Friday, October 16, 2015

Jennifer Slatttery: Listening

Everyone's Story welcomes back author Jennifer Slattery. I've known Jennifer for several years now, yet her words never fail to lift  my spirits and help me to re-focus my heart and mind on the One who counts. I hope you too will feel encouraged this week with Jennifer's visit. Please check out her offerings of a blurb and thoughts on embracing the call, though told from the viewpoint of a writer, it truly applies to all of us. Jennifer and I look forward to your comments!

Blurb for Intertwined:
Abandoned by her husband for another woman, Tammy Kuhn, an organ procurement coordinator often finds herself in tense and bitter moments. After an altercation with a doctor, she is fighting to keep her job and her sanity when one late night she encounters her old flame Nick. She walks right into his moment of facing an unthinkable tragedy. Because they both have learned to find eternal purposes in every event and encounter, it doesn’t take long to discover that their lives are intertwined but the ICU is no place for romance….or is it? Could this be where life begins again?

Intertwined, part of New Hope Publisher’s contemporary fiction line, is a great reminder of how God can turn our greatest tragedies and failures into beautiful acts of love and grace. Readers will fall in love with the realistic characters and enjoy the combination of depth, heart-felt emotion and humor that makes Jennifer’s novels so appealing. Readers will be inspired to find God in every moment and encounter in their own lives.

Buy Links:

Embracing the Call by Jennifer Slattery

When I was young, embracing risk came easy, mainly because I felt invincible, and thought very little about the future or the consequences for my actions. But then adulthood came and everything felt more serious. More… consequential, and suddenly I became risk-aversive.

When I first sensed the call to write…?

I fought it, hard, and for a long, long time. Couldn’t I do something else? Something more lucrative—with a definite paycheck? Something more secure?

I began to listen to all the naysayers, people telling me not to take my writing to seriously, to treat it more like a hobby, because, after all, very few actually get published.

So I asked God, “Could I maybe write on the side, while pursuing a real career?”

You know, the kind with clear expectations, health insurance, and a retirement plan?

His response: No safety net.


But that was all I heard. Not, if you trust Me, then I’ll make your efforts successful. No guarantees of publication. No guarantees at all, except that I’d be resting fully in His will.

That should’ve been enough, right?

But my fears, oh, my fears…

One of my biggest? That I’d spend a lifetime pounding away at my computer with nothing to show for my efforts but a clogged hard drive full of files no one had read but me. And maybe my husband.

So I pretended not to hear, enrolled in school, and began taking math and science classes. Maybe if I poured myself into problem solving, busied myself with homework and study sessions, I wouldn’t hear that still, small voice calling me to surrender. To obey. To trust.

That was a hard, dark year. A year of inner turmoil and spiritual angst.

And eventually, of divine silence. Because that’s what happens when we begin to ignore God’s voice; it becomes harder and harder to hear Him, until we’ve lost all sensitivity to His Spirit.

One morning, an emotional mess, I grabbed my iPod, shoved my earbuds in my ears, and went for a run. To pray, and connect with Christ.

I longed to hear from God, to feel His presence like I once had, but the distance between us remained. About three miles out, I paused at a crosswalk, jogging in place, and stared up at the cloudy sky.

“What do you want me to do?” I asked.

His response: I already told you.

My swirling thoughts stilled, and a deep and peaceful certainty came over me. I knew what God wanted me to do, and it was time I obeyed.

Regardless of the results. Regardless of what lay ahead. Because He was worth it, and I absolutely couldn’t go through life feeling distant from my Savior.

That was back in 2009, and I’d like to say life, and my writing, was smooth sailing after that, but it wasn’t. The past six years have been hard, just as uncertain, and my fears, though quieter, remain. I’ve heard this is the writer’s plight, that insecurity is inherent to the creative brain. That may be true, or it could be that God wants to keep us attentively listening for that next step as we depend completely on Him.

What about you? When has God called you to do something uncertain or that you found risky? How did you respond, and what was the result? Share your thoughts here in the comments below, because we can all encourage and learn from each other.

Jennifer's previous guest appearances on Everyone's Story:

Jennifer's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Everyone’s Story: meet @JenSlattery, penning stories of God in every moment of life. (Tweet This)

Author @JenSlattery: When has God called you to do something uncertain or that you found risky? (Tweet This)

Like #ChristianFiction? Check out @JenSlattery’s latest release of INTERTWINED. (Tweet This)

Authors' Bio:
Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.

Places to connect with Jennifer:

Please note:

--I have a title change for my novel coming soon from Elk Lake Publishing: Always With You.

--I will soon launch a specially designed website that will incorporate Eveyone's Story blog. I hope you will follow me on this new site. When it goes live, I'll make the announcement!


  1. Jennifer, in 1994, I was asked to fly with the logistics mission to Rwanda to write about the humanitarian relief effort. The genocide of one million had just taken place. Neither my husband nor my publisher wanted me to go. We were a trade magazine, not a newspaper. But in 10 seconds I obeyed the "nudge" to go and agreed. I was the only Canadian journalist there, and only one American reporter arrived a few days before me. I never felt afraid though there were a few hair-raising moments when I could have "disappeared" and never been heard of again. Initially I thought I would see what had happened to the children and would be reporting about that. I wasn't sure if I hugged one if I would even come home but stay to work there during the relief effort. That isn't what happened. Our Canadian peacekeepers had seen terrible horrors and no one was interested in listening to what they had experienced. That is why God sent me. I listened to them when no one else wanted to and I held those that needed it so they had a safe place to release their tears. The media company I worked for wasn't interested in my writing anything but what I had been assigned to write. For years those peacekeepers' tears burned my soul, and the only thing to release it has been to write fiction that centers on the "crossroads of humanity." Intrigue and drama are my core story lines today.

