Karen Baney is passionate about helping women grow deeper in their faith through Bible studies and fiction novels set in Arizona. In addition to writing and speaking, Karen works as a Software Engineer.
Her faith plays an important role both in her life and in her writing. Karen and her husband make their home in Gilbert, Arizona, with their dogs, Max and Bella. She also holds a Masters of Business Administration from Arizona State University.
MY WRITING STORY
In 2010, I developed a cyst on my right hand. While I was home from work recovering from the hand surgery, I began some deep soul searching. At the time, I was in my mid-thirties and, unlike the other women my age, I was not raising children. I was busy with my career outside of the home and I loved facilitating Bible studies, but I felt like there was something more I should be doing.
So, I asked God what He wanted me to do. The answer came almost immediately—much quicker than I ever anticipated. He said, “Write.”
My response? I laughed. I could not possibly have heard Him correctly. You see, I didn’t know anything about writing or publishing. I gave God my list of “But, God’s” just like Moses did in Exodus 3 and 4. There were just so many reasons why He could not possibly mean me.
But, I thought about it. I couldn’t do too much else for a few days as my dominant hand was wrapped up like a mummy anyway. Then the idea began to take shape for me. I could possible write devotionals. I had several that I had written for various Bible studies that I taught or facilitated over the years.
No, that didn’t fit.
Then I started thinking about Arizona history and reading more about when Arizona first became a territory. I had a connection with the very first governor of the territory. He was from Ohio. Well, I had gone to Junior High and High School in Ohio.
Once my hand was healed, I began writing in every spare minute that I could find. The story for A Dream Unfolding flowed from all of the research. The main climatic scene in the book was born of my own strong feelings related to something I faced that was similar to what Hannah faced.
Then the second book took shape. And the third. I had all three drafts written before I learned about different publishing options. When I discovered self-publishing, I knew it was the right fit for me.
So, in the midst of deep soul searching and through asking God what His plan was, I discovered He had created me to be a writer.
A NEW CHAPTER
Beginning in 2013, I started learning about what the Bible says on the topic of our thoughts, minds, and hearts. I had been a Christian for more than three decades, but I still struggled with low self-esteem, self-doubt, and self-recrimination. After experiencing what seemed to me to be very large failures in my career, I could no longer ignore the role worry, anxiety, and fear played in my overall health, well-being, and state of mind.
Through this period of tremendous personal revelation and growth, I realized that I was not the only woman who struggled with these things. In fact, it was very hard to find someone who had not struggled in these areas.
This work that the Holy Spirit did in my mind, heart, and thoughts—well, it needed to be shared with other women so they too can experience the amazing freedom found in His word. Thus, Be Transformed: Letting the Spirit Renew Your Mind was born in the form of a Bible study. It was through God’s word that I learned principles to help me experience lasting change. So, I could think of no better way to teach the same principles to other women.
I am certain that as I continue to walk with God, He will show me new ways to use the gifts of writing and teaching for His glory. This is definitely not the last chapter.