Taking Steps

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…

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