Girls Write Out
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
ACFW Girls STanding 2010
This year has brought home to me in a very personal way how awesome God's grace really is. I want to share these lyrics first because they have spoken to my heart from the moment I heard this song, "Your Grace Finds Me" by Matt Redman

It's there in the newborn cry
It's there in the light of every sunrise
It's there in the shadows of this light

Your great grace
It's there on the mountaintop
It's there in the everyday and the mundane
There in the sorrow and the dancing
Your great grace
Oh, such grace

From the creation to the cross
Then from the cross into eternity
Your grace finds me
Yes, Your grace finds me

It's there on a wedding day
There in the weeping by the graveside
There in the very breath we breathe
Your great grace

Same for the rich and poor
Same for the saint and for the sinner
Enough for this whole wide world
Your great grace
Oh, such grace


There in the darkest night of the soul
There in the sweetest songs of victory
Your grace finds me
Yes, Your grace finds me

Most of our long time readers know our sister of the heart, Diann Hunt, has been waging a fierce battle with ovarian cancer. The doctors recently sent her home after telling her there was nothing more they could do for her. We are praying for God himself to heal her--and we know he will--either this side of heaven or the other. But looking at her life reminds me of this song. So I'm going to tell you Di's story.
Once upon a time, a little baby was born to an unwed mother. The little girl's father was married to someone else. Soon, the mother ran off and left that little girl with her grandparents. God looked down from heaven and saw that little soul shining so brightly in her. He said to himself, "i can use this little girl, Diann."

In his great grace, he allowed her to live with her grandparents and her uncle. They took her to church, and she learned that Jesus loved the little children, including her. She felt loved and cared for with God's grace surrounding her. But soon that home was disrupted when her father went to court to gain custody. And won. Diann went to live with her father and stepmother. Neither of them cared anything about God, but He had already put his finger on her heart. In His great grace, He chose her for His own. So even surrounded by unbelievers, she took herself to church as soon as she could, riding the church bus alone.

God wrapped His grace around her and protected her as she grew. She stayed true to God in spite of a home life that didn't include God. At church she met a good Christian man who poured love into her, again by God's grace. She married him and began to build a new family where she taught her son and daughter about God's great grace. That home has always been filled with love and trust in the Savior. Over the years, she sang His songs and proclaimed His grace. She lived His grace before everyone she knew. When her beloved grandchildren came along, she began to pour His love into them too.

Then one day He whispered in her ear that He wanted her to write for Him. Obedient as usual, she timidly began to try her hand at this new art form. Her first story about living in the Amish countryside got published, and she began to believe maybe she could do this thing. Her first novella came out, and her writing career began. Her stories were always full of God's grace, and women loved their honesty and humor.

As Diann wrote about God's grace, she lifted spirits and hopes. When faced with the news of her cancer diagnosis, she bent her neck to God's will and threw herself into His mercy and love. And we've watched these past four years as God has honed her and made her even more beautiful in spirit. Her smile and contagious laughter remind me daily of God's great grace. We KNOW this life is not all there is. Our goal here is to become more like Jesus, and Diann has allowed the fiery path she's traveled to burn off the dross and leave pure gold behind. She's tried to encourage others even in her very hard journey. We recently got the news her book For Better or For Worse will be a Hallmark movie! Production starts in November. God's grace in abundance to share her heart with the world.

This is not a story to elevate Diann. God himself called her out, and it's HIS power I wanted to share. It's amazing how God moves and cares for us. His hand is there, often unseen, but always tender and loving. He loves us so much! I'm awed by His grace and love for us. I'm humbled when I watch what He has done in Di's life. What He's done in my life.

We know He may not heal her this side of heaven--but He just might. Whatever happens, His great grace and love have never failed her--or us. Whether she rests in His arms in heaven or travels this earth a few more years, her destiny is secure. And so is ours. Because of His GREAT grace.

Thank you for all the prayers you've offered. We still need them--desperately. But we rest in His great grace, and we are content there. We love you, friends!
Colleen Coble  
posted at 11:38 PM  
  Comments (33)
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At 11:54 PM, Blogger Joy said...

God is so amazing. I am so thankful that God saw fit to bless Diann and use her to speak of His love. Her books have blessed me so much. I am praying for Diann!

At 12:09 AM, Blogger Wilani Wahl said...

Thank you for sharing. I am praying.

At 12:19 AM, Blogger Holly Magnuson said...

Thanks for sharing Diann's story, Colleen. It's amazing how God works in lives like hers when so much could have led her astray. I'm thankful for His power in our lives.
May God continue to sense His peace as you journey together.

At 12:40 AM, Blogger Glenda said...

Were praying healing prayers with you.

Love you all!

At 1:14 AM, Blogger Margo Carmichael said...

Praying for precious Diann and all who love her. Yes, "With His stripes, we are/were healed." Miracles still happen. However God does it, what sweet assurance.
Thank you, Colleen, for telling her story. What an example of God's grace and Diann's faith and tenacity. And your friendship.

At 1:41 AM, Blogger Pam S. said...

Thank you for writing this about Diann, Colleen.

Praying for you, Diann! And I'm thanking God, too, for you! You have been an encouragement to me so many times in things you've written in books and blogs and even emails - especially when I was living overseas. May God bless you, Diann, and keep you. May His face shine upon you and give you peace.

