Friday, December 2, 2011

God Moments with Staci Stallings

Our first featured author of the 99-Hour 99-Cent sale is Staci Stallings, who created the theme for our event. Please welcome Staci as she shares her own "God Moments."

The Magnificence of the Puzzle
by Staci Stallings

For some time now I've regarded God's work in my life as something of a puzzle.  I think it first started when I really got into writing.  I often told people that the first several chapters of any of my books is just me throwing puzzle pieces on the floor before I start putting them together.

That's kind of what I think God is doing in our lives except that He's not building a single one-dimensional puzzle of my life.  No, as my life fits with yours and yours with others, and others with people they will meet 10 years from now, this is a multi-dimensional, multi-generational puzzle that I really hope I get to see when I get to Heaven.

Many times I have marveled as the Hand of God wove pieces together in my life--pieces I had no idea would connect at all much less in the way He put them together.  Nowhere is that more evident than in stories like "The Price of Silence."

First of all, way back in second grade, God gave me a love for writing that navigated my school life through twists and turns as teachers with different strengths and loves came in and then left.  In 9th grade I had an awesome English teacher who set my feet on bedrock with grammar.  In 10th grade she left and I got another teacher who would change the whole course of my life. This teacher had come to English from the world of Journalism, and she passed the love of that style of writing on to me.

So much so that I majored in journalism in college.  Now that might seem a strange connection to make in fashioning this story, but stay with me here.  Because I was a journalism major, I decided to work for the college paper and got accepted.  That experience was the foundation for the thread of the newspaper reporting in "The Price of Silence."  The newsroom where Robyn works was based almost totally on that newsroom in college--right down to a few of the names there.

The idea for the story "The Price of Silence" came through several circumstances I would not have chosen to put into my own life.  The first was student teaching at a very large high school. During that time, I had another student teacher have a gun brought to school.  She was literally in the room next to me when it happened, and had she not told me, I would never have known.

That got me thinking about how often guns are brought to school and administrators "keep it quiet." After student teaching, I substituted at another high school in another large city.  There we had several bomb threats with police cars circling the building.  Having come from a very small school (another piece), this was like shell-shock territory for me, and I wondered, "What would it be like for a student who moves from a small school into an environment like this?"

Then three years later in my own classroom, a gun was brought in that I did not know about until two hours later.  Apparently it was in a backpack and several students saw it but no one said anything. In that incident, the student who eventually did see the gun and told the administration was forced to leave the school because of threats.

A couple years later when I started writing, God laid out all of these pieces and more on my heart and showed me the story He had been crafting in my life all those years. So sometimes a God Moment is really many God Moments--strung together, over time, in ways we could never do ourselves, for our benefit and the benefit of many others.  That's the way it was with "The Price of Silence."

Have you had a God Moment? Share it with us in the comments below.

The Price of Silence:  What if you stand up to evil and no one stands with you?  Now 99 Cents on the 99-99 event!


Tracy Ruckman said...

I love the image of the puzzle - both for putting a book together and for God working in our lives. The multidimensional puzzle is an awesome analogy.

Guns in school - it amazes me how common that has become. A nearby high school had an event last year - a small group of kids (2 or 3 I think) smuggled in over a dozen weapons to the school and finally one brave child alerted a teacher and they were able to confiscate them before anything happened.

Thanks for sharing your God Moment with us, Staci. I love how He works in each of our lives so uniquely.

Anonymous said...

One brave child... that's what The Price of Silence is all about!

Thanks so much for having me, Tracy. This has been a joy!