I am so excited to welcome Mandy Fender on the blog today to talk about #LiveChosen and to introduce us to her latest release, Conqueror!
First, I want to say that I am so excited to be a part of the #LiveChosen blog. I have followed it for a while and have been encouraged every time I’ve read it! Now, to be a part of it is amazing and I hope to encourage others like I have been encouraged!
It has always been my heart to be tactfully transparent, meaning that I share the vulnerable places of my life—my struggles, my fears—in the hopes that I will be able to shine a light on the One who sees me through them. So, now, here’s the fun part…my raw confession.
All of my life, I have had this need to please others, to be liked by everyone, for everyone to like what I do. But, is that even possible? No, it’s not. Yet, I still tried.
On my journey to becoming a real-life author (something I have always wanted to be), I sought approval from everyone in the field and that’s when the bomb dropped. I received my first heart-wrenching feedback—feedback that I will never forget to this day.
Written down in black and white from a fellow writer/author/peer were the words…
"You are not capable of ever writing a solid novel. It’s not something you should pursue. Put it up (referring to my manuscript) and move on to another field."
I wish I could say that I did not cry, that those words did not reach my heart, but they did. They had. I wanted to throw in the towel, wave my white flag and surrender. I wanted to rip every word up that I had ever written. My dreams were crushed in an instant, but the story swirling around in my head would not relent.
I knew God had given me the idea. I knew that this story was something I was supposed to write for His glory, but how could I write it knowing that I was not good enough.
God nudged my spirit and I started researching writing online. I built my craft and learned from my mistakes. I grew as a writer and tried again. I polished that manuscript that I was incapable of writing and I fixed it as best as I could then sent it out again for feedback.
The feedback was positive and led me to critique partners and editors, who helped me to polish my very first novel, Defier: The Girl Who Stood, even more.
Once I felt confident, I sent it to publishers.
And, guess what?
No one wanted it.
What if you’re not chosen? Can you still live chosen?
In my heart, I knew God had called me to write this story and share it, but how was I supposed to do that when it seemed like it had no market value in the book world?
So, I prayed.
God worked on my heart and mind. He reminded me that I did not need anyone else’s permission to fulfill His will for my life and, at some point, I had to realize that I was worth more than other people’s opinion of me and my work. If God gave me this dream, who was I to let others stop me from living it?
I did what I never thought I’d do, took a leap of faith, and published the book myself. I had to get over my pride and trust God. He constantly reminded me of my purpose and the whole reason I wrote the book in the first place, which was to honor Him first and foremost.
“You were chosen to tell about the excellent qualities of God, who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not God’s people, but now you are.” 1 Peter 2:9-10 (God’s Word Translation)
I no longer live in darkness, so I must write about the light.
Instead of pleasing everyone else and following the rules of society, I remind myself that I write for the audience of One because I know how undeserving I am of His perfect love, yet He still loves. I’ve pushed Him out of my life, dragged Him back in, just to ignore Him again, yet He still loves. I’ve betrayed Him, sinned against Him, turned my back on Him, yet He still loves. Every time I fall short, He makes up the difference, picks me back up, and sets me on the right track again.
I am living proof that you don’t have to be perfect to live chosen, you just have to be willing to be taught by our perfect Savior and follow Him.
And you don’t have to be perfect to write, you just have to be willing to write the story you were meant to tell, the story He put on your heart.
I write because I choose to #LiveChosen.
Mandy Fender is an award-winning author, speaker, and blogger who hopes to glorify God and uplift others. She guest blogs for Broken, Beautiful, and Bold and has a monthly inspirational article in a local newspaper. Her writing has been featured in Devozine magazine for teens and Epifiction. It is her aim to live and love like Christ and her writing is just another avenue to do that. She's a new homeschool mom and serves in full time ministry with her husband in the great state of Texas.
-A Christian Dystopian Series- The Final Battle is on the Horizon . . . Still heartbroken over the loss of her best friend, Sky, Lennox must face her own demons as she continues to fight against Ahab and the Regime. She now serves as a combat medic, desperately searching for survivors in war-torn America. But as the Regime grows stronger and begins to genetically enhance both humans and animals, she questions whether she and her fellow Sparrows are doing enough. After an encounter with a Prowler changes everything, she must choose between vengeance and faith in God because the next mission she goes on could be her last. Secrets will be revealed. Pasts will be forgiven. Defiers will be strengthened. When all hope seems lost, who will be left standing?
*Defier and Sparrow (the first two books in this series) will be FREE to download on August 31st. EEK!
Click the image above to be taken to the giveaway page and enter!
Calling all book readers! Join us as we celebrate Mandy Fender's release of CONQUEROR, book three in the Defier Series, on August 31st from 8-10 PM EST (7 CDT and 5 PST). Grab your favorite drink and snack and be prepared for a fun night of chatting with the author and special guests, games, and giveaways. Special guests Julie Hall and Charles Franklin will also be sharing their books and joining in the fun.