Big, big hugs, too.

At 2:58 AM, Blogger Donna Harmon said...

Thank you for sharing, I will be praying!

At 5:55 AM, Blogger Deborah Raney said...

I didn't know a lot of Di's story. That makes her even more remarkable than I first thought. None of us know what our future on earth holds, but I'm taking notes for how to travel rough paths from the grace and selflessness Diann has shown. She has been an incredible blessing every day I've known her. Continuing to keep her and those who love her in my prayers.

At 6:50 AM, Blogger authorkathyeberly said...

Praise the Lord for what He has done in Diann's life! Her writing was a blessing to me long before I ever "knew" her through ACFW. In the past few years, I have grown to love and respect her though we've never met. She is always at the top of my prayer list. Thank you for sharing her story, actually God's story of how He has worked in her life! Praise God!

At 6:58 AM, Blogger Anne Love said...

Thank you for sharing her story Colleen. Love never fails and Di's story proves it once again. May His grace abound and surround all who are touched by her story.

At 7:59 AM, Blogger Maureen Lang said...

We serve an amazing God! Thanks so much for reminding us through Diann's story how He draws us nearer to Him in any kind of circumstance.

At 8:10 AM, Blogger Sandie said...

What a beautiful story. How exciting that her book will be made into a movie. I'll look forward to that. My prayers continue for Diann. I worked with her on a book years ago and remember how much fun we had. She has remained in my heart through the years as I followed her journey.

At 8:10 AM, Blogger Sharon Ollis said...

Beautifully said! I love you, Diann!

At 8:47 AM, Blogger ohiohomeschool said...

Thank you for sharing Diann's story. She is in my thoughts and prayers.

At 8:51 AM, Blogger Carla said...

And we love you guys too !
Thanks for sharing - great for all of us :)

At 8:55 AM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

That's the perfect way to put it ~ her fiery trial has burned off the dross and left pure gold. Every time I think of Di, I think of Jesus. She glows Jesus through everything she touches - through Facebook, email, and telephone. I can only pray I will one day glow Him, too, like my friend Diann. God is so good to us. The harder the trial, the more strength and grace He gives us.

At 8:55 AM, Blogger Cyndi said...

Thank you so much for sharing Di's story! A beautiful picture of God using ALL things to conform us to the image of His Son! "May He grant you your heart's desire, and fulfill all your purpose!" Ps. 20:4

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Rebecca Yauger said...

I think Ane said it well...when I think of Diann, I think of Jesus, because she shines His light so bright! Colleen, I know your heart for your dear friend, and I thank you for sharing it with all of us.
Love and prayers continuing.

At 9:50 AM, Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

I absolutely loved reading this. What a precious testimony of God's grace. I didn't know her story and thank you for sharing it.

Praying God continues to wrap all of you in His arms.

At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can so identify with the story of her life. I know God chooses those He wants, even before they know to call on Him. I'm grateful to be one of those he wanted.
Praying blessings for this family and all those close to Diann.

At 11:52 AM, Blogger jel said...

sending big hugs

At 2:12 PM, Blogger Bonnie Leon said...

Such a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it and for showing us your heart and Diann's.

I continue to pray.

God's grace to you both.

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

How beautiful...the background and the song.
May you all blessed, especially Diann, as your examples have blessed us.
Linda W

At 7:53 PM, Blogger bonton said...

SO touched & inspired, Colleen - writing through tears!

Being a relatively recent convert to fiction, I have not read any of Diann's books & knew nothing of her struggle until Kim Vogel Sawyer requested prayer for Diann - on one of her blog posts. I immediately went to Diann's blog & started reading her posts, & was so humbled & inspired by her courage, spirit, optimism, love for the Lord, & love for others! She truly is an inspiration that the Lord has blessed us with.

She has been on my prayer list since then - Kim was receiving cards to send to Diann a couple of months ago, is there another address to which we should send them, now that she is home?

Continued prayers for Diann, her family, & FRIENDS!

At 9:15 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Thanks for all the prayers, friends!

At 9:55 AM, Blogger Pamela S. Meyers said...

The one day I don't check this blog for an update and there was one from Colleen! Thanks Colleen for doing this. I had no idea of Diann's early years. It is so evident that God has held her in the palm of His hand from a very early age. Knowing her backstory makes her current story ever more precious.
I have a very short list of people I've known who have displayed the grace of God in the midst of adversity and Di is on that list.
I have continued to pray and will do so until she is healed -- here on earth or in heaven.

Love you, Di!

At 10:39 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Thank you so much for sharing Diann's story! It truly touched my heart. There is nothing like the ache of the bittersweet journey sometimes, but God has worked such beauty through her life. Prayers to each of you, to her family, and friends.

At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My prayers go out too you!

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At 8:59 PM, Blogger Cheri said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10:21 PM, Blogger Sandie said...

Cheri, Diann has been writing longer than 4 years. I worked with her on a book in 2004. She had at least two books published before then I believe.

At 10:28 PM, Blogger Cheri said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10:28 PM, Blogger Cheri said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 12:12 PM, Blogger Rhonda Ritenour said...

Thank you for sharing. This really touched my heart. I will continue to pray for her family as they grieve their loss yet rejoice that she is longer in pain and able to be her heavenly "Daddy" - Again, thank you!


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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