Friday, November 1, 2013

Sisterhood of Saints with Melanie Rigney

God’s a funny guy.

I always considered myself an editor, not a writer. And, unchurched from the age of sixteen, I considered myself spiritual but not religious. I believed in Christ. I believed nearly all the things I had learned in catechism. But that part about Him loving me… not so much.

Wonderful editing jobs kept coming my way, including five years as the editor of Writer’s Digest magazine. While there, I put a Christian author—Allison Bottke—on the cover for the first time in the magazine’s history. I put together the WD’s first special issue on inspirational writing. After all, the Left Behind series was selling like crazy. I’d heard Marianne Williamson at the Maui Writers’ Conference, and was puzzled by how offput and uncomfortable her message of God’s love made many of the attendees and other presenters. I spoke at Christian writers’ conferences on basic craft and marketing topics. At one of those conferences, I acquired more articles for the magazine than at any other conference I’d ever attended. But it never occurred to me God was knocking on my soul. I figured it all just made good business sense.

I lost that job, and ended up speaking a couple years later at another Christian writers’ conference because a friend told the director she had to ask me. And there, on my forty-ninth birthday, I asked someone to pray over me for the first time. I returned to full communion with the Catholic Church six months later, and began to believe in and work on a daily basis the two greatest commandments. The following year, I started writing for a Catholic blog; a few years later, I began writing for a large Catholic devotional publication, and co-authored a book on how parishes can set up programs for returning Catholics.

This year, my first solo bookcame out. It’s a 366-day devotional about female saints. In promotional material, the publisher referred to me as “a freelance religion writer.” It stopped me dead in my tracks. Then I realized, that is exactly what I am. It has nothing to do with business sense. It’s what I’m called to do—and I love it.
As I said, God’s a funny guy.

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