    1. Bonnie, thanks for sharing this God-blessed (I'm sure) testimony with us of doing something that He asked you to do despite the risk.

      Thanks for visiting Everyone's Story. Hope to see you again.

    2. Bonnie, that is such a beautiful story of God's love, revealed through one of His children. How awesome that you said yes to His nudge! And that sounds like fascinating material for fiction, for sure!

  2. Thanks, Jennifer. I recall a time when I had to speak up to protect myself. It was HARD, b/c it caused waves. But I look back now, and am so glad I found my voice--sometimes we just have to take the plunge, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us, or the people around us. Because if we don't, we forsake ourselves, and we're to love others AS we love ourselves. I can resonate to your writing path!!

    1. Well said, Gail. I'm glad you swung by and shared this valuable insight with us.

    2. Hi. Gail,

      I can imagine that was hard. Thanks for stopping in and sharing your story. :)

  3. As an author myself, I can relate to the feelings of fear and inadequacy that seem inherent within the creative spirit. Back in 2012, I had an idea for a third novel in my series. The story included a great-grandmothers journal entries, and their effect on the novel's heroine.

    So, I came up with the "great" idea of writing the journal entries as a separate work, and as I wrote the main story frame, I figured I could go back and cut-and-paste in the journal entries as needed as the story progressed.

    Well, as we writers all (should!) know, characters have a way of speaking their own minds, taking the story on an unpredicted slant, etc. That so, the previously written journal entries did not quite fit within my developing story. Long story short, talk about ONE BIG MESS! Not only did I have to go back and do it the "right way" by writing the entries within the story frame as the novel progressed, the cut-and-paste job became so confusing I put the story aside and wrote an entirely new book in the interim.

    And yet, I felt that God wanted me to deliver my message through the unfinished story which continued to burn within my heart. So much so, I retrieved the story from my files, and in April 2015 began working on it again. Through a writer friend in my LinkedIn network, I found a wonderful editor whose skills and fresh pair of eyes have helped to get me back on track with it.

    Is it easy as the story continues to progress toward publication? NO! The birthing process never is. But I have a praying editor who also believes in my story, and I am sure God hears our prayers. As the time nears for my story's birth, I still feel the trepidations of releasing my characters and their trials, triumphs, fears...and all that life tends to send us at one time or the world. Through it all, though, we must trust God to bring to pass any assignment he has given us, and any dream he has placed within our hearts.

    Thank you for your story, Jennifer, and for reminding us all how important it is to trust in God in EVERYTHING that we do.

    1. Anonymous, I can so relate! Your story reminds me of my soon to be released debut novel, ALWAYS WITH YOU. It's a story that I've tried to put aside after I thought it was completed--and making the rounds--and I did exactly what many advise, that is, to go to a new story and to move on. God kept bringing this one story back to me and now I'm glad I listened. Just as Jennifer has suggested above.

      Hope to see you again!

    2. God's timing is perfect, friend! Keep writing! :)

    3. You sound SO like me, Elaine. Sorry to post above as ANONYMOUS , but I did not see how to incorporate my name within my narrative. Just saying, because I'm sure a guest would like to know who is responding. And who knows? I may even win a copy of Jennifer's book!!

      Blessings, and keep up your wonderful work!

      KB Schaller, Author (posted above as Anonymous)

    4. KB, I'm so happy you found your way here that it doesn't matter where you've posted your comment :)

  4. I knew God had called me to write. But in the middle of writing and working an easy job with steady pay that allowed me time to write fiction, He called me to quit that job and go to work on a grant that might not be funded the next year. In addition, I no longer had the time or energy to write fiction because I was co-writing an abstinence curriculum and going into schools to talk all day.

    I also didn't have a creative fiction thought those years. But as the abstinence program wound down and the curriculum was finished (along with a workbook) a character popped into my head. And she told me someone was trying to kill her. I happy-danced! God had given me back my fiction!! That was in 2008. Four years later, I received a contract for the story that character was in--Shadows of the Past and the character was Taylor.

    All that to say that sometimes God wants us to detour--still use our writing talents--but maybe not the way we expect to.

    I can't wait to read Intertwined.

    1. Pat, as always, I'm glad you visited. I've learned (as in some sort of super intense class) lately that His detours are ALWAYS for a reason, and one that is not meant to harm. Glory be--right?

    2. Patricia, what a beautiful example of your obedience and God's perfect timing. That must have been a hard, setting your writing aside for that period of time, but how wonderful to see it come to fruition, in God's timing. :)

      Funny thing, many of my stories start with a character that pops in my head as well. :)

  5. Surrender is hard, Jennifer. Glad you decided to so we can read your books. :) Elaine, congrats again on your upcoming book and new website...

    1. Jennifer, thanks for visiting today. And thanks for your sweet congratulations. I'm sure Jennifer S. has quite a few related congrat stories of her own that would nicely tie into this very feature she's sharing with us this week.

    2. You are such a sweet encourager, Jen! Thanks for the sweet words this morning!

  6. Jennifer, thanks much for your taking the time to be my lovely guest this past week. We all have challenges and stresses in our daily lives and Jennifer helped us to think about what we've done and perhaps what we'll do when God asks us to face certain things. I hope each one of you will keep your hearts and eyes focused upon Him and what He wants for you.

    Blessings to all


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