Close Encounters of the Moose Kind


Linda Rondeau is one of my writing critique partners. We met at the 2008 American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in Minneapolis that she references in this post. Her first book, The Other Side of Darkness, debuted in the Fall of 2011.

I gasped as the gigantic mound stepped from the woods into our path, heads taller than our compact car. My husband swerved and we missed the animal by inches. “Was that a moose?” my husband asked.

I laughed.

“What’s so funny?”

“My heroine’s life is changed when she runs into a moose.”

We both giggled over God’s sense of humor.

That we found ourselves on the back roads of Franklin County at four in the morning was in and of itself God’s doing. I hadn’t planned on attending the ACFW Writers Conference in Minneapolis. “If I final in the contest then I’ll go,” I told my husband.

I did final, and my words haunted me.  And so once again God changed my plans to fit into His. In rural upstate New York, flight connections often require a pre-dawn departure, and we had taken the country road to save time.

I shared my moose tale with a writer friend who laughed her prophecy. “That moose was a smile from God. He has plans for this manuscript.”

As time went on, God continued to smile affirmation after affirmation even through a dramatic relocation to Florida. Then, eleven years from the day that I felt God’s call to write professionally, my agent called with the news—a publisher had offered a contract. “It’s for Dawn’s Hope, but the editor wants to change the title to The Other Side of Darkness,” she said.

I did agree the alternate title sounded better and trusted the editor’s choice.

Yet, it wasn’t until later that God revealed His hand had been in the making of the book long before the first words were typed, long before I imagined my character’s accident, long before He sent a moose to confirm He would soon fulfill a promise made to me over a decade ago.

During a speaking engagement at a local women’s meeting, I shared my journey from call to call, reading a poem I wrote that very day God pulled me from one life to set me on another, one undefined and uncertain. I had obeyed His leading and He immediately gave me a poem, “The Song of Peace.” As I shared the poem with the women’s group, my eyes misted when I read the line, “Praise the Lord when Hope seems foolish…There is light on the other side of darkness.”

Could it be that even then, God was smiling on a book not yet imagined? I believe He did.

Question: How has God encouraged you in your faith and work?

The Other Side of Darkness Trailer

Linda Rondeau’s website

Her blogs: This Daily Grind, Back in the Daze, and Pentalk Community.

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About tnealtarver

I've traveled and spoken around the world but always love to come home. There I eat exceptional meals, drink coffee to my heart's content, and get loved like nowhere else on earth. I believe a community centered in Christ should be all that and so much more.
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4 Responses to Close Encounters of the Moose Kind

  1. Kari Scare says:

    God encourages my faith in uncountable ways on a daily basis. He gives me studies that fit with what I am writing. He constantly gives me new ideas. He gives me people who encourage me. He gives, and gives, and gives… Seems like when I remain open to his leading, he increases encouragement at the same time. Without him, I could do nothing worthwhile.

  2. tnealtarver says:

    Kari, you remind me of what Paul wrote. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). How gracious God has been to us all.

  3. Donna B says:

    Wow! What a wonderful tale. Yeah, it’s not always easy waiting for God’s time, but it is always perfect! I love, love, love God’s sense of humor and the prophecy at the end of your poem. Wonderful story! I pray God will continue to bless you!

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