Songs of Salvation – Ashley Clark

Posted March 17, 2019 by Phyllis Helton in Songs of Salvation /

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Join Christian authors as they share their "Songs of Salvation" to uplift and encourage believers and glorify God. 

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And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.

Revelation 12:11 NLT

Do you have a dream?

I do. For almost a decade now, I’ve been pursuing novel-length publication at a traditional publishing house.

Let me back up a little further. As a little girl, I loved reading stories with my mom. The day I was finally old enough to get my library card was a big deal in our house, and I even wore a fancy dress for the occasion. I majored in English in college with plans to teach – and I loved it so much, I never left college! Today I’m an adjunct at my alma mater.

I was nearly done with my master’s degree when I sensed God drawing me into fiction writing. Despite my lifelong love of story, I didn’t think I was capable of writing quality fiction. I could study it, but could I write it? God’s plans, as it turns out, were bigger than my own.

Several years down the road, I met my now-agent. I thought that after being so patient for years, I was finally about to get my big break. She is easily one of the best agents in CBA. It was only a matter of time now.

Or so I thought. Rejections kept on coming, although they became nice rejections that were more about timing than my writing. All the while, I kept going—so confident that these were obstacles I had to simply push through. Then one day a relatively insignificant rejection hit me in a very unexpected way, and I began to doubt everything. I had no intention of ever giving up writing, but had I heard God incorrectly all those years prior? What if I was embarrassing myself by continuing to pursue traditional publication for my novels, and everyone but me could see it?

Through that feeling of nearly-paralyzing fear, the heartbeat of my most recent manuscript came to life. As it turns out, I needed all those years of dream-seeking before I could find the story God had for me. If I hadn’t experienced the disappointments, I never would’ve written that novel. I never would’ve found those characters. The cool thing is, somewhere along the way, my goals for writing changed. I still would love to be traditionally published in novel-length, and am still ardently pursuing it. But at the end of the day, acceptance or rejection is not what validates my dream—a lesson to remember both before and after publication.

What dream has God put on your heart today, and what are you doing to pursue it? Have you bought into the lie that your heart-dream is validated by your circumstances? God’s economy is not our own. Where we see scarce resources and ticking clocks, He sees abundance and wealth. In Him, we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).  Lean into Him today, and you will find the One who holds the stars also holds your heart and dreams.

About Ashley Clark

Ashley Clark writes romance with southern grace. She’s dreamed of being a writer ever since the thumbprint-cookie-days of library story hour. Ashley has an M.A. in English and enjoys teaching literature courses as an adjunct. She’s an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she’s not writing, Ashley’s usually busy rescuing stray animals and finding charming new towns.

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