Hello there, for those that do not know me, my name is Unoma Nwankwor and I write Christian romantic fiction. My stories are described as a fusion of faith and romance with a sprinkling of African spice. You did catch on that I’m African by the name right? LOL… I was born in Akron Ohio, moved back home (Nigeria) at eight, and then returned to the Unites States at twenty-five. I’ve had the privilege of living in both worlds and my stories are shaped through those experiences. Readers get to see a bit of my culture fused into the message of faith, hope & love.
When Rhonda McKnight asked if I’d like to guest blog for Black Christian Reads, to describe my feelings as ecstatic and thankful would be a gross understatement. Words can’t express my gratitude over her immense kindness towards me. So I’ll do the only thing I know how to do, pray for her and pay it forward. With that being said let me get into what I’m here for.
One of my favorite quotes is by Laurel Bleadon-Maffei and it says, “I found my heart upon a mountain I did not know I could climb, and I wonder how many other pieces of myself are secreted away in places I judge I cannot go.” Now, don’t just go past the quote. Let it marinate a little, and then repeat it. I have this pasted in my home office right next to the scripture I can do all things through Christ.
For you to know how this impacts me, (and I hope at the end of this, you too) I gotta give you some backstory. Until about three years ago, I was the most introverted, don’t move out of my comfort zone, scaredy cat, person you’d ever meet. Let me put it in context, I have four brothers, all younger than me but people referred to me as XXX’s sister or Prof’s daughter. They rarely knew my name and I preferred it that way. I didn’t want to be known neither did I want to be seen. I wanted to just live my life in the little corner I had carved out for myself. No stress, no issues. Ordinarily that won’t be a bad thing, but I was just allowing life to pass me by. My routine consisted of work and church, then when I got married throw in wife and mom duties. Let me stop here and make a disclaimer, being a wife and steward of my children is a tremendous gift I never take lightly and I’m so grateful to God for my family. They come first in everything.
However, a part of me also knew that God knows ME by name. Before I was formed in the womb, He knew me. That means I, Unoma, have a purpose in creation. I, Unoma owed it to my creator to find out what He put me on this earth for and do it. But did I mention I was a scaredy cat? Yep. Fear of the unknown had a grip on my life and that hold was tight. I was riddled with self-doubt for years. On the other hand, my husband knew exactly what he was called to do. Let me tell you a secret, if you are surrounded by people who passionately pursue their purpose and you don’t have anything going for you, two things are bound to happen; either you resent them because you haven’t found yours or you are pushed to find out what yours is. For me, both happened at the same time. I found something to be mad about all the time, but my husband didn’t let my nagging deter him from his call. Finally, in a quest for self-realization, I got on my knees and asked God to show me how I can serve Him. But you know how God tells us one thing but we still seek human confirmation? Trying to act like we didn’t hear Him, right?
So I ignore God’s answer and ask my hubby what he thinks my purpose is. I guess you know what I’m about to say. He confirmed God’s whisper, touch lives through your gift of storytelling. I was perturbed by his response. I have the kids to look after, I have a full time job, I barely have time sit down and write more than 300 words for a blog post, yet he utters that response.…I complain and grumble for months. Then I came across Mathew 5:15, No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. I grumble some more. Then several weeks later, a terrible incident leaves me in the hospital for weeks. All the while I’m thinking; if I die…Will God tell me well done my daughter? The thought of the answer to the question made me shudder because I was conscious of my disobedience. But then, I recovered and so began my journey to publication.
With my behind in the chair, fingers on the keyboard, I got my first novel done. Here’s the thing, I knew there was no way I was going to weave tales like my favorite authors, but I did know that when I move, my God would move. The moment I finished writing—what in my mind was the bomb dot com (at least I finished it)—God sent me destiny helpers.
This is my testimony and I share this story because I believe there are a lot of people just like me. Scared to step out and walk in their calling because of the voices of doubt. I had so many excuses before on why I couldn’t obey God’s call. Notably, my circumstances haven’t changed, I’ve probably gotten busier. I still have two kids, a full time job and now a business BUT I get the books out. A lot of people that know me on a personal level ask how I do it with no help. My answer is the same every time. “I do not know it’s but by the grace of God, I am what I am.” That Paul’s saying has never been truer for me, because I honestly don’t know. But what I do know is I found my heart upon a mountain I did not know I could climb, and I wonder how many other pieces of myself are secreted away in places I judge I cannot go. And I can do all things through Christ.
My two cents move and where your human ability ends, God steps in…But you have to move. The size of your stage shouldn’t matter, the fact that you’re answering His call in service and making an impact should be your sole focus. Remember “Completion and fulfillment of the purpose for which you were created is the real KEY to Success.”~Dr. Myles Munroe
You can find out more about my books at www.unomanwankwor.com