What are You Afraid of?

Guy Gourley @DiAnnMills

My guest blogger today is Guy Gourley, a good friend, and excellent writer.

Recently, I was sitting with my writing coach, DiAnn Mills at a local Panera as she sipped on her third cup of black java. We were going over my novel, which has taken years to complete. No wonder she needed that much caffeine. Thankfully, she has the patience of Job. As we were closing she asked, “What are you afraid of?”

Now, as a counselor for twenty-five years, I had to laugh at myself. It was a question I ask my clients all the time. Why hadn’t I thought of that? To be honest, it had crossed my mind in the past. Why had it taken me so long to write this novel?

So, I sat there with curiosity and wonder. Her question stayed with me all day. Later she emailed me asking if I was offended. I laughed again. If I’ve survived her “brutal” novel critiques for years I knew I could handle her deep question. Asking me about my fear was just what I needed, a good kick in the butt.

So, my quest began.

What am I afraid of? Honestly, I drew a blank. Fear comes in all shapes and sizes. Fear has all kinds of origins and takes up residence where we give it a room. It is a hungry beast. The more you feed it, the stronger it becomes, the more territory it consumes. The enemy knows exactly how to magnify my greatest fear keeping my eyes off Jesus and keeping them on my circumstances.

But here is the secret.

The enemy’s lies sound like my voice. It has taken me years to develop my sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s voice. In the gospels, Jesus talks about his sheep knowing the Shepherd’s voice. But when I’m not feeling well, I listen and believe the lies in my voice more than the truth He has hidden in my heart.

Then it clicked.

Years ago DiAnn asked me, “Why don’t you write from your experiences in counseling?” Easy question, right?

At first, I thought it was because I have such a strong ethic for confidentiality I couldn’t write anything even remotely similar to a client’s real story.

But that’s not what she was asking.

She was asking me to use all my experiences and form a creative story out of all my hours of counseling.

Still, I was stuck.

You might be saying by this time. He’s a blockhead. No, just blind in my own eyes. We’re all blind in our own eyes. We need each other to speak truth into our lives and that’s what DiAnn was doing.

So, I went back to connecting dots. Something was missing. Then one day as I was working out and listening to one of my secret pleasures, YouTube motivational montages. Don’t judge me—I’m not a positive thinking whack-a-do, just need encouragement to push past my feelings and get in a good workout.

A voice whispered, “Your spiritual gift is exhortation. You’re trying to write a novel and I’ve got a message to say through you. Write those things.”

I laughed out loud right there in the gym because every day for multiple hours a day I’m exhorting. Meaning, I’m taking spiritual, clinical and Biblical principles and applying them to gut-wrenching real-life struggles. I’m called to go into deep cavernous pain and shine His light into darkness.

Ding, Ding, Ding

I’m sure God was laughing at me at this point. Yes, I am hardheaded and stubborn. In fact, God brought to mind a recent speaking engagement where I spoke on “Your Brain in Marriage Conflict.” Afterward, during question and answer an audience member asked, “Is there a book on what you spoke about?” I was taken by surprise, “Uh, well, no, just what I know after twenty-five years of counseling.”

Then it hit me.

I’ve been banging my head against the wall writing this novel. It is a great plot, even DiAnn agrees, which is saying something. Which by the way, I will finish or she will kill me.

But if I only have 86,400 seconds in a day and people are hurting and need hope then I might want to consider writing about what I know?

Are you writing from what you know? Are you taking the stories that God has put before you bringing light into other’s lives? Your pain and struggles are fountains of wisdom. People are hungry for the truth God has shown you. Weave those into your writing. I know easier said than done. Believe me. But it’s worth it. You’re worth it. Your story and spiritual gifts are priceless.

What are you afraid of?

Suspense novelist Guy Gourley has been a Pastoral Counselor for over twenty-five years and knows all about deception, intrigue, betrayal and real-life heroism. His rock solid heroes will inspire you to hope deeply, love fully and stay in the fight.

He holds Masters degrees in Biblical Studies and Counseling from Dallas Theological Seminary and Colorado Christian University. Gourley founded the Legacy Center for Christian Counseling. He’s also a licensed Doctor of Pastoral Science and an ordained minister.

He loves the Texas Hill Country, public speaking and admits he’s a bonafide movie addict. Contact Guy through his website: http://guygourley.com

Thanks, Guy, for your insight and wisdom! I will never forget, “The enemy’s lies sound like my voice.”


DiAnn’s Library Corner

Library Tip: Do you have a list of churches, community events, and medical aids available for your patrons?

Burden of Proof by DiAnn Mills

Available @ Your Favorite Retailer!

Call of Duty by DiAnn Mills eBook Bundle

Call of Duty by DiAnn Mills eBook Bundle

This collection bundles all three of DiAnn Mills’s exciting Call of Duty novels into one e-book for a great value – only $4.99 for a limited time – a great gift idea for the readers in your circle of family & Friends!



Check out this great deal!