Last spring, my editor asked if I had time to work on an article with a quick deadline.
I didn’t. After all, I was surrounded by friends I see only every two years, smack-dab in the middle of my favorite conference: the Festival of Faith and Writing.
But, the article sounded fun. And easy enough. My editor simply wanted a round-up of beautiful Bible names for baby girls, along with their meanings. So, I said yes. And began flipping through the pages of the Bible to my favorite stories of some of my favorite women of the Bible. Then I turned to stories of other women I’d long forgotten. Some of them did indeed have beautiful Bible names, others, not so much.
But, what each of these women did have was a powerful story. By the time I’d completed my long list of names, I was weepy. It’s hard not to be when you realize the amazing role women and girls have in the pages of Scripture, in the love story of God and his people. And when you realize the amazing roles women and girls have today–and have had throughout history.
However, we tend to overlook these women. We forget that they weren’t bit players or members of the chorus. These women were chosen by God to have mighty, leading roles in his story. And we tend to forget that these mighty women of the Bible operated in a world where they had no rights, no say, no value. Well, except to God.
He’s always seen his daughters rightful, valuable, wise heirs–right along with his sons.
All to say, when I was done with my article and done with my weepiness, I asked my friend Carla–a children’s book editor who attended the conference with me–what she thought about a book that looked at these women. Not as fairy tale princesses as they’re often presented, but as the fierce and brave women and girls they were. And what if, we read their stories through their eyes. She liked it. And one thing lead to another (getting a book published is never easy! I don’t mean to make it sound like magic), and I signed a contract with SparkHouse Family to write Grit and Grace: Heroic Women of the Bible.
It was a wild proposition, since it required re-imagining the stories. The Bible doesn’t always give lots of details, but God does also give us minds and imaginations and emotions and history books to help us understand what their lives must’ve been like.
The book was one of the hardest–and greatest–projects I’ve ever worked on. I came away admiring these women–and adoring the God who empowered them–like never before.
In the coming weeks, I’ll share selections from the book and a bit more on the behind-the-scenes moments. It’s available August 15, but you can pre-order now!