I am a few days into the official Book Launch Sign Up period and I’m shaking in my boots (more appropriately- sandals). The Can’t Steal My Joy Book Launch team is growing rapidly and my fear of letting people down is haunting me day and night. Can I take a moment and get real about this side of the wild ride that is book publishing?
Writing a book and publishing looks sexy, right? It’s glamorous, admirable. An amazing accomplishment that takes years, months, days and long hours. Many people want to write a book and never do. Not only is it hard, but it’s scary and vulnerable. For the first time, I am putting my work out in the world in book form and putting a price tag on it. I’m asking people to invest in my work, and to open their hearts to be changed by it. My story – my heart – is now displayed across 16 chapters and 180-ish pages, laid bare for the world to see and critique and review. And for someone who loves accomplishing things and finishing big projects and influencing others in positive ways, this is a really fun adrenaline rush! That is very much a part of who I am.
But the other part of me, the one who wants to please others and be seen as valuable and helpful to society, is terrified. What if my book is too short? What if it’s too long? What if the style of my writing doesn’t resonate with the reader? What if I didn’t go deep enough? Or did I go too deep? What if I spoke too raw or made our situation seem too easy? What if I offend someone? What if this is how people measure my value and I fail?
All these questions and so many more run through my mind. Last night I couldn’t go to sleep for all the pressure and anxiety I felt. I shared with Danny the fears that were seizing me. After he looked at me a little perplexed like, “What’s the problem here? None of those things matter, so why even think about them,” he prayed with me and then said, “You know dear- you’re just the seed- not the grower.”
I froze. All my thoughts hushed. I took a deep breath, swallowed 5 mg of melatonin (cuz this girl has gotta sleep) and resolved to embrace whatever God- The Grower, would have in this for me and for the reader. My sweet friend, Anne, in her email yesterday affirmed all my laid-out plans for the book launch and said, “…the coolest thing is, God will make this what he wants it to be no matter what.”
So I faithfully step out of my comfort zone, once again. I’m fairly certain all is going to fall out beneath me. I actually expect it. Life has had a way of doing that to this little family of mine. But in the stepping out, and in the free-falling, and in the crash landings, I have found Jesus, and His goodness, love, hope and redemption in all of it. The past several years of our journey have definitely confirmed this in my soul. I don’t have to look very far back to see God’s insistent faithfulness and to remember His consistent character.
So, friends- forgive me if I step out boldly one day and the next I’m incognito because I’ve gone to bury my head in the ground. But God is still doing a work in this girl’s heart. One that teaches me continual reliance, trust and, well- a different kind of brave. A brave that doesn’t rely on ME and what I can do to change the world around me, but rather a brave that steps out into uncertainty to plant a seed, because I know the world needs to hear a little more about unconditional Love, a Hope that doesn’t disappoint and a Joy that can survive no matter the circumstances that surround us.
Here’s to being a seed, together. Let’s launch a book, shall we?
Thanks for listening,