Whatever you’re dreaming, take one small step. Be obedient. You may be amazed how God uses that obedience 365 days from now.
On August 18, 2015 this book didn’t exist.
On August 19, 2015 I did what felt completely crazy, simply obedient, and absolutely right. I wrote exactly 2,000 words that, with only one or two edits, became the introduction to Even If Not. Life is weird. It is so beautifully unexpected and magically ordinary. Because 366 days ago writing a book was just a dream. And today I can say “exactly one year ago I began my first book.”
One day, one step of obedience, changed everything.
And that’s the thing, when it comes down to it. I could have continued to doubt, to question, to present one hundred and one excuses for why I wasn’t the one to write this book, why I should write a different book, why the timing was all wrong, why it would be too hard, why why why.
There’s a picture on my phone with this timestamp: June 7, 2015. 1:05am. The screenshot shows a Google search of ampersands in different fonts. Good grief, I can still feel myself sighing in exasperation and muttering, “Okay God, I guess maybe there’s something to this. I’ll take one step and look up ampersands. Maybe, and this is a long shot, maybe it’ll be on a book cover one day.”
Between that picture and this next one, something clicked inside, like someone flipped a switch and turned on the lights. I realized that to stay silent, to plant my feet, shake my head or offer one more excuse would be disobedience.
I wrote Even If Not for the ones in the in between, yes. 100% yes.
But I also wrote it because to do anything besides write that book would be walking in complete disobedience. God was clear, “this is yours to write for such a time as now.”
And so as grainy and unattractive as that image is, I’ll just go ahead and admit that it brings tears to my eyes.
It was my white flag, a step of obedience, a conscious decision to walk straight into the unknown, trusting I would find Him there.
I’ve heard from both friends and strangers that Even If Not has changed their life, that they’ve met Jesus between the pages. That is my deepest desire and those words mean more than any best seller list. But you know what I always want to say in response?
I met Jesus in between the pages. When I wrote out my story, I found Him on every single page. My name is on the cover, but He is the Author.
This book is my life story, but the funny thing is that it’s really not about me. It’s about discovering that God is still God and He is still good no matter what page we’re on or how the story ends. It’s a story about falling apart and breaking down, only to find Him sitting with us in the messy places.
It’s a story about letting go and learning that He was always holding on. It’s a rescue story. It’s a love story. It’s a letter to all of the broken hopefuls.
When I sat down at a little white desk, opened a new page, took a deep breath and wrote exactly 2,000 words, I had no idea that the book would be finished 72 days later. I didn’t know it would cost me dearly and I didn’t know it would one day be held in the hands of complete strangers. I didn’t know that I would return to Haiti and travel to Israel and take along a little white and gold book covered in silver ampersands.
The only thing I knew was this: I chose obedience and my heavenly Father was proud.
That was enough. That is enough.
I hope you read it. I pray that it gives you hope and helps you walk in faith through your messy middle places, the in between seasons of life that feel unknown and a little bit shaky. I truly believe God has used it and will continue to do so.
But hear this, these words that maybe I shouldn’t say but I’m going to anyways because it’s just the flat out truth:
Even If Not didn’t climb to the top of a best seller list and I’m honestly okay with that. This book, these pages, are an offering. They are my worship. From the very beginning, it was written for an audience of One.