Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday in San Diego

My last post was a week ago - hard to believe!
And it feels like that was a month ago. So much has happened on the road. But blogging didn't. In spite of my best intentions I didn't find many opportunities for internet access or time in our full days.

This morning I'm going to church with my friend Susie Meissner who opened her home for me to stay and then is taking me to the airport (in spite of the fact that she has a book launch today, for her wonderful new title, The Shape of Mercy).

When I get home, I'll have many days of catch-up. Catching up on family time, sleep, emails, laundry, all the revisions I wanted to work on while on the road. So blogging may continue to be sparse.

So I'm grabbing this moment to share a little about the tour.

God was present.

We had some convocations with hundreds of students and teachers and parents. We had some bookstore signings with huge turn-out, where I was chatting with people and signing non-stop. And we had other events with tiny groups and various unexpected challenges.

But each place, I met at least one person who had been a long-distance friend, or met a reader who had been blessed by one of my books, or heard stories of people's lives and was able to pray with them. Those encounters were a joy.

I also got to hear seven other amazing Christian authors share about their journey, their faith, their passion for the written word, and see their travel-weary silliness--a blessing that will live with me during my next year of solitary writing work.

I also have to share that I experienced a true, gentle miracle. The first couple days, I was so sick that friends and team-mates were giving me the option to fly home. I remember one teammate kindly saying, "no guilt. no one will think less of you." I knew I should be home. Yet I still felt that God wanted me on the tour and determined to try to make it one more day. And then one more.

I believe it was Portland where I hit my lowest physically and emotionally, and didn't know how to go on. I knew my friends at home were praying for my strength. I had prayed over and over for healing and grace for the work. Then one of the tour mates offered to pray with me and BOY HOWDY did he pray.

I dried my eyes, and got back in the van for the next drive, the next event...
no woosh of sudden peace or healing...
BUT over the course of the next few days I had more stretches of feeling "like me." I was getting LESS rest, working more and more, but God was strengthening me.

Friday night, we spoke at Calvary Chapel in Huntington Beach - and I got to share about the way God's strength is made perfect in our weakness. And my devotion had new resonance. I SO longed to go out in strength on this tour, sharing with energy and enthusiasm, engaging people, encouraging and speaking with lively faith. Instead God called me to go out in weakness and lean into Him. I confess I was often weak and whiney, fearful and frustrated.

Isn't it amazing that we serve a God who can use us even like that? And I continue to pray for His transforming power to reshape me. It's just a LOOOOOOONG process.

I'll try to blog about some of the highlights of the tour soon!
You can see video clips at www.fantasyfictiontour.com
Blessed Sunday!
Sharon Hinck

8 comments:

Rel said...

Lovely to hear, Shazza :)

Charlotte Schofield said...

Hey Sharon! Im glad you're doing well! and I'm glad you're doing well! I got an email from ChristianBook.com, said you were number one for Restorers Son, in Speculative!!

Woohoo!!!

S. J. Deal said...

Wonderful post Sharon! Health issues can be very difficult.

squiresj said...

I am thankful God gave you strength and touched you. I know what you mean about restoration coming slowly. I pray a special blessing upon you this day.

Jill said...

Hey, there, girlfriend. I'm so blessed the Lord strengthened you, and you were able to complete your mission. How faithful He is! Glad to hear you're home and looking toward writing more of your wonderful books.

Many Hugs,
Jill

Sharon Hinck said...

Thanks, all!

It's SO good to be home!

Charlotte, I'm guessing they were referring to the ACFW Book of the Year award - where Restorer's Son won first place. You can see the photos of the event in some of my earlier blog posts. :-)

Allan Miller said...

Sharon - What a joy to have been able to meet you early on during the first part of the tour. I was praying for you to make it through the tour and rejoice with you that our God's all-sufficient grace carried you through. Keep writing and, more importantly, living for His glory.

Merrie Destefano said...

Sharon,

I understand what you mean about God working through our weaknesses. So often I think, oh, how I wish I was stronger, had more energy, was more outgoing, more confident . . . my list is so long it's embarrassing to admit.

But then someone like you steps up to the plate. Perseveres despite great hardships. Delivers an awesome message on that Friday night.

And I am encouraged, once again, to lay my meager offering of skills and abilities down at God's feet.

This is one of the things I so admire about you, Sharon. Your honesty.

Availability. Authenticity. Wonderful points from your message on "How to be a Hero." And so very true.

Minnesota is blessed to have you back.

long distance hugs,
Merrie