Funds are raised. Cover: designed. Editing: complete. Formatting: almost finished. Head: spinning. Three weeks remain until the birth of Sentenced to Life.
After surviving two of the hardest years of my life as a caregiver to both parents, summer’s slower pace was a healing balm to my soul. It’s not that I did nothing; I finished the first draft of one of my sequel novels. But one unfinished project still nagged at me.
The book I’d written for Curtis Roberts during the first year of the pandemic remained unpublished. Every door had closed, all but one. It was one I never wanted to open: self-publishing. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with self-publishing. I just didn’t have the energy or the know-how.
With just a few weeks before the new school year began, I ventured onto one of the craziest yet most exhilarating paths I’ve ever taken, following where it seemed the Lord was leading. I watched in awe as He removed one obstacle after another and provided exactly what we needed.
And now Curtis Roberts’s dream and the fruits of my hard work are becoming reality.
The other day, I was rifling through the boxes of letters and court documents I’d collected to research Curtis’s book. I found a piece of paper I’d written dated January 1, 2020: the day I agreed to write Curtis’s story. Here’s what I wrote:
“The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” I Thess 5:24, NIV
The calling is NOW (present tense, today). The doing/enabling is future. It’s a promise. He WILL do it. I don’t know how and I don’t need to know. I just need to choose whether to say YES or NO. Curtis said he wants me to write his story because I can tell God’s story in his life. I need to find out what God wants me to do.
Many times in my life I’ve had to seek God to know for certain He was the one calling me and it wasn’t my self-manufactured dream. I knew He was faithful. No question about that. I just needed to know if it was His call. Joining Cru staff; moving to UC Berkeley when I loved New England; saying yes to go anywhere in Eastern Europe–even if that meant Romania; moving back to the U.S. when I loved living in Europe; marrying Steve, publishing We Wait You; pursuing my master’s degree in my fifties.
Each time as I listened, I became certain it was His voice calling to me. Convinced of that, I knew what my answer had to be. I’d learned many years ago to NEVER say no to God.
But each of those milestones in my life when I had to be certain of His call, the thing He asked me to do was beyond me and my abilities. Each time, He called me to do something I knew I could never do. On my own.
But that’s the thing. I’m not on my own. God called me to TRUST Him to bring it to pass. And each time, He did!
Now, today, with a novel about to be released and taking care of my parents, it is absolutely beyond my finite resources. Yet how like God to be even more glorified to do something great—something strong—in spite of my weakness, or perhaps because of my weakness. I can’t claim any natural strengths—only His supernatural empowering.
I thought about how He’s called me (and Steve) to live our lives, to be willing and available for Him to have free reign, to do whatever He sees fit and use us for His glory in whatever opportunity He presents. I think this is one of those opportunities.
What a sense of humor He has—another sign this is of Him—to give me something so big when I’m already stretched so thin I feel like a rubber band about to snap. But I will follow, Lord. I will say yes.
Someday I’ll look back on how He did this crazy thing He called me to. I can’t wait to see.
I’m getting a glimpse now. He did do it. And it is nearly ready for the world.