When I don’t have the words to pray, I often find myself saying “do it again.”
Those three words somehow manage to sum up my emotions and racing thoughts, hopes and beliefs.
“You’ve done it before. I believe You are more than capable to do it again, but I will choose to trust and love You even if not, even if You choose not to. But God? Please do it again.”
Provide. Heal. Restore. Redeem. Mend. Answer.
He’s done every bit of it before and is fully able to do every bit of it again, for me and for you.
For months I’ve been asking Him to do it again, but when words fail and emotions are high, I open my hands, let my knees hit the floor, and speak those three words.
I believe He already knows the rest of the story. And I believe He wants to hear it – all of it. He cares about what’s weighing on our hearts and offers to carry the burden for us, to lighten our load. So I share both the joys and the hurts with Him, I invite Him into the midst of them, knowing that He was there every moment of each day, present on every page of my story.
But on the days when I don’t have the strength to go over it again, to unpack the burdens and leave them in His hands, I just let go. I drop them as my knees hit the floor. Sometimes there are tears and sometimes I’m perfectly fine, just weary from praying the same prayer again and again.
Do it again.
That’s it. Three words.
But here are three more… He hears us.
And three more? God still moves.
So I pray the words and I keep showing up and I open my hands as a visual reminder to myself that life is not mine to clinch, to control, to hold. It’s a gift given, every breath and moment and opportunity.
Even the story-lines I wouldn’t have chosen. Even the pages I’m anxious to turn. Even the lines I’d like to erase.
Do it again, I pray. But even if not, I say.
In the midst of this heavy chapter, in the middle of praying those three weighty words again and again, I’m actually doing it again.
Well, kind of.
This Thursday, two days from now, will be the one-year “book birthday” of Even If Not: Living, Loving, and Learning in the in Between.
A month ago a friend laughed as she said, “it seems like you’re having to continuously live out your book, like you just keep finding yourself having to choose if you’ll keep saying ‘even if not.'”
And I laughed and shook my head and quietly said, “Yes. Nearly every day.”
There is so much life that happens behind the computer screen and the social media feeds. It isn’t easy to live out those words, to choose to declare that God will be good no matter what story this page tells. Some days it’s difficult to trust that all of it, somehow, will be worked for my good and His glory. It can feel like the “in between” will never end, like it’s actually the end.
But even if it does, the beautiful surprise is that I’ve found Him here, too. Right in the middle of the story, when nothing is wrapped up with a big red bow.
The truth is that my book wasn’t easy to write, but it’s even harder to live.
But it’s also true that it’s worth it. He’s worth it.
For over a year now, I’ve been scared to open a document on my computer. I realize that sounds absurd, but if you only knew what went into formatting a document into a print book…. well, you would understand.
But I knew I was supposed to turn that document into an ebook, to make the message of Even If Not easily accessible to those overseas. (Because shipping prices are crazy and Kindle ebooks are the bomb.com)
So I did it. Last week I shared in my behind-the-screen newsletter that it would be coming soon… and now it’s available for preorder on Amazon!
Sometimes bravery feels big but doesn’t look big from the outside. Sometimes it just looks like opening up a document, taking a deep breath, and going one page at a time.
So I’m doing this thing again, launching a book into the world because He’s called me to share His words. It’s a much smaller launch, of course. Several hundred people have already read the print book (which, let’s be honest, totally blows my mind). But for those of you who have emailed and tweeted and asked for an ebook, this is for you.
The ebook version will release on March 2nd, one week from the day the print book released. There will be giveaways and freebies because, hello, do you even know me? I’m all about the free stuff.
If you’d like to preorder, the ebook will automatically deliver to your Kindle reading device or app on the 2nd. (P.S. You can read Kindle books from a free computer app, too. No need to have an actual Kindle.) If I say so myself, it’s a beautiful ebook. The images are in full-color and the Table of Contents is linked to each chapter for easy viewing. #Fancy
And I’ll tell you a secret: if you preorder before the 2nd, the price will be even cheaper on release day.
For today, I’m opening my hands. I’m praying “do it again,” handing over the burdens that are weighing me down, and I’m walking step in step with Him as I do it again, this book-releasing thing He’s called me to for this season.
I trust that dawn will break, the page will turn, and light will shine. But regardless, I pray “do it again” while saying “even if not.”
Always, He is good. Always, He is with us.
Do it again, God. But we’ll love you even if not.
We're thirty-six days into 2017 and I've read eight books. Yep, eight. I've told you this before, so you probably aren't surprised. But the thing is, I just really love books. At any given point, I have five or six books piled on my nightstand. If you take into...read more
Thanks a million for your patience as I finished this post! You may have seen on Instagram that all my writing energy has recently been going toward a project with LifeWay. But as of two hours ago that is turned in (woohoo!) so here we go... In retrospect, it...read more
After last week's recap, several of you emailed, left comments, and asked in person - yes, I pinky promise to share my word for 2017 as soon as I can wrap words around it. It's coming. For real. Today though, I want to quickly share this with you because, well, how...read more
There's something inside that feels empty. In my mind I've come to a well, a resting and gathering place, with a ladle in my hand. I reach down again and again and though the bucket isn't full, the water-line is rising. Way back when I heard an old tale of a leaking...read more
I am tired. I'm choosing a slower pace and chasing the quiet, but my to-do list is long and life feels loud, ever-moving just like all the social media streams. It's been a few weeks since I wrote anything here, and honestly it feels like the words have disappeared,...read more
I'm maybe kinda just a little bit obsessed with books... and there are so many great books releasing in 2017 that you won't want to miss! One of my most popular posts - ever - is 12 Can't-Miss Books Coming in 2016. And so here we are, Round Two. And 2017? It's gonna...read more
Well, y'all know I'm dipping my toes into the Bible journaling and Illustrated Faith craze. I've loved some of the kits more than others, but the newest one (it's Christmas-themed!) is my favorite by far. I'm pretty sure it's because of the gold ink and the perfect...read more
For several years now, I've shared my favorite books of the year. I'm not sure I've ever read more books in 12 months than I did this year (55, people. I read 55 books.), so narrowing the list down was a bit, um, difficult. No worries though, because I could...read more
With just a few minutes between lunch (it involved chips and queso, duh) and dropping off cookies for a friend, I stopped to grab a quick cup of coffee. I sat down in one of the comfy chairs in the back corner, keeping an eye on the time, and opened the TimeHop app....read more
"I wonder if she'll notice..." There's a long scar straight down the back of my head, reaching up from the base of my neck. Last week I sat in a black swivel chair, my face reflecting back to me in the mirror as a kind and friendly stranger picked up a pair of...read more