My book proposal was not selected by Proverbs 31 Ministries.
Now wait…before you let a sad or consoling comment surface in your mind, let me tell you what God had already shown me and how He had fully prepared me for this news.
About half way through the 10-week proposal writing course, I was on our Zoom call listening to another sweet friend and very talented writer as she presented her book concept. I was sitting in one of my favorite rooms at The Hill, looking out of a huge picture window at a beautiful view. I had every reminder of all the great things God was already doing in and through my life.
But this feeling of heaviness, doubt, gloom, and disappointment came over me suddenly. I knew I wasn’t going to be chosen. I really did know it. It wasn’t a coping mechanism. It wasn’t self defense. I just knew in my soul that this was not the time.
And, I had a strong feeling the Lord was trying to speak to me, but rather than listen, I started thinking thoughts like,
“Should I even finish the proposal?”
“Is it worth it?”
“I’m so busy with other things. Should I just quit?”
I’m so glad God is patient. Aren’t you?
When I hung up from the call, I just sat for a minute in the quiet with the Lord. I recalled to my mind how miraculous it was that I was even chosen to be part of this group of women in the first place. I knew that God had opened this door. And, so I told Him right then that I would finish. Regardless of any distractions or doubts – I will finish.
A few days later, I was sitting on the pier at The Hill and the Lord asked me a question.
“If this is all I ever give you, are you content?”
I knew what He meant. The question is not about the retreat center or the things He has given me. The question is about the reach of the message He has given me. I had to really dig deep and ask myself why I am pursuing a book or a website, or a ministry. Why?
My pastor asked our church a question recently that I hope never leaves my mind….
“Why do you seek to help others? So they can say that you are the one who helped them? Or to build up the church?”
Please ponder this for a moment. Search your soul. Especially those of you in ministry, or feeling called to ministry. I certainly had to search mine. Y’all pride is one of the strongest things in our flesh. And the Bible tells us so clearly that pride comes before the fall. Before the fall. The fall. Read that slowly.
The last thing I want is to fall.
So, what is my motive? That was really the question in all of this. Am I working to build the church because I believe that Jesus deserves a glorious bride? Or am I helping people for my own sake?
I love how gentle the Lord is with us. I was sitting on the pier on a beautiful day and I surrendered. I surrendered, again. I have truly surrendered so many things to the Lord, but this was another time when He gently asked me to lay down my dream and trust Him. And I did.
If my life’s work never goes beyond First New Testament Church, Cloth & Clay Ministries, and The Hill, I am content with that. Because God has called me to help build up His church. To strengthen His people. To encourage the weak. To hold up the arms of the tired. To lead the lost out of darkness.
“The young lions suffer want
and hunger; but those who seek the
Lord lack no good thing.”
Jesus deserves a glorious bride. And He needs a powerful church in the earth today to display His power and glory. It’s the single most important mission of our day and time – to build a glorious church! How do we do this? By winning souls to Christ and by strengthening believers so we can all make it to the finish line.
He has called me to this work and I am thrilled to do it with all my heart. I believe that many will come to The Hill and receive healing. God has promised this to me. It is His work, His house, His healing power, and His promise. So, I’m going to stand with Him, follow Him down this path and trust Him to complete the work He has begun.
For those of you wondering, I will finish the book. And, I can send it to other publishers. But, I am completely trusting God to have His way. I am so thankful for the experience I had with Proverbs 31. If I had not taken this course, I never would have completed a proposal and I would be much less prepared to write a book. But, I’m also thankful for God’s sovereignty. All I want is His will.
The course I took challenged us to concentrate on the reach of our message. We talked a lot about social media, email distribution lists, engagement, blog stats, etc. Don’t get me wrong – I get it. The publisher needs to make sure their investment will make a return. But, I hated all those conversations.
You are not just numbers to me. I can’t be focused on how many followers I have or how many “likes” I can get on an Instagram post. I care that you are reading this message and that you are challenged to love Jesus more and surrender to His work in your life.
That can’t be measured on a stat. One day, everything will be measured. Only that which we have done by the enabling of the Holy Spirit will matter. Those works will become precious jewels, gold and silver. Everything else will burn up in the fire as we stand beside Jesus. Live for that moment, believer.
Live for that moment when your works become your worship.
Ironically, just a few days after I found out that my book wasn’t selected, my Facebook page got hacked and has been completely stolen from me! As of now (5 days after I first realized it) I still have no response from Facebook. I may never recover it. So, if you have sent me a message in Messenger or on Facebook, please send it to me via email at my website, comment on this blog, or comment on Instagram.
I can’t tell you how much I love hearing from you. Many of you have sent me the most precious messages over the years. I had every single one saved on my Facebook page. This is the loss I feel.
I have surrendered this to the Lord, too! I want to live in joy. I want to live victoriously. I want to live in peace. There is no room for anxiety and strife if I want to do the will of God. So, I’m trusting Him that He will be victorious. He is my defender. He is my shield. And I know He will have His way.
This Sunday a.m. at 10:30, I will be preaching at my church, First New Testament Church. I am excited to share the message God gave me as the premise for the book I’ve started – Anointed with Clay. Based on the story of the blind man healed in John chapter 9, we will explore how Jesus uses our surrendered lives to bring healing and sight to the blind world around us. I hope you can join us or watch online. (www.fntchurch.org)
Thank you so much for the prayers, love, support and encouragement you have provided to my life. Your response to the story God has built in my life has made every pain, every tear, every sorrow worth it.
Do you remember Clay said that all the time? “It’s worth it!” I heard him say it hundreds of times. And, it is. It is totally worth it to follow Jesus. No matter where it leads.
Romans 4: 19 – 25 “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.“