Taking Steps

May 29, 2015

Proverbs 16:9

“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.”

Monday I received the much-awaited email from Proverbs 31 Ministries saying that it was time to start scheduling publisher appointments!  I have to admit, I squealed, prompting my two-year-old daughter too look at me and ask, “What happened?”  It warmed my heart that she was concerned about me, and I quickly assured her that it was a happy squeal.

The email listed the publishers and agents who will be accepting appointments, along with outlining what each required for their meetings.  Some want full book proposals, some want a one-sheet, some want nothing but a conversation and will ask for more via email if they believe your idea to be worth-while.  As I went through the list, there was one section that I read with a gut-sinking reaction.  The Not Interested In section.  The first four listed were not accepting fiction!  How quickly fear got its grasp on me!  But by the time I got to the fifth company, I let out a much needed sigh of relief!

After reading through everything, I selected five people I’d like to meet with, listing them from my first choice to fifth.  The She Speaks team’s goal is to schedule everyone wishing for publisher appointments with two to three of their choices.  So that leaves me to prayerfully wait for the next email – that will arrive in the first part of July – and that will let me know which appointments I will receive.  Oh the suspense!!

I’d be lying if I said I’m not battling anxiety.  In all honesty, anxiety is doing its best to sink its claws into my heart.  I’ve repeated Philippians 4:6 to myself over and over; “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.”  Anxiety persisted.  I am in this struggle, a very familiar one to my heart, which tempts me to step back, to not act…to give up.  But too often I haven’t jumped when I thought I was supposed to.  And I didn’t just not jump, I didn’t budge!  I was too terrified that I’d step out, just to find that I wasn’t supposed to.  I become filled with doubt.  How can I really know God’s will for me?  Doubt…anxiety…fear is paralyzing.  (It brings James 1:14-15 to mind).

But how sweet and how gentle are the soothing whispers of our Lord.  I read the words of Proverbs 16:9, “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.”  My heart heard, Daughter, do not fear.  Seek Me.  Take that step.  I’ll make sure your foot lands on the right path.  God’s Word is alive, breathing God’s truths into our hearts and souls.  It is also the Sword of the Spirit, a very real and powerful weapon against the strategies of the devil (see Ephesians 6:10-17).  Proverbs 16:9 was the strike that turned my battle against anxiety from defensive to offensive.  Verse after verse come to mind now, helping me fight this battle against anxiety as I rest in the peace of God, that peace Philippians 4:7 promises.

There’s no promise from this conference that my plans, or hopes, of getting published will at all come to fruition, but my peace lies in this: I love God and I desire His will in my life.  No matter my plans, He directs my steps; and His Word is the light upon my path (Psalm 119:105).  He is the I Am, and He “causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose”.  May we, may I, invite His good into our lives, and not let doubts, fears, or anxiety steal it from us.

And I will keep taking steps…

Blog Personal

Come and Hear

May 13, 2015

Psalm 66:16

“Come and hear, all you who fear God;

let me tell you what he has done for me.”

There’s an unsettling feeling that one gets when you’re supposed to do something and you ignore it.  I had this unsettling for…well, I guess I don’t remember not having it…

I woke up one morning, about a year and a half ago, with the memory of an only-just-started dream printed on the insides of my eyelids.  I kept my eyes tightly shut, willing myself to hold onto it, to see what happened next.  Who were these characters?  Where were they going?  What brought them together?  It wasn’t the first time that my imagination demanded the details to a wisp of a story that danced through my mind.

That night I opened my computer and I quickly typed out my dream, just to get it down so I wouldn’t forget it.  It was far from a story, but it was something.  If you’re wondering, this dream was not “inspired”.  There was no divine message laced within the folds of my mind.  It honestly could have just been a compilation of the thoughts I was thinking before I went to bed.  But as I sat there staring at my computer screen, I knew there was still something in it: a decision, and the unsettling.

I think I’m supposed to write.  (Insert terrifying scream of panic!)

The step from “I think” to “I know” is a big one, and absolutely petrifying.  I’ve spent the last year and a half – and hours upon hours – writing and I’m still not bold enough to say that I know I’m supposed to write.  But I did it.  I wrote.  And I completed my first novel.  I am continuing to write.  And what’s more, that unsettling has transformed into an urging.

The reality is, I have no idea what I’m doing.  But God does.  I’ve shared this area of my life with others, doing my best to test the waters, and I have been overwhelmed by support and affirmation.  So here I go, stepping out in faith on this new adventure.

Come July, I’ll be heading to North Carolina for the She Speaks Conference.  This is a conference put on by Proverbs 31 Ministries for women who feel called by God to speak or write.  The idea of attending this conference was a mountain before me.  The idea that I’m being called is a whole range of mountains!!  Doubts and fears plague me, yet the door stands open.

So why am I blogging?

I’m writing this as my heart’s response to Psalm 66:16, “Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me.”  I don’t know who would actually want to know the workings of my mind, or the stories behind what I’m writing, but many are praying for me, and have even donated to get me to the She Speaks Conference.  Their kindness and generosity has given me the courage to share.

So with this blog, I invite you to come along with me on this journey as I share how God is moving in my life and through my writing.  If He’s calling me to write, who am I to say no?  And do I dare turn from His blessings to hide in fear?  No.  I will write.  I will share.  And may He, the Author and Perfector of our own stories, be glorified.