Guest Blog by Elizabeth Billingsley
My second book started as little more than an advanced English Lit class assignment in high school. I enjoyed CS Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, so I decided to write a story that could be understood through allegory. I can vividly remember writing a short story about a magical land with a magical king and a ferocious monster. I received an “A” on the story and placed it in my blue English Lit binder.
I truly enjoyed writing that story, yet I relegated it to one of a long list of assignments in those last few months of high school.
I was looking forward to college, and although I loved writing – it wasn’t at the forefront of what I wanted for my life. I was pursuing the sciences; that was the future; I was sure of it. Little did I know that this simple short story would be published in the years to come. Little did I know it would become a story of redemption after a time of great turmoil for me.
24 Years Later
Fast forward 24 years later. I had one independently published book under my belt, a very personal story for me after a time of tragedy. I had turned to writing/blogging as a cathartic undertaking to understand that time in my life—to make sense of it. And to help others along the way.
I was cleaning out my closet in early 2019 when I noticed my old, blue English Lit binder. I pulled it out and sat down in my walk-in closet. The old notebook pages were yellowing and full of a young girl’s hopes and dreams. Tucked neatly into the back of the notebook was my short story about the magical land with a magical king and a ferocious monster.
The ink was fading on the pages, but that little story's essence had never faded. Sitting there in the quiet with my story, I realized that I had written a tale of the beautiful, redemptive love of Jesus. I was too young at the time of its writing to grasp the full weight of such a story. It was my redemptive story. I wanted to share that tale.
Over the next several days, I made a much-needed electronic copy of my story. I contacted the publisher I used and told them about a new project I wanted to send in to them. I got the green light and began working on what would become my second book. The story needed building. I had more ideas to connect and a picture I wanted to paint for readers.
I had creative gaps to fill and characters to expand. A fictional novella was new territory for me, but I was too excited about the message to be worried about such things. The words and story flowed like a river that had been freed from its boundaries.
God has a funny way of bringing us back to our purpose, despite our other plans. I finished The Great Journey: A Story of Lorolean, an Allegory in 8 short weeks. My publisher printed the first copy and put it on digital media on April 15th, 2019 – 24 years to the month I first penned it in my senior English Lit class.
As you read this story, I hope that you will see His redemption story for you too. May you find the King who has always loved you. May you find His purpose for you in all things.
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