God woke me in the middle of the night.
“I said fiction and non-fiction.”
That was it, but I heard Him loud and clear. The next morning–sometime early in 2015–I awoke realizing I’d focused on a fiction project I was writing, but hadn’t thought about where to go next in non-fiction writing even though during some journaling time with the Lord He’d shown me He wanted me to write both fiction and non-fiction. I sat and my computer and stared at multiple files full of ideas. I had no idea which non-fiction book He wanted me to focus upon first.
As I prayed I sensed He wanted me to compile devotions I’d written over a span of ten plus years. I opened the documents and began thinking about what that would look like. The workload felt overwhelming, but I began cutting and pasting and editing and dreaming.
The phone rang. “I’ve been studying software and programs to support authors in the publication of their books,” my friend, Carmen, told me