I have been asked why I write Christian stories. The answer is easy: because I am a Christian, and my life experiences come through in my writing. I can't help it, it just comes out!
I cannot remember a time in my life when I didn't love the Lord. I was told that even at two years old, I was excited about Jesus. My parents were Christians, as was my maternal grandmother. I was raised loving Him.
I had some experiences as a young teenager that let me know I was precious to the Lord, and kept my faith strong. But it was when I was in college that I realized I had to decide if I was really going to commit my life to God or not. I attended a home Bible study group with college kids at my pastor's house when I prayed to make that commitment. I felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders and a fresh wave of peace come into my heart. I didn't love Jesus any more than I had before, but I had the peace that I truly was forgiven and had the confidence that I had been made new in Him.
The next year, 1973, my good friend and I were going to drive about 150 miles from Salt Lake City to a small town in eastern Utah to witness to a friend. This was before the freeway went through the canyon. Now it takes about two and a half hours to get there.
Lesley called our friend Mickey the night before and told her we would be there about 9:30 the next morning. We planned on leaving my house at 7, with a driving time of two and a half hours. I was very familiar with the road, and I thought that was a bit of a push, but Lesley had hung up the phone before I could tell her.
That night it snowed, nothing unusual for late April. There was only about an inch or two in Salt Lake, and my dad asked me if we were sure we wanted to go that day. Both Lesley and I looked at the sky and decided we would still go, it would be okay. We hopped in the car and started driving at little behind schedule at 7:30 am. It was fewer than five miles till we were in a blizzard in the canyon. Both of us were nervous, and we started praying. The road was slick and there was little traffic on what was normally a busy road. At the summit we had to make a hard right turn down a steep hill into a small mountain town. As I started to turn, the car started to slide sideways down the hill. All I could say was, “Father, our lives are in Your hands!” Immediately the car went into perfect control. I did not have to steer, it was being steered straight down the hill, and at a perfect, safe speed. As the sky cleared, we continued a few more miles to another town and stopped to relax and grab some breakfast. We stayed there 30 minutes.
As we were getting back in my car, some people who had just arrived commented that my car looked like we had gone through what they had just gone through. They had come from the direction we were heading, but it wasn't snowing where we were, so we decided the storm had probably passed and we continued on.
A few minutes later, a few snowflakes danced on the windshield, then more, and in moments, we were again in a white out and the road had a couple inches of ice covering it. If you have ever driven in the mountains, you know how dangerous the roads can be in storms. There are often drop-offs or the road is cut from the mountainside and there can be a solid rock wall. There was nowhere to turn around, so we decided to continue on in the white out. I told Lesley to watch for oncoming traffic while I watched for the snowplow posts on the right side of the road. We were near a reservoir, and were climbing the hill on the far side of it. The drop off to the water was at least three or four hundred feet. We crept on, praying all the time. I did notice a blue car a few yards behind us that kept up with us all the way. We were only travelling 5 to 10 miles per hour because any faster and we would slide. We drove on and on, praying so hard we were immersed in His presence, unaware of our surroundings. There was no fear, just peace.
Finally the storm just stopped; it was like driving out of a room of snow into the blue sky and sunshine. I noted the little gas station right where it cleared. It was the only one on that stretch of road. We breathed a prayer of Thanksgiving and drove on. It was beautiful on that side of the storm! Another thing I noticed was that the blue car behind us was no longer there. It had not passed us, and had been right behind us to the end of the storm. It was just gone!
We continued our drive to Roosevelt in awed quiet, wondering at what had just happened to us, and knowing how God had protected us in that terrible storm. We arrived at Mickey's house at 10:30 am. Now, Lesley had told her we were leaving at 7 and would arrive at 9:30, two and a half hours driving time. We left at 7:30, half an hour late, and spent another half hour in the restaurant. That made the total driving time two and a half hours! We found out later that the Highway Patrol had closed the road just after we had passed through (or did we go through unseen?).
The next day on our way home, we measuring the distance from the little gas station to where we knew the storm had started the day before. There were 23 miles of storm in that canyon. That was just the second part of the storm! If we were going 10 miles an hour, that 23 miles would have taken us two and a half hours to go just that far. And if we had been going 20 through that 23 miles, that still would have been one and a quarter hours! That entire trip today from Salt Lake to Roosevelt, with the freeways, still takes two and a half hours! You explain to me what happened!
I knew beyond a doubt that God had our lives in His hands, and He protected us. Did He transport us? I don't know. Did He stop time for us? I don't know that, either. What I do know is that the experience of the blizzard solidified my faith that He would always be there for me, through every kind of storm. Since then, there have been numerous “storms” in my life, and every time He has been there for me. I have felt His arms around me when my heart was broken. I have heard His voice call my Name. I have heard Him tell me I am His princess, no matter what anyone else or even I think about myself.
So why do I write Christian stories? Because that's what I am. I am a Christian.
More About the Author:
Author and blogger, DeEtte Beckstead started writing in 2007 when her son challenged her to get involved in the National Novel Writing Month, known by the acronym, NaNoWriMo. The manuscript sat untouched with several others until January of 2012 when a good friend encouraged her to seek publication. The Christmas Visitors is her first published short story, and her current novel, Victory is also her first.
DeEtte spent much of her childhood playing the piano, clarinet, and guitar, reading, and making up stories. She was active in Girl Scouts, which gave her a variety of experiences. While in college, she was on the University of Utah Synchronized Swim team, and taught winter camping and survival skills for Girl Scouts. She has spent many years working with people with disabilities.
Originally from the state of Utah, currently DeEtte lives in New England where she writes full time and works on the editing team of Master Koda Select Publishing. Her other interests include swimming, crocheting, reading, traveling, history, and her grandchildren. In addition, this devoted mother of six and grandmother of twelve has been a concerned participant in dog rescue services for many years.
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/DeEtte-Beckstead/e/B00ADDW94Y/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Victory on Amazon
The Christmas Visitors on Amazon
It's Christmas Eve, and Sam and Ellen are driving home for Christmas. A blizzard and a paranormal sighting cause an accident on a lonely country road. The couple and their small children seek refuge at a nearby farmhouse. What they experience there with the elderly couple that live there will change their lives forever.