A few years ago at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, Andrea Merrell and I sat at the same table for lunch. I shared that I subscribed to The Write Editing, a blog she and Alycia Morales created. Andrea responded with pleasant appreciation, which still speaks to me today. Also, she encouraged me to write for Christian Devotions when she discovered I write devotions. (Hmm… I’ve not forgotten that—is the Lord trying to get my attention here?)
Please join me in welcoming Andrea. I’m drawn to her approachable, humble spirit, and I’m so grateful for her willingness to be my first guest on Writers Connect. God is accomplishing much through her, and it’s a joy to learn more about her. I hope Andrea’s story along with her expertise will assist you on your writing journey. Feel free to connect with her via the links listed below.
Andrea, when and how did you come to know the Lord as your Savior?
Andrea Merrell:I was raised in church and accepted Jesus as my Savior when very young. But as many teenagers do, especially when raised with a lot of don’ts, I wandered away from my faith. When expecting my first child, it was clear to me that something vital was missing in my life. I also knew how important it was to raise my child in a godly home. My husband and I both made a decision to get back in church and recommit our lives to God. Over the years, my relationship with the Lord has become more precious than words can express.
What is your primary role in the writing community, and how did you achieve this position?
Andrea Merrell: In 2008—after writing for about ten years—I attended my first writers’ conference where I met Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles. It was what I like to call a God-thing or a divine connection. I began writing devotions for www.ChristianDevotions.us, then soon became an associate editor for them. A couple of years later, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas was birthed (now LPC Books), and I became an associate editor with them as well. That led to freelance editing and teaching classes at writers’ conferences. I also had the privilege of creating a blog for writers (www.TheWriteEditing.com) with fellow editor Alycia Morales. I have three nonfiction books available on Amazon and am now turning my focus to fiction. As far as my role in the writing community, I believe God has called me not only to write the words He puts in my heart, but to encourage other writers and help them sharpen their skills as they fulfill their God-given destiny. I really love what I do. 😊
How has God used you and your skills in the writing realm to strengthen His kingdom?
Andrea Merrell:The greatest blessing for me is when someone tells me how much my words helped and encouraged them, whether through a devotion, article, blog post, or one of my books. When I wrote Praying for the Prodigal, I had no idea so many others were dealing with the same crisis or how God would use the book. Many parents have told me they were losing hope until they read my story. This led to the creation of a prayer list for parents with prodigals. I’m hoping my marriage book, Marriage: Make It or Break It, will have the same impact. Once a week I post a devotion at www.AndreaMerrell.com. Many people have told me the words I shared were just what they needed at the time. Only God can make that happen. It also blesses me when I can help others, especially those new to the industry, grow in the craft of writing.
What are your dreams and goals for 2018?
Andrea Merrell:In 2018, I want to make a difference in the lives of others through writing, editing, teaching, and encouragement. God has opened many doors for me over the years that I never thought possible. I don’t know what He has in store for me this year, but I pray that I will be ready to follow His lead and walk through the new doors only He can open. I would also like to connect and build relationships with more people through conferences and social media. I would love for you to follow me on Twitter and Facebook. You can also subscribe to my weekly devotions at www.AndreaMerrell.com and great info for writers at www.TheWriteEditing.com.
How can we pray for you?
Andrea Merrell:After experiencing a tough year (2017) health-wise, I would appreciate prayers for renewed health and strength to do what God has called me to do. Also that I will continue to be a blessing to other writers and for my words to speak truth and encouragement to my readers.
Thank you, Andrea, for taking time to connect with writers like me! May the Lord continue to open doors that will enable you to impact others for His glory ~ Emily