To Boldly Go…

I’m single. I always have been.

From time to time across the years, a well–meaning (invariably married) friend would warmly commend a book or a seminar on singleness to me.

Once upon a time, I’d act on the recommendation but after a while I learned better. Books and seminars tended to regard ‘singleness’ as that temporary state of being between two marriages. They had nothing for a girl twenty years, thirty years, forty years… and more… unmarried.

In the end, I couldn’t stand this kind of book. What, I asked, could someone who had been single for the eternity of five years after a divorce tell me about the topic?

Not long after beginning to write God’s Panoply, I realised that one of the sweeping themes in it was marriage. I was horrified. I mean: if I hated people telling me about singleness when the most they knew about it was a couple of years prior to a re–marriage, how could I dare to write about marriage?

I delayed when it came to the writing, talked to God, pleaded with Him, argued that He must have called a married person to write the same ideas… All I got by way of answer was: ‘No one can ever accuse you of having a hidden agenda.’

Interesting response. There are several of my books that I’ve never felt are ‘mine’: at least not in the sense I am uniquely called to write them. But whoever was meant to write them hasn’t done so.

I thought about God’s response for a while and decided to test–drive my core idea with an acquaintance who, at a dinner party, asked me what I was writing about. When I told the central premise, she burst into tears.

So did the next seven women I told.

One of them asked if what I was writing was confidential. She wanted to tell absolutely everyone she knew.

I decided to test–drive the idea further. I presented the core principle at a conference. When it came to question time, the convener cried out through her tears: ‘How can there be any questions? You’ve broken my heart.’

I guessed that was my answer: that a single, never–married girl has been given by God an insight into marriage that breaks the heart.

God’s Panoply: The Armour of God and the Kiss of Heaven is officially out today. It’s about the meaning of armour–bearing in Hebrew thought and how it is intimately related to the ‘kiss of heaven’.

To celebrate its launch, I’ll draw a name from anyone who comments (genuinely, not robotically) on this site from August 1 to 3:02:01 on the 5th of August  2013: since it is the 1st second of the 2nd minute of the 3rd hour of the 5th day of the 8th month of the 13th year of the 21st century—a glorious Fibonacci sequence, which will obviously never occur again!



  1. Catherine Hudson

    Wow – I am absolutely intrigued now Annie.
    The thing is, no matter what anyone says, when we write fiction we inevitably end up writing about topics that we know nothing about.
    ‘Write what you know!’ the mantra goes – but really, can everything we write be about be around what we know? I say no. We use prayer, insight – perhaps interviewing others who may know more on the topic, then, we write. And we often end up with a product that readers say touched them and brought healing.
    I believe yours already is doing just that. Can’t wait to get my copy.

    • Hi Catherine

      The book started as fiction – a children’s fantasy, in fact. For over seventeen years, I’ve restrained myself from sending it to a publisher because it wasn’t quite right. I waited until I got it right. In doing so, I found that the old saying of George MacDonald to the effect that we can discover truth in our own writing is accurate.

      Another factor in it all was meeting a particular Hebrew word. But that’s a story for another day.

  2. Sandie Stevens

    I have to go with Catherine. The intrigue has consumed me and I’m wondering what it contains. Have only just purchased God’s Poetry and am already eager to find out what sounds to be my next challenging read.

    • Hi Sandie
      I think this is less challenging than God’s Poetry. That book is full of unfamiliar ideas like name covenants which makes it very meaty. This one is more about a re-definition of ideas with which you’ll be very familiar.

  3. I’m enjoying the read and from time to time the mind stretching concepts. The armour bearer image relating to Marriage is great. I also like your thoughts about submission. I reached similar thinking coming from a different angle. I wonder when the (A.V) uses the term that the Lord is our reareward if it also has the link to the armour bearer. I reckon so. (Isaiah 52:12)

    Good on you Annie!

    • That comment intrigued me, Ray. I had to look up the Hebrew word for ‘reareward’. It’s ‘acaph, gathering, collecting, bringing up from behind. It’s obviously related to caph which includes the concept of census, enumerating, counting. That makes it akin to names like Joseph – and also to ones like Cephas, related to the threshold covenant.

  4. Well done, Anne! I’ve just had a wee read of the start from Peter’s book while up with Mum last night. I look forward to reading it completely. Happened to read the part about the empty box filled with kisses…made me determined to do that for my mum too.
    Blessings, Rosie

    • Hi Rosie
      That was a beautiful incident – made all the more remarkable for me because we received a complaint about the reading at work. Someone was really offended by it; and that re-activated my motivation to actually do something like a ‘box of kisses’ – except more tangible.

  5. Congratulations on the book release, Annie! I don’t think it is just to limit what a person has to say about being married, single, or raising children. God gives wisdom to those who ask. It sounds helpful, edifying, and interesting.
    Lord bless you!

    • Thanks, Maria. I hope it is wise and helpful – but I will let others decide that.

  6. Congratulations on the new release. I love how God calls us to do things we don’t feel equipped to do and then when we obey confirms how right it was.

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