendar on my computer that is synced up with the calendar on my phone. Each appointment and deadline is entered promptly and color-coded to represent all the aspects of my life that must be scheduled. I am rarely without the ability to consult this calendar and know what I will be doing.

After all, the bible says in Proverbs 29:18: “For lack of vision my people perish.” So I do my best to keep a strong focus on the vision and, by design, on the calendar that keeps me from perishing (figuratively, of course). It’s all very reassuring, and yet does having my life planned and recorded digitally truly mean I am in control of what happens?

Of course not. Anyone who has spent time inside the doors of a church has heard that sermon. We are to trust in the Lord and lean not on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5) and know that all things work together for our good for those who are called to His purpose (Romans 8:28). And we do. We really do.

Then God says we have to wait.

And waiting is hard. What I am learning to remember, however, is that waiting is a whole lot easier than backtracking even if it doesn’t feel that way in the moment.

Amy Foreman learns that, too. She also learns that it’s a bad idea to try and not fall in love with the one man who sees beyond her famous face to the woman she truly is. But that’s a whole other story.

My story, actually. It’s called Hollywood Texas. I hope you’ll check it out. You just might learn something. I know I did.
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