Sunday, May 20, 2012

Inspirational Romance Writer Extraordinaire

Lena Nelson Dooley is a woman who writes the kind of books we love reading. She once worked as a rural mail carrier in Texas, and while driving she'd create a story from what she describes as a "motion picture" in her head. OK, I'll let her tell her own story.

I went to a Christian bookstore to get a record they had ordered for me. While I was there, I picked up the new romances. When I went to pay, the manager of the store asked me to go to his office with him. What have I done now? I didn't shoplift or anything ran through my mind.

He told me that he wanted to ask me about the romance novels. He had been watching what else I bought, so he was sure he could trust my judgment. I told him how I felt about inspirational romances. We talked about forty-five minutes, and we had a good visit. He had been an English teacher, and his brother was a pastor. We even shared about our churches. I was charismatic; he was not. But we had a wonderful time together. Before I left, I told him I had been thinking about writing an inspirational romance. He looked right at me a minute, then said, "If God has given you this talent, you are to develop it."

Wow! I was stunned. Before I left, he told me he would help me get in touch with publishers. He later took me to a Christian Booksellers Association regional conference.

The next day, our church was having a church-wide spiritual life retreat at a camp in Glen Rose, Texas. Our family went. And I can tell you what the speaker talked about on Saturday morning. He started by reading Psalm 37:4. The scripture says, "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart."  Early in my walk with the Lord, I understood that scripture to mean that if you delighted in the Lord, He would give you things you had always desired. And that is one meaning of the verse. As I matured, the Lord showed me another meaning. If I delight in Him, He will put into my heart the desires He wants me to have.

Many times, you'll think it is your desire. He'll let it stay there often times for years. Then when it is His timing, He'll bring it forth. He'll confirm it through others." The Lord spoke into my heart, Do you see what I have been doing this week? I put that desire in your heart. Now I am calling it forth, and I have confirmed it through people you didn't expect. Of course, I still had a fear. Every time I had to write anything, be it a program or script or something else, it was hard to start. And the book was like a motion story in my mind, so I said, "But Lord what if the words don't come?"

The speaker went on to say, "God places His storehouses of provision along the road of obedience." When he said that, the Lord said to me, You write, I will cause the words to flow. What a promise! And it has been true. I have never to this day had writer's block. I am not saying I never will, I am just saying that so far, I have not had it.

Later I shared with my husband what had happened. And I often got big ideas. I figured he would just say, "There she goes off on another tangent." But he also recognized that it is a call and a gift from God. He has really supported me through all I have done.

So, yes, I know I have a call to write, and the Lord has been my partner. He has opened doors to me. I have done a lot of writing for him--curriculum for Sunday school, children's church, public school, private schools, and alternative centers; international business reports for companies; comedy for a Christian comedian; and much more. God is fulfilling his promise in my life.
Thanks Lena for that great testimony: Look up her website to find her catalog of books at


Paula Vince said...

What a really interesting read. Thank you, Rita and Lena. I love that alternative interpretation of Psalm 37:4

Rita Galieh said...

Yes, it was encouraging to hear Lena's personal story.

Crystal Mary said...

Hello Rita, I know what a rural mail carrier is, I had mine in Tennessee.
This lady and her book sound great! I will look it up right away.
Love to you xx

Dorothy Adamek said...

I have met Lena. She is a true doll. A talented writer with a generous heart. I love her books and made the long haul flight from Melbourne to LA with one of her books for company. It was a good choice :)