darcy headshotDarcy Wiley is a writer who loves to craft stories and create experiences. She ghostwrites books for other authors, writes creative Bible studies for women and students, and every so often shares hard-earned aha moments from the rough and tumble of family life at http://DarcyWiley.com. She has a background in teaching and mentoring, a Bachelor’s Degree in English Studies/Creative Writing, and enjoys working words with her literary agent husband. She loves meeting new people and deepening long-time friendships, and if you’ve talked with her for more than five minutes, she’s probably asked you what your Myers-Briggs Type is. She, herself, is an INFP, an idealist who feels deeply and carries herself with a mix of melancholy and joy. She highly values authenticity and likes to tell the full story, not glossing over the hard stuff. She calls herself a world-traveler turned stay-at-home mom, but even with her minivan life in the Midwest, she prefers to approach her days as a tourist, looking for simple joys or poignant moments in the commonplace, like sipping a cup of rooibos tea with the morning sun streaming through the windows, bringing donations to a refugee family and seeing them make a new life for themselves, locking eyes with a stunning red fox in the woods of her town, or getting drenched in a sudden rainstorm with the kids. We can so easily miss the lovely things in the everyday. Darcy keeps her eyes and ears open to God’s gifts and transforming work in the world around her, and preserves those stories for others to use in their own commonplace. Here’s more on Darcy from my interview with her:

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What inspired you to start blogging?

My ministry is the written word. I find wonder in the world, whether in everyday life or in larger-than-life encounters, and write it down for others to use in their own journeys. I encourage people to know their gifts and use them to bless their homes and communities. I search the Scripture and work it into my own life, like kneading bread. Then, I break the bread and pass along what I’ve learned. Writing can be therapeutic when done secretly, but there’s something about sharing it that expands the learning for me. Like the few loaves and fishes that fed 5,000 people on the hillside, Jesus multiplies our small gifts and we wind up with more wide-eyed wonder in the process.

What has been the greatest encouragement for you while serving in your ministry?

The greatest encouragement in my writing ministry has been hearing back from people who’ve read something that made them think, helped them make a decision, or brought healing to a hurt. Sometimes people comment directly on a blog post, but other times I get personal emails from friends or acquaintances who have felt so moved by a post that they ended up writing their own essay in response. It is a real honor to have my writing spark a conversation.

What has been your biggest challenge in your ministry?

My biggest writing challenge has been getting the time and space I need to take care of myself in the midst of intense assignments and deadlines. As I wrote Relentless: The Epic Story of a Hardhearted People, Their Warrior God, and His Unstoppable Love, I was digging through the weighty text of Judges, scouring all kinds of commentaries, staying up until 3:30 am most nights, then getting up to be with my kids all day every day as they were home from school for the summer. At the same time, I was struggling with a lot of personal disappointments. In my mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion, I began to feel something beyond normal stress. By not practicing good self-care, I left myself vulnerable. After living through the most challenging year of my adult life, I believe in spiritual warfare now more than ever. Through that season of feeling haunted and hounded by darkness, I called out for the Lord’s help over and over again, several times an hour at the most difficult points. I shared my doubts and questions with a small circle of friends who I knew would preach the Gospel into my situation and pray against the attacks of the enemy in my life. Then, as I was at my breaking point, I sensed that I needed to get away from my regular life for a few days to regroup. It was difficult to plan all of the details and get adequate care for my kids while I was gone, but I’m glad I did the tedious work and invested in my spiritual and emotional health. Like the hemorrhaging woman who touched the hem of Jesus robe, sometimes you have to be your own advocate, communicate your need, and reach out to the only One who can help. In my time away at a little cottage, I wrote thousands of words about painful things in my history. I felt so light and free as I laid down those burdens. At the end of my time, I met with a prayer counselor who helped me focus and sit in the presence of God. The Lord impressed so many things on my heart and mind during that hour. I experienced the fullness of love that comes from Him alone. Anchoring myself in that place of joy, I felt equipped and energized to go back to my life and ministry and pursue further healing. A writer, mother, and really any kind of leader, needs to get to a place quiet enough to listen to the Word in order to have words and energy to speak those words to others.

What is your vision for your ministry?

So many people out there are trying to be the next big thing. My vision for my ministry right now is to do “the next small thing.” As much as I can, I want to give personal attention to those who respond to my writing. I want to work through ideas and questions with them. And I want the people around me to know there’s always an open chair for them. Embracing “small,” also means using my writing locally and blending those personal interactions with sharing on the big anonymous internet.

What advice would you have for others in ministry?

My advice for you in your ministry is to “Cling to the Lord your God just as you have done to this day” (Joshua 23:8). When you focus on Him, He will help you walk the path forward and keep you from veering to the right or left. He will show you how to navigate situations with difficult people. He will give you words that communicate His Word. He will help you anchor yourself in His joy and work from that energy to fulfill your calling. He will help you root out the things that tangle you up and leave you ineffective. Along with listening to the Lord, I also think it’s important for leaders to humble themselves and learn from others around them. Let someone else lead you for a bit. It will keep you from getting used to a lofty position and remind you that we are all here to point each other to the glory and goodness of God in the land of the living.

How can readers connect with you?

I’d love for each of you to join me in studying the wild and wonderful book of Judges through my Bible study, Relentless. It seems like every few months I have to do a huge de-cluttering campaign in my house to keep it livable. I find it’s the same with my heart. I need almost constant inspection and clean-up. Thank the Lord that He does the gritty work for me as I read His Word and talk with Him about it. I hope you, too, will study with me and take up the challenge to clear out false affections and cling to the One who loves us with an everlasting love. You can find the Relentless study at http://DarcyWiley.com/shop. I’d also love to connect with you all in the comments section of my site, http://DarcyWiley.com, or on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MessageInAMasonJar/), Twitter (https://twitter.com/darcywileywords), or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/darcywiley/). Thanks for spending time with me today!

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