Hey friends, I have the pleasure of introducing writer extraordinaire, Catherine West today! I’ve known Cathy for awhile now (she’s become a great friend) and I’ve read her work. Let me just tell you, this woman has some serious writing chops. She recently released a new novel, The Bridge of Faith (it’s getting some serious rave reviews) and she also recently signed a book deal with Harper Collins! Watching this woman’s dream come true has been nothing short of inspiring. Without further ado, here’s Cathy (her post may have made me blush a little, and get a little verklempt) …
I can’t remember the exact year I met Katie Ganshert because it seems like we’ve known each other forever. Looking back, we figure it was 2010. We were attending the ACFW conference in Indianapolis. I was without my regular conference buddy, Jenness Walker, that year, and I admit to feeling a little out of sorts. Sure, there were friends around, but it seemed like they were all busy, either volunteering or lunching and dining with agents and editors, and I … wasn’t. I had an agent, but things just weren’t happening in my publishing journey. I was discouraged.
I knew Katie online, and I knew that we both had the enormous blessing of sharing the same agent, Rachelle Superwoman Gardner, but we hadn’t yet met in person. And when I first laid eyes on Katie, I was a wee bit intimidated.
I mean, you’ve seen her right? This tall pretty blonde, young woman … I was all like, uh huh, yeah, no way are we going to be friends. Did I mention young? Seems like there were a lot of young blondes at conference that year. I think I made a mental note to go get highlights as soon as I got home. I’ve never regretted that. But I digress …
So, since I really had no-one else to hang out with, I decided to be bold and approach the group Katie was hanging around. I knew a couple of them, and of course I was welcomed, joined in the conversation, and as soon as Katie said something, with a teeny tiny bit of sarcasm that immediately spoke to my soul, I knew we were going to bond.
And bond we did.
The first picture is 2010, the second, 2013, the last ACFW conference we were both at. I missed last year, and I don’t know if I’ll see Katie this year in Dallas, but I sure hope so. I’m so blessed to have a friend like her, and I know many of you understand exactly what I mean.
When God Moves …
Those God-ordained friendships … there’s just something about them, right? God knows what we need when we need it, He also knows who we need, and seems to bring those people into our lives at just the right time.
Katie’s been a huge encouragement and inspiration to me over the years. I was thrilled when she got her first contract with Waterbrook, and celebrated each time she released a book, and oh, my word, this chick can write. But, all that aside, it’s her steadfast faith that simply blows me away.
Her journey these past two years – it has brought me to tears, brought me to my knees and brought more questions than I have answers for. In my own struggles, I’d stop and remember the Gansherts, and while we were on different paths, I had to believe, without doubt, that God was with us all. And He would have the victory. He always does.
I remember the year Katie and I first talked about adoption. They’d made the prayerful decision to adopt their little girl from the Congo, and knowing I was adopted, I think she was picking my brain a little. So I told her my story. Honestly, because, that’s the only way to do it, and if you know me, you know I don’t sugarcoat. It’s not an easy story to tell, but it’s mine and I wouldn’t change it. Because God’s fingerprints are all over it. Just like they’re all over Katie’s. And her daughter’s.
When God Moves …
When God moves, we know.
We’re stopped in our tracks, stripped of breath and powerless to do anything but stand in awe. Sometimes in tears. And then, in that Spirit-rush of feeling that floods the entire body, we realize we’re standing in the middle of a miracle.
I’ve been there.
In 2003, God gave me my sister. Circumstances being what they were, my birth mother’s rejection and her complete refusal to tell a soul I existed, we should never have met, let alone forged a relationship that would grow almost overnight. Twelve years on and it feels like we’ve known each other our whole lives.
That, my friends, could only come from God.
I shared that miracle with Katie, because I trusted her with it. Somehow I knew she needed to hear it. Little did I know, when we talked that day, just how much she’d need to believe in miracles like mine.
“I want you to tell this story to my daughter one day,” she said, after I finished, both of us wiping tears. And I nodded.
I’m going to hold her to that.
When God moves, we know.
We lift our hands in praise and remember where it all began. Remember that through all our shortcomings, lack of faith and desperate cries deep into the night, God was there. We know.
He gives us miracles. Miracles we don’t deserve, but are so, so grateful for. He gives us the stories to tell.
And so we share them.
Has God moved in your life recently? Tell us about it!
INSPY Award-winning author Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children.
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