One Christian Author’s Journey
By Nikki Arana
I first accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was twelve years old. It was completely an act of my own volition, but at twelve it was more about what was in it for me. I was going to Heaven!
As I journeyed on, the Holy Spirit continued to draw me, gently teaching me the bittersweet lessons that inspire spiritual growth: A marriage my parents didn’t approve of, but one that God blessed mightily; then the birth of my first son, born with a learning disability; then financial ruin. Hard lessons, but each worth the cost because they brought me closer to the Lord and made His words, “I will never leave you or forsake you,” a living truth in my life.
That marriage, disdained by my parents, is now thirty-seven years old . . . and my husband has become their caregiver. The beautiful boys birthed from it are grown and have successful lives. The financial hardships we endured are now fading. But the Holy Spirit continues to draw me deeper into intimacy with Christ. Just as He chose me before the foundation of the world, so I find He has ordered my life according to the good pleasure of His will. I understand now that my life experiences were the seeds of my books. The Winds of Sonoma, a telling of the story of how I met and married my husband. A I Have Loved You, the record of my first son’s struggle and triumph.
A few years ago the Lord orchestrated circumstances that inspired me anew. I became an activist in the Christian underground, and He gave me a ministry to Muslims here in
A Voice for the Persecuted. Most American Christians know little of the Islamic
agenda being carried out in the United
States, or the terrible persecution Muslims
who convert to Christianity face from their families, even when they live in
this country. I passionately believe that now is the time to make this story
known. That is what you will find between the covers of The Next Target. Not
only a suspenseful novel about an ordinary woman who had to answer the question
– Would you share your faith if it would cost you your life? – but what does it
mean to follow the call God has on your life, how far are you willing to go to
be obedient to the commandment to “Love
one another. As I have loved you . . . ” And how will you respond
to the Muslims who live and work among us?
My books have won many international awards, and I am often asked if I believe God called me to write. Over the years I have learned it isn't about a call to write, it is about intimacy with Him. It is about letting your dreams die and being willing to live out His dreams for you. It is about spiritual growth that has nothing to do with the writing itself. It has to do with the journey. It has to do with sanctification, being set apart for His purposes, realizing that you are not meant to serve God, you are meant for God to serve man through you. I no longer wonder if He has called me to write. I know He hasn't. He has called me to intimacy with Him. Everything else is just the fruit of that relationship.
Would You Share Your Faith If It Would Cost You Your Life?
It only took one bullet. Austia's friend and student fell dead. And with a glimpse of a newspaper headline, the young and recently widowed Austia knows more about what happened than the police. From that fatal night, Austia’s secret outreach to the U.S. Muslim community—in the guise of English language classes—becomes a target. Local Muslim extremists set their sights on ending her ministry and even her life. And the women she ministers to will be next.
A thick web of deceit closes in around Austia, and her circle of friends becomes smaller by the day, even as she finally opens herself to the idea of falling in love again. But who can she trust? Facing a spiritual battle that proves more treacherous than it at first seemed, Austia’s convictions are tested to their limits and her heart becomes primed for breaking. She must ask herself: how much she will risk to stay true to her herself, her faith, and to the lives of the women she serves?
Nikki Arana is an award-winning author of suspense, women’s fiction, essays, poetry, and magazine articles whose work has been published in the
States and . She has won several national
awards, including The Carol Award - twice, and the Beacon Award. Her book, The
Winds of Sonoma was named One of the Top 20 Books of the Year by
Christianbook.com. Nikki is also the recipient of the Excellence in Media Silver
Angel Award. All of her books deal with social, political, and spiritual issues
that confront society today. She is an experienced speaker and has presented
numerous, highly successful workshops on the craft of writing. Nikki also serves
persecuted Christians who are under the threat of death through her ministry, A
Voice for the Persecuted. Her newest release, The Next Target, was inspired by
her ministry and recently won the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association’s
2013 Christian Book Award for Fiction. You can visit her website here: www.NikkiArana.com or connect with her on her blog: www.nikkiarana.com/blog or as Nikki Arana, Author on Facebook.
Nikki Arana won the Gold Medallion logo given by the Evangelical Christian Publisher for the 2013 Christian Book Award for Fiction. More about that here: http://www.ecpa.org/?page=cba_1_overview )