Somehow two years have gone by and yet this is still the face I make when I think about that day. Exactly two years ago, I opened up a blank page and wrote 2,000 words.
It felt like breaking wide open, like an offering poured out. Also, it felt crazy.
But I wrote because He made Himself more than clear: to do anything else would be flat out disobedience.
I did it because He said to — not because I wanted to. And to be perfectly honest, writing out the broken pieces of my story terrified me. (Quite frankly, if I knew at the beginning what it would cost me, this grainy black and white picture might not exist.)
Little did I know that I’d find Him on every page…
Those 2,000 words became the introduction to a book that has been read literally around the world. But on August 19, 2015… those 2,000 words were simply the next right thing, one small step of obedience.
They were a white flag waving in the wind, an act of surrender, a declaration that I’d follow wherever the road (or the words) went.
I didn’t know that I’d need to show up in the darkness, look for the light, and write about what it feels like in between. I didn’t know that He would ask me to revisit heartbreaks or put words around depression.
But that’s where He led me and I found Him there. On every single page, I found Him there.
Even If Not is 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.
I don’t know what your next right thing is, but I think you should take a step in the direction of obedience.
August 19th could be your Day One, too.
For several years I’ve said that in the middle of your mess He is writing your message, and all these tests you’re going through are becoming your testimony… and y’all, I’m living proof that this is true. Nothing is wasted.
It was anything but easy, but I’d do every bit of it all over again. Because my history is His story and although my name is on the front cover, His words are what you’ll find inside. He’s the Author, the Mender of the broken pieces spilled out in black ink.
It was never about the number of copies sold; it was always about obedience. Two years later, I still hear from complete strangers on the other side of the world saying “this book is changing my life.” And the most honest reply I can give is this: It changed mine too. To God alone be the glory.
P.S. If you’d like to know more, the book page might be helpful… or maybe these words from when I first announced the book, my heart behind the book:
It is my prayer that this book will be a kind companion to the one walking through the in between. The truth is, though, that we’re all living in the ampersand, smack in the middle of the story He’s writing with our days. Our lives are the stories and although we are part of the Kingdom, today we find our feet planted on earth, and so when life isn’t sunshine and roses, what will we say of the God who holds the pen?
If we believe that God could come through (and He can) and if we believe that He hears our prayers and knows our hearts (and He does), will we trust Him if His answer doesn’t look like ours and instead of saving the day, His plan is to draw us closer to Him in the midst of it all?
If we trust that God can save us, will we say He is still God and still good even if He does not?
I’ll say it. Again and again, I’ll say it. Even if not, Lord, even if not.
Related posts that I hope will encourage you:
So, I wrote a book. (#what) (Possibly the craziest announcement of my life…)
The Best Accident: I Started Writing a Book and Didn’t Know It (Not gonna lie, I just re-read this and now I’m crying. It’s fine. I’m fine.)
My Book Isn’t a Best Seller and That’s Okay (Written exactly one year ago today.)
Here we are, one year later. (From November 2, 2016 — one year after I announced my book.)
(And –> If you’re not sure what your next right thing is… I’d love to encourage you to subscribe below for more encouragement, as well as listen to my friend Emily P. Freeman’s fantastic podcast — it’s called The Next Right Thing!)