For 73 days I sat on a secret.
Which isn’t that long, really, since I waited an entire year before saying anything about my tattoo.
365 days ago I shared the news I had written and rewritten in my head a minimum of fifteen times: So, I wrote a book. (#what)
Not “oh hey, I think I might write a book!” or even “I’m in the middle of writing a book.”
Nope, wrote. Past tense. Over. Done. Complete.
And you showed up strong. You tweeted and messaged and left celebration emoji comments on Instagram. You shared the news with your people and cheered me on.
You embodied the word community and please, don’t ever let anyone say real relationships can’t be formed on the Internet. I beg to differ.
I was scared out of my mind and more excited than can be put into words. I was tired and thrilled, empty yet full. November 2nd is one of my favorite days, a moment I’ll always be able to look back on and say “I took one brave step and God showed up so strong.”
The stories in these pages aren’t the ones I would have chosen for myself, but I’m so glad they’re the ones I was given to live and tell. Even If Not isn’t the book I expected, imagined or necessarily wanted to write… but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. It came at a cost, but it was worth it. It’s still worth it.
Even If Not is a book for the broken hopefuls, the ones in the middle of a story they didn’t plan or want or expect, the ones looking for God in the middle of it all. God authored my story and asked me to put it on paper, all the in between moments when we have more questions than answers, where relationships are broken and we’re searching for the light in the dark, certain it must be there.
It always is. He always is. Present in every moment, good in the beginning and at the end and on every single page in between.
I said it 365 days ago and I still believe it to my very core: God doesn’t always answer our prayers how we ask. He doesn’t provide the answers to all of our questions and sometimes life plain breaks apart. There are hard seasons and sick seasons and dark seasons. I know it; I have lived them. But in every season, in every ampersand and in between, God has been there. Sometimes quiet, sometimes loud, but always He has been faithful and present.
Thank you for being my people. Thank you for cheering me on 365 days ago, celebrating when Even If Not released on February 23rd, putting up with my somewhat obsessive love of ampersands, subscribing and downloading and Instagramming the stunning prints several online friends created, and for daring to say it with me:
Our history is His story, and no matter what may or may not come, we’ll love Him and declare His goodness is true. He may rescue and redeem and reconcile, but we’ll trust Him — even if not.
From the back cover of the book…
“If you find yourself in between one thing and another, changing from who you used to be into who you are becoming, how will you live in the messy, beautiful middle? And what if the middle pages hold storylines that wound and surprise? Is God with us on those pages, too?
In Even If Not, Kaitlyn Bouchillon invites you to let go of trying to figure out the ending of your story and instead lean into the faithfulness of God. With honest and vulnerable storytelling from her own in betweens, Kaitlyn encourages you to say – no matter what page of the story you find yourself on – that although you believe God could come through how you’re asking, you’ll trust Him… even if not.”
If you want to learn more about the book or would be willing to share with your online people…
This page is full of pre-written tweets, images and printables that you can download/share.
(It also has kind words from real-life friends that still completely blow me away.)
“Thank you” feels so small, but I truly appreciate and value your support, love and encouragement. It’s amazing how much, and still so little, can change in 365 days. In so many ways I’m still the same, yet my life has changed permanently in ways I’m still wrapping my head around. And I am grateful.
Thank You, Jesus, for writing this story and handing it to me. It’s all Yours and all for You.
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