If you haven’t yet heard, let me tell you here—the release of my next book, Isaiah’s Daughter, must be delayed from October 2017 to January 2018. Why? Well, because life got hard—but God remained good. Wanna read a little about what I learned through the process?
The Journey ‘Til Now
When I signed the contract for Isaiah’s Daughter in May 2016, I knew writing the book would be a tough journey. I only had five months to research and write a book—a process that normally takes a year. Add to that a cross-country move from Washington State to North Carolina. We have a recipe for wooden characters, shallow dialogue, and a story that felt…incomplete.
During the line editing process—the book’s second major edit—we took the manuscript apart and reassembled it with a few new storylines, more descriptive settings, and more relatable characters. Let me mention a few other things also occurring during the line edit: my husband and I both had colonoscopies, I received a definitive diagnosis for my daily migraines, and my aunt was diagnosed with a brain tumor. For four weeks, I wrote a lot and slept very little. (BTW, my diagnosis was Chiari malformation)
When the line edit was finished, the word count had somehow ballooned to 140,000. I am only contracted for 110,000 words. Eee-gad! We cut 15,000 words in four days, and my senior editor said, “Enough! Send it.”
I sent her my brand-new-baby that had undergone a major facelift. She approved it within days but suggested a delay in releasing this newer version to give it the promotion time it deserved. The lessons King Hezekiah and Queen Hephzibah learn are perhaps the most important takeaways of any books I’ve written thus far.
So, though I’m disappointed about the delay, I’m absolutely ecstatic about this book! The lessons I’ve learned have already begun…
Today’s Lesson–One Among Many
Over the next few weeks and months, I’ll share with you many things I learned during this writing and editing process. Today, we begin with a lesson on prayer.
One day I was feeling so discouraged about my writing, I said to the Lord, “I’m not even qualified to write a Facebook post!”
I heard very clearly that still, small Voice: It’s not about you or your ability.
That little truth shocked me from my pity-party. I knew it was supposed to be about Him, for His glory, but somewhere in the nouns and verbs and character sketching, I’d lost sight of the bigger picture.
Our gracious God took me back to His Word and showed me how the giants of faith prayed when their hearts ached…
It’s All About God
When Abraham heard God reveal His plans to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, he began bargaining for the people in the city. The bargaining wasn’t based on his own personal gain—not even to specifically save his nephew, Lot—but rather his rationale trusted in God’s commitment to do right:
[Abraham said to God,] “Far be it from you to…kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25
Moses also argued with God basing his argument on God’s perspective. On an occasion when the people of Israel aroused the Lord’s anger, God threatened to destroy them. Moses didn’t argue all the pros and cons of strategy. His main concern was to protect God’s reputation among the nations:
“If you put all these people to death, leaving none alive, the nations who have heard this report about you will say, ‘The Lord was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath, so he slaughtered them in the wilderness.’” Numbers 14:15–16
During my little writing crisis, God wasn’t about to strike anyone dead, but my waning confidence was on life-support. I went back to read some of my published books and felt as if someone else had penned those words. It was at this point that I happened upon these passages of Abraham’s and Moses’ prayers. I was astonished at their selflessness.
A Life So Focused…
Both Abraham and Moses were less concerned with the actual circumstances around them than how those circumstances would reflect on God’s character. When faced with a crisis, their first thought seemed to be how it might affect others’ view of God. I must confess, that’s not my first thought in a crisis—but I’d like it to be.
What if I witnessed some sort of accident and my first instinct was, How can I be Jesus to these people right now?
Were my husband to lose his job, would my first thought be, How can our family’s reaction show others God’s faithfulness?
What if my puny little book release gets delayed by three months? Hmmm. I pray my response will demonstrate a complete trust in God’s perfect timing.
- ISAIAH’S DAUGHTER release delayed ‘til January. Life got hard, but God remains good.
- I knew my writing was for God, but amid the nouns, verbs, and characters, I’d lost sight of Him.
- When faced with crisis, I want my first concern to be how others view God through my response.
- How can you focus on God rather than yourself in a situation in your life?