Selling Her Soul and Buying It Back -- Terri Blackstock's Story of Redemption

“From 1983 to 1995, I wrote romance novels and women’s fiction for publishers such as Harlequin, Silhouette, Dell, and Harper Collins,” writes Terri Blackstock.  “I came under intense conviction at the end of that period, and decided to leave that career to write for the Christian market. I believed God had given me a unique gift as a storyteller, and that I hadn’t been using that gift as He intended.”

Blackstock, one of the most popular suspense novelists of Christian publishing, is one of my heroines. A New York Times bestselling author with sales of more than 6 million copies, Terri took a stand for right, even though it could have cost her her career.

Blackstock had written under a pen name and established a loyal following and seemingly unending book contracts when God convicted her heart that she wasn’t using her gift in a way that glorified God. She realized, like Paul, that she was on the Damascus Road. God was calling her to live sold out to him, and saying yes could mean turning her back on her fame, fortune, and following. 

Blackstock said “Yes.” 

“I started over with a Christian publisher, writing suspense instead of romance, and began using my real name—Terri Blackstock. I literally had to start over from scratch building my readership . . ." Blackstock says, “but it was totally worth it to me . . .” She realized  the truth of Mark 8:36, “For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?” 

As believers, we encounter this same truth as we mature in our Christian lives. Every day we make choices, and these choices either glorify God or dishonor him.

I’ve watched other believers make similar hard decisions. Truett Cathy’s Chick Fil A restaurants drew a nationwide attack as they defended the biblical definition of marriage. Hobby Lobby and CEO David Green sued the United States over the contraceptive mandate, because paying for insurance that covers emergency contraceptives violates their religious beliefs. "We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs," he says, "to comply with this mandate." 

On a smaller scale, I’ve seen local restaurant owners come to faith in Christ and refuse to sell alcohol, business owners refund money they had wrongly received, and store employees risk losing their jobs because they will not to lie to customers.

Martyred missionary Jim Elliot is famous for saying, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” There’s nothing this world has to offer that compares to hearing God’s, “Well done,” and feeling his smile. I might point out, too, as Blackstock, Cathy, and Green have demonstrated, that “the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chr. 16:9).

Is there an area of your Christian life where you are tempted to compromise? Is there a sacred cow you’re unwilling to surrender? A relationship? A habit? A secret sin? We can never move forward with God until we surrender this area of our lives to him in faith and trust, and acknowledge that his will is best.

Join the conversation. Leave a comment below sharing something you chose to surrender to God, and what happened. I love to hear your faith stories. 

For more information about Terri Blackstock, you can visit her website,

If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy "All Noble Things Are Difficult."

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  1. Good to read about this writer and how true that we should always be evaluating if we're using our gifts for God's purposes. Thanks, Friend : )

  2. Awesome post Lori. I can identify so many areas of my life where it would have been easier to compromise and make life "easier". It doesn't get easier to turn down the "easy life" but when I think of eternity and what pleases my Father's heart, it compels me to choose His way instead of mine no matter how hard that road might be.

    Thank you so much for this powerful reminder !


  3. Wow, I never knew that about Terri Blackstock! What an encouraging post about the importance of standing for right. Thank you for linking up over
    at Courtship Connection!

  4. I have not heard of here before. I will have to check out her books, thanks for sharing about her!

    When I was about 20 I had a secretarial job. Sometimes the boss wanted me to tell people that he wasn't there, and I wouldn't do it. I told him it would be wrong for me to lie. He wouldn't let me say he wasn't available, he wanted me to say "He's not here." So he had someone else answer the phones whenever he wanted to lie about being there.

    One time there was no one else to answer the phone and I wouldn't lie so he physically left the office, lol!

    Thanks for your question. I do not recommend baby wipes as a regular rule because they aren't able to sterilize and clean effectively. But we were doing it the "lazy mom" way that day, so I figured one time wouldn't hurt. Sometimes I do a quick clean with baby wipes (because otherwise I'd have to put on gloves for a bathroom cleaner wipe and that takes more time), and then later in the week I use the regular bathroom wipe. Thanks for letting me clarify! I think I will mention this in my post to clarify because you do have an excellent point.

  5. So good that Terri is using her God given ability to write for His glory. Praise God she took this step of faith.

  6. I am a fan of Terri. I have read a lot of her books. I am walking in faith at the moment. I quit my job and I am waiting to see what God has in store. It is a hard road. It is extremely hard not to worry about paying bills. But I am trusting in God and waiting for his guidance about if I should work or not. Thank you for sharing this. It Blessed me and is a bit of a confirmation to me about the waiting.
    Have a Blessed Thursday,

  7. Thanks so much for this post! It's always encouraging to hear of those who've 'given up' things of the world to bring glory to God. When you asked if there was a sacred cow that I'm unwilling to surrender, I felt my lungs constrict, and the Lord convicted me of something that I've been holding tightly and needs to be sent packing. Thanks for being used by out Lord!

    I'm visiting via Serving Joyfully!

    1. Mary,

      I've had those breath-taking epiphanies several times in my life. An Abraham and Isaac altar moment. It's scary. Even knowing from God's Word that every time someone surrenders their will to God's, it's always better than they can ever imagine, it's a wrestling match between faith and fear. Each time I've stepped off the precipice, I've never regretted it. Praying for you this good day, Lori

  8. I adore Ms. Blackstock and her Christian suspense novels. I've always loved suspense/mystery/thrillers, but one can grow weary reading the secular versions. I didn't know there was such a genre as Christian suspense until I discovered Ms.Blackstock during a random choosing at the library. Love her!


  9. I did not know this about Terri Blackstock. I love her books and I really respect her obedience to what the Lord was convicting her of. Thanks for sharing about her. Bless you!

  10. I read a couple of books by Blackstock. Never knew anything about her but now I like her even more. And it's true...He's no give....thanks for this.

  11. I have never heard of Terri Blackstock. It is encouraging that there are some Christians who are willing to risk even their career to honor God. Too many Christians are making compromises and living no different than the world. I love the quote from Jim Elliot.

    Thanks again for linking up over at WholeHearted Home this week.