Book Release Eve and I’m in disbelief. The local peeps are coming, and other friends are logging some serious travel miles to be at tomorrow’s release party. Girls I haven’t spoken to in years are texting me pics of Lu on their Kindles and bookshelves.
But do you know who I’d really love to give the book to?
Me on December 8, 2009. Here’s what I blogged that day:
This past Tuesday, Matt submitted his resignation from his job. This isn’t the right forum to go into any detail, nor do we have any real perspective to answer even the simplest questions, like: What Happened? Really, the only thing we know is this: being out of God’s will is no place for us, and when we realized that we stood there, we had to get out and get out fast.
In the last three days, we have packed up our house into a Penske truck, and we are leaving tomorrow to move in with Matt’s parents. Our plans end after we accomplish that. It is the first time in my life that I am not conjuring up schemes. Even the idea of brainstorming our future leaves me exhausted, so I’ve literally got nothing.
I would love to be able to offer a testimony of great faith and anticipation of God’s promises, but I can’t. My disappointment runs deep, and I am terrified that this period of refinement might not be over. Right now, I am clinging by what I know, but what I feel counteracts it.
I want to give her Lu. Not to say, “Buck up, girl! Here’s what you get to look forward to in 8 years!” But to say:
- You’re right to pull out completely and immediately. The years ahead will be tough, but being outside of God’s will is impossible.
- What you fear will come true. God is not done refining you today or tomorrow because He loves you forever. He won’t quit.
- It’s fine you don’t have schemes; they weren’t good ones.
- It’s fine you can’t brainstorm your future; you weren’t good at it.
- It’s fine you can’t offer a testimony right now. You will. In the next 8 years, God will cease to be something you read about in a detached way. He will take over and rip out the desires, goals, and ambitions that bind you. It is going to hurt. You will cry when you think no one can hear you. You will feel like a failure, and you will be scared. You will feel empty.
- But you will continue to cling to what you know – that God is real and here and at work. Eventually your heart will sync with your mind, and you’ll find yourself free in a way your current self can’t understand because you don’t know what freedom looks like right now. Not at all. You’ve never tasted contentment or reached a place to stand still. One day you will, and when that day comes, God will say, “Now. Now is the time to write that story. Go.”
I shelved my book in 2009. It was no good for me, and I was no good for it. I shelved it without hope I’d pull it back down again, and when God said “Go” five years later, I dragged my feet for a year. Not because I didn’t want to do it but because I was scared I’d fail again.
Hang out with me long enough, and I’ll share this verse with you about Abraham: “Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” (Romans 4:20-22 NIV)
Nothing in my 2009 attempt had to do with faith. It was all about my name on the cover. Faith was the only reason I showed up in 2015. Not faith that God would provide the words, but faith that God had power to do what he had promised – to forgive me, to heal me. To redeem my work.
Which reminds of one more thing I’d say to that girl on December 2009.
You will finish this story one day, and you’ll be proud of it. But it’s the story behind that story you’ll sing praises about.
Don’t let failure have the final say today, girls.