It was my fortieth year, and I was amazed that I had reached this milestone so quickly! I was sobered by the fact that, in all probability, my life was half over. I could not presume upon the future, and it was with a fresh resolve that I prayed, “Lord, I don’t know how many more years You have for me, but for any remaining time I do have, I always want to be in the center of Your will.”
It was with this prayer that I began my annual Scripture reading for the year. As I came to the book of Ruth, which was one of my favorite books, I encountered Ruth 3:11 as if for the first time. Boaz, a wealthy landowner, speaks these words to Ruth, a gleaner in his field: “For all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence” (NASB).
I thought, “How could he say that? Ruth was a poor widow from Moab living with an unhappy mother-in-law with little hope of marriage or a fulfilled life. What made Ruth a woman of excellence? She had nothing going for her.”
As I sought answers to these questions, I wrote a course entitled Becoming a Woman of Excellence and taught it to the women in our church. A friend heard about it and arranged a meeting for me with an editor from NavPress. They agreed to publish it, and so began my journey of becoming an author.
After completing Excellence, though, I had no plans to continue writing. But I did pray this prayer: “Lord, I want to go deeper with You.” Over a period of time I felt His gentle nudge to write a study on the Psalms.
I remember thinking, “I don’t know anything about the Psalms! There are 150 of them!” A couple of months later on a Sunday morning, a dear lady in our church presented me with a brown-paper-wrapped gift. At home I opened the package and found a three-volume set of Charles Spurgeon’s Treasury of David.
Tears filled my eyes as I realized that the Lord had prompted my friend to give me this wonderful commentary on the Psalms so I could write Intimacy with God.
I have similar stories for just about all of the studies I have written. I am not a motivated writer! It seems that God has to prod me for each new project. It finally dawned on me one day why He has me write. Any writing I do is totally for my benefit. I sense that His primary way for me to grow and learn to be conformed to the image of Christ is to delve into the Scriptures, study and meditate on them, and then painstakingly (for me) write a study. Each study is for me.
I am most grateful for His leading me to spend my remaining years studying His Word, for otherwise I would not have learned from Ruth that my character is not dependent upon my circumstances and I would not have learned from the Psalms how to be intimate with God.
Now that I am in my seventieth decade, my prayer is still the same. I want to continue to be in the center of His will and to be an obedient student of His Word. My testimony is that His eternal Word has been an unfailing and trustworthy lamp to guide my feet, and a light for my path. I sing with the psalmist: “Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart” (Psalm 119:111, NIV).
Cynthia Heald uses her speaking engagements, Bible studies, and books to encourage women around the world to deepen their relationship with God. In addition to her popular Becoming a Woman Of . . . Bible study series, which includes the best-selling Becoming a Woman of Excellence and Becoming a Woman of Freedom, Cynthia has also written Abiding in Christ: Becoming a Woman Who Walks with God, a Gold Medallion–winning devotional. Her husband, Jack, joined her in writing two Bible studies about marriage: Loving Your Wife and Walking Together. Cynthia’s other nonfiction books include A Woman’s Journey to the Heart of God and When the Father Holds You Close.
When she is not writing or speaking, Cynthia loves to spend time with Jack and their four children and eight grandchildren. She is an avid reader, especially of the classics. Cynthia and Jack are full-time Navigator staff members in Tucson, Arizona.
Her first book with Tyndale House, Maybe God Is Right After All (and Other Radical Ideas to Live By) was released in 2007.