Happy New Year from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I have the joy of interviewing award-winning author and speaker Dena Dyer. She sings! She acts! She writes! And today she’s chatting about how God works through her writing.
Welcome, Dena! Please tell us about your book, Wounded Women of the Bible.
My co-author and I studied 20+ wounded women in Scripture, told portions of our testimonies, and collected stories from contemporary women. During the process of writing the book, God once again showed us how practical and real the Bible is and gave us comfort in our own areas of woundedness.
What a great concept! What led you to write this book?
My friend and co-author Tina Samples and I had prayed about writing a book together for years. Then God gave her the idea for Wounded Women of the Bible. When she asked me to consider writing it with her, I immediately thought, “Yes!” My second thought was, “Why has no one written this book before?” My third thought was, “Oh no!” because I knew God would want to work on some of my own wounds during the project. (And He did!)
He certainly has a habit of doing that. So, what do you hope readers will take away from this book?
That God is still in the healing business. Just as He healed, restored, and mightily used biblical women, He can heal, restore and use us…beyond our most-improbable dreams. What He requires from us is surrender, not perfection.
Such a relief, isn’t it? What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?
The greatest challenge for me was not holding back from revealing some of my own wounds. My favorite authors are real, honest, and vulnerable, and I wanted to write that way. However, there were times I had my face planted in the carpet in my bedroom, asking God to give me the courage and strength to complete a hard portion of the book. He was–and is–so faithful. But it wasn’t easy.
I can imagine! After such a writing experience, I’m sure one of the chapters stands out as a favorite. What would that be?
My favorite chapter is the one about Hagar. I didn’t know much about her, but her story really resonated with me. Though she was a slave and was mistreated by her mistress (she also did her fair share of mistreating), God met her in the wilderness (twice) and saved her and her child’s lives. She was also the only woman in Scripture to give God a name: El Roi, or “the God who sees me.” How comforting is that?! The God of all creation sees us as individuals and intimately cares for us and our children
What a beautiful truth! Are there themes you return to again and again in your writing?
God’s healing for brokenness, His grace in the midst of our crazy lives, and what we can learn from biblical women.
How has being a writer impacted your relationship with Christ?
It has made me rely on His strength, perspective and patience. Because I started writing as a teenager, He has used it to “grow me up” in Him. At the beginning of my writing career, I was very goal-driven, proud, and ambitious. I often felt jealous of other writers and the opportunities they were offered. Now, I am more likely to celebrate with others and cheer them on, knowing God has it all worked out and will open the doors He wants me to go through–in His timing.
Why do you love writing?
I love writing because I can work out what I think when I write. Writing is a form of prayer for me, and I love getting into the flow of working on a book and realizing God is ministering to me through the words. Hopefully, that ministry extends to the readers who pick up my books.
I’m sure it does! What is one thing about writing that you wish non-writers knew?
How writing can be difficult emotionally, financially, and in other ways. We writers need your prayers!
So very true. You’ve accomplished so much—do you still have an unfulfilled dream?
I would love to get my masters’ degree. I started a degree in theology after my husband and I married, but I didn’t have the passion to finish it. Instead, I longed to write and have kids–dreams which God graciously allowed to come true. Now, with my two sons almost grown, I find my interest in theology and biblical studies growing as I research and write the books He’s put on my heart.
What talents do you have aside from storytelling?
I love to sing and act, and actually spent eleven years as a professional entertainer (alongside my husband and several other cast members) in two different Branson-style theaters in Texas. I’m also a pretty good self-taught cook.
What a fun collection of talents! Do you also read for pleasure? What are you reading right now?
I read widely–historical fiction (especially from WWII), contemporary sweet romances, classics, non-fiction, memoir and writing/marketing books. I usually have one fiction and one or two non-fiction books “going” at a time. Currently, I’m reading Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering by Tim Keller, Standing Strong by Alli Worthington, and Jane Eyre.
Tell us about your favorite library memory.
When I was in middle school, my mother dropped my brother and me off at the library while she ran errands in our small town. I prowled the stacks happily each time, finding gems to check out and take home. After working my way through the children’s section, I moved on to the teen and adult sections, and I often exceeded or met the check-out limit!
Those check-out limits were a bear. Please tell us about your next project.
Weary Women of the Bible: Holding On When Strength is Gone is the follow-up to Wounded Women, which I’m writing (and shopping to editors) currently. Weary Women of the Bible helps worn-out believers find hope, rest, strength, and endurance through the powerful, relevant stories of both biblical and contemporary women.
That sounds fantastic—and so useful! Thank you for sharing with us today, Dena!
To learn more about Dena and her books, please visit Dena’s website.
Writing for Him,