Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Timeless Scriptures and Prophetic Vision

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Author Biography

    In addition to being an award-winning Christian novelist, Dina Sleiman takes great pleasure in serving the least of these through her work at Operation Blessing. This wife, mother of three, and grandmother of two loves travel, nature, dance, and—of course—writing.

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Dina Sleiman - Manager of Marketing Content for Operation Blessing

One of the most amazing parts of the journey God has called me to on this earth has been the honor of writing novels hand in hand with Him. Not only have I had the pleasure of creating entire worlds full of characters and settings and adventures, I’ve also been able to weave biblical themes and messages throughout them. During this journey, I experienced moments of sheer bliss as I’ve been lost in a swirl of creativity. But I also faced a lot of difficult challenges that helped develop within me stronger character and a deeper dependence on God.

As a writer, one of the first things you’re taught is that you shouldn’t expect to be published until you have enough rejection letters to wallpaper a room in your house. LOL. I can’t say I actually held onto all those letters to test that theory, but in general I’d say it’s pretty accurate. All of that rejection is great for growing humility, but after a while, it can lead beyond humility to discouragement.

This scripture from Isaiah brings me back to a pivotal moment in my writing career:

Clear lots of ground for your tents! Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big! Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep. You’re going to need lots of elbow room for your growing family. – Isaiah 54:2-3 (MSG)

 At the time in 2010, I’d written one novel. And after years of refining it, I’d finally begun getting some positive feedback. I’d secured a coveted literary agent and even won a significant national contest for unpublished writers. And yet, the defeat and discouragement continued to pile up. The rejections cut deep.

When you create something as personal as a novel, it feels like you’re giving birth to a precious baby, knit together deep in your being. And at that point, I began to feel much like a pregnant mother in those last weeks of gestation: uncomfortable, exhausted, and wondering if this baby would ever be born!

Not wanting to be stubborn in my own ambitions, I again laid that first novel before the feet of Jesus and sincerely sought God concerning His plans for it, and for me. I’ve sensed God speaking to me at many times during my life: sometimes through a soft voice, a dream, or a vision. Often through His word or a friend’s wise counsel. But this time the answer came to me in a way I had never experience before.

As I sat praying with my eyes closed, I watched as “Isaiah 54” flashed as if it was a movie being projected on the back of my eye lids. I had no idea what it might be, or how it might relate to my writing journey, but looked it up and was shocked to read:

“Sing, barren woman, who has never had a baby. Fill the air with song, you who've never experienced childbirth! You're ending up with far more children than all those childbearing women." God says so! "Clear lots of ground for your tents! Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big! Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep. You're going to need lots of elbow room for your growing family.”(Isaiah 54: 1-3)

It’s amazing how such timeless words can reach deep into your heart and speak to a very specific moment in your life. Those verses meant so much to me! Obviously I immediately related the barren woman to my writing career. And the words, “Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big!... You’re going to need lots of elbow room for your growing family,” provided much needed direction.

Not only would this one book find its way into the world, it would be the first of many. Far more than I had even bothered imagining at that point!

Today I have eight traditionally published books (babies) in the world—seven novels and one novella. In each I share important pieces of my heart, and messages that God has given me to share with the world. Although I now use my writing gifts helping the poor and hurting through Operation Blessing, those books are always available for God to put in front of hearts that are searching for answers. I’m so thankful that God spoke to me clearly and powerfully on that day! And that He reminded me of that moment through this devotional.

Think back on a time that God spoke clearly and powerfully to you. If you’ve never experienced that, pray sincerely that He will, and take time in quiet and stillness to listen for His answer.


Scripture quotations are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

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