That morning along the river, God spoke directly to me and put an incredible peace in my heart.
Posted in , Oct 14, 2013
Melanie Dobson is the author of The Courier of Caswell Hall from the American Tapestries series.
I graduated from college in Virginia 20 years ago, ready to embark on a career in journalism. I began sending out dozens of résumés to newspapers across the country, but instead of landing a job, a stack of rejection letters accumulated in the tiny bedroom I rented from a girlfriend. Fear began to overwhelm me, and I felt as if I might implode from anxiety.
A friend’s parents owned an old home near Williamsburg, and I escaped there one weekend for a retreat. Just like the character Lydia Caswell in my latest novel, The Courier of Caswell Hall, I sat under the shade of a tree, overlooking the wide James River, and sought wisdom from God. I desperately needed direction, but wasn’t sure which way to turn.
Since I was sitting along the James, I opened my Bible to the book by the same name. This is what I read:
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. (James 1:5-6)
I stared at the words in awe. I was the one lacking wisdom, the one being blown and tossed by the wind, scattered and unstable as I floundered about in my search for a job. That morning along the river, God spoke directly to me and put an incredible peace in my heart. Trust me, he seemed to whisper when I asked him for wisdom. And so I decided to trust.
I returned to my little room in Virginia Beach, but this time I stopped throwing résumés to the wind. I began a slow, deliberate, prayerful search for a job and less than a month later, God opened the door for a position in Colorado (where I had always wanted to live), working with an organization I loved. I remained in awe. Looking back, I now see clearly why I had to wait and, most of all, why I had to learn to trust him and his timing.
Last year I had the opportunity to return to the James River to do research for The Courier of Caswell Hall. As I visited the old plantation homes with my daughter, God reminded me of his faithfulness over the past two decades.
I don’t always understand the way he works, but I’m so grateful that in the midst of chaos and confusion, I can ask him for the gift of wisdom. And he gives it generously every time, without finding fault.
Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of 12 novels. In 2011, she won ACFW Carol Awards for The Silent Order and Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa, and in 2010, Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana, was chosen as the Best Book of Indiana (fiction). Born and raised in the Midwest, she has lived all over America, including eight years in Virginia. Now she resides with her husband and two daughters near Portland, Oregon.