: when my attitude contradicts my message and one whisper from the Holy one turns it all around
On January 26th of this year, God stirred up something that was concurrently old and new in my soul.
Ever since I can remember, I've had the desire in my heart to write a book. Seriously. Even as a child, when I thought about what I wanted to be when I grew up, I couldn't really put my finger on a specific career. I just knew that I wanted to connect with people, I wanted to help people, and I wanted to write books. However, over the years, I pretty much dropped it into my bucket of life "to dos" and left it alone.
I had an abundance of excuses. I didn't know what to write about. I didn't (and still don't!) have a fine arts degree in creative writing! Who am I to think I'm qualified to write a book? So, when God whispered on my heart this past winter to write a book about Humility, my spirit overflowed with eagerness and determination. Humility! This was it! An unqualified writer whose messy life's redemption could only be explained by extravagant grace, writing a book about how God uses the "least of these" for His Kingdom work and glory. Irony, humor, and truth. I reveled in it. For months to follow that initially conceived idea, inspiration continued to pour out unto me and into the pages of my journals and word documents.
After a series of "signs" and "confirmations" that prompted me to write the book Humble, I felt led to register for the 2016 She Speaks conference. She Speaks is an annual conference hosted by Proverbs 31 Ministries that intends to provide direction, practical advice, and networking opportunities for women who feel called to serve God through writing or speaking. They also provide attendees with scheduled meetings with publishers in the industry to pitch their book ideas and to ask questions.
Over the past six months, I have been fully engaged on this writing journey. I have LOVED going fervently after God, asking Him to teach me what it means to be humble, and waiting for Him to give me the words to write. God has not failed me. Pages upon pages flood my notebooks about humility, grace, and our identities in Christ. I have seen the lessons He has been teaching me through His word being reflected in my own life. He has opened my eyes to the honest need for a resurrection of humility and selflessness in the self-seeking culture of modern society. His grace and love have oozed from every corner of this journey. It has all been absolutely, mesmerizingly beautiful and encouraging.
But then, a looming deadline started approaching. The past couple of weeks or so have been hovered over by a sense of restlessness, urgency, and to be honest, anguish - all over preparing this book proposal. Even with all of the thoughts that are swarming in my mind and the tender notes and the lingering inspiration that has been surrounding me, I have been fully unable to just sit and compile all of this into something that resembles an actual book proposal (which in reality looks kind of like a business plan with bits and pieces of good writing thrown in.) I have felt a pressure to spend more time focusing on the business aspects of writing, which includes learning everything I can about book proposals, concept pitches, self-marketing, and the publishing industry. What if they don't like my idea? What if my platform is too weak? What if I meet with these professionals and they think my writing is garbage, or that it is utterly unoriginal? What if this is my only chance and I blow it?
So here I am, the night before the long anticipated conference. I have no book proposal prepared, I just packed my son up for a weekend at his dad's, and I have literally been running around my house trying to catch up on laundry, get every room sparkling clean, and finish any remaining unpacking from our move that might be lingering in corners or closets. Basically anything to avoid actually confronting the actual task at hand.
I had just finished sprawling out three carefully chosen, casual, yet sophisticated outfits across my bed next to an empty suitcase and locating the two fresh boxes of beautifully designed networking cards I had printed especially for this event, when it suddenly occurred to me that my soul, mind, and body were suffering.
And then, there it was. The gentle whisper of the Spirit.
"Have I not commanded you?