God always has a plan for us—and it's always good!
Categories: Guidance, Women in the Bible
Lynne Bundesen shared insights she gained from watching her life turn around after she answered her calling and wrote The Woman's Guide to the Bible. Learn how blessings followed when she did her unique work.
Were there any struggles for you while writing your books?
Yes, resoundingly. I didn't start writing until way late in life. I had another career, children, and grandchildren. In many ways, I was forced to write it. In my experience, if you don't do your work, everything will be taken from you: marriage will fall apart; children will run away. Essentially, everything was taken away from me. I lost all my property. I didn't know how to manage money.
All I had was an offer of a book contract and enthusiasm to study the Bible. I did have a place to live. I was house-sitting a three-story house for people in N.Y. for five years. I don't like to write. I had other choices. But I didn't do them because I had to write the book. I called it just "The Book." The Woman's Guide to the Bible was the third or fourth book I wrote. My previous ones were establishing the authority for it. Once I got it written, everything righted itself, and books started to write themselves.
Then the Internet happened. I was asked to manage the religion area of Prodigy. Then I ran online Forums for the Microsoft Network. We got a million people visiting online a month. I had people from all religions working for me. I got very involved in it, and it got involved in me. There were things to be built that didn't exist yet (that now do). There was work to be done, and I was asked to do it. It's gone now, as Microsoft closed their forums. I have my own website (http://lynnebundesen.com), but that's not quite the same.
That sounds like the Biblical promise: "And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten" (Joel 2:25 KJV).
Yes … when you do your work. You can't just sit around and wait for it to happen. I've talked to many women who are unhappy and have asked them what they'd really like to do. Would they like to paint, write, or run a company? I've told them that until they do what they really need or love to do, things aren't going to work out easily for them. In my opinion, trying to force things to work out by another path is not the same as having a discreet identity, which comes from doing what we're meant to do.
How did you land the job at Prodigy?
A newspaper editor whom I respected left a message on my answering machine saying, "You are going to get a call from Prodigy. Take the job." Along with that message was another message from someone at Prodigy saying, "You come recommended to us…." I took a train from N.Y. to White Plains Prodigy headquarters.
During the interview, I was told that they had a bulletin board, which was supposed to be for shopping and news. They were ten years ahead of their time. They had this problem: a Roman Catholic priest keeps saying that we're blasting the Pope. How do we solve the problem? Then she introduced me to the VP who asked me, "What would you do to grow this area?" My response was something to this effect: "Grow what? You already have the worlds' largest congregation – 700,000 people. You need to organize. That's your problem, not growth." I was hired.
I went in and took it over, working constantly, learning how everything online worked, what tools to use, etc. We were written up in The New York Times for creative genius. Later, I was at a conference giving a talk, after which two guys from Microsoft MSN (their online network) asked me to come work for them. That was 1994/95. I did.
That's how my life turned around. It was interesting, too. You get to see people and what the whole world thinks from the comfort of your dining room table. It's just one more case of what Isaiah tells us to do: "Enlarge the place of your tent" (54:2) -- learn to try even that which looks difficult or impossible.