Testimony of Karen Kingsbury, USA Today and New York Times Bestselling Author
Karen was raised in a denominational faith, which gave her a strong belief in God and an ear to His calling. But she did not have a relationship with Christ until she met Don, the man she would eventually marry.
She was riding an exercise bicycle at a local health club in Southern California when Don, a good-looking blond guy, came up and started talking to her. Three hours later, Karen had learned three things. First, Don was clean cut, not into drugs or drinking, and one of the nicest guys she'd met. Second, the two of them shared a common group of friends. Third, Don was in the process of trying to learn as much as he could about God.Don suggested a date, but he had a kicker. "Can I bring my Bible? Maybe we could read it before the movie."? Karen thought it a very strange request. She'd never opened a Bible before. But since there were worse things a guy could ask, she shrugged and told him, "Sure. Go ahead and bring it."
That night Don wanted to read Philippians. He brought his Bible, a special gift from his sister. Many of his favorite verses were underlined and highlighted, and he'd taken time to write notes in the margins. In every way possible, Don's Bible was precious to him.
The way Karen remembers it, Don was looking at the Bible and she was looking at her watch. For the next three months Don was constantly bringing up the Bible as a source of discussion and debate. "There were times when I was so sick of talking about the Bible", Karen says. "I understand now that God was convicting me, trying to open my ears to the importance of His truth. But at the time it felt only like conflict. We were in our mid-20s; it was summer in Southern California. I wanted to go to the beach; Don wanted to go to the Bible."
Their opposing interests eventually led to a crisis. Karen and Don were standing outside near his car, and he showed her a Bible verse, one that made Karen feel uncomfortable. "I'd had enough. I took his Bible and threw it on the ground. It hit the road hard and the binding broke down the middle." Don looked at Karen, then at the broken pieces of his Bible. He picked them up without saying a word, and quietly, sadly, he climbed in his car and left. That weekend was a life-changing one for Karen. "I felt terrible, but I was frustrated. I wanted to prove to him that certain traditions I believed in could be supported by Scripture," Karen remembers. "I figured I could debate him better if only I knew the Bible."
Karen went to a bookstore the next morning and bought her very first Bible, the first modern translation copy she saw. Then she purchased an exhaustive concordance and scurried the books back to her apartment. "In the quiet of my room, I looked up key words that represented my traditions. It took about five minutes to figure out that those words weren't even in the Bible." At that point Karen says she felt God telling her very clearly that she could fall right along with the man-made beliefs she'd acquired, or she could grab hold of His Scripture, His Word, and never let go. She called Don that very hour and apologized. The next week she and Don began looking for a Bible-believing church, and eventually they found their first church home a few miles away.
In the months that followed, Karen felt herself falling in love with God's Word. In it she found direction for every aspect of life, and a faith worth defending in everything she did. Eventually, her love of Scripture led her to write Christian fiction. "The world can write fiction that deals with the physical, intellectual, and emotional aspects of life. Those of us who write Christian fiction can deal with all that and also the spiritual. And we are all spiritual beings, whether we believe in God or not."
Karen is convinced that writing Christian fiction is absolutely God's best for her life, the thing she was born to do. Now she and her husband and their six kids have Bibles all over the house, and Scripture verses on the walls in every room. But no Bible will ever mean as much to her as the one Don still has, the one with the split down the binding. Proof that God takes what is broken and makes it beautiful again. All in His time.
© 2014 Karenkingsbury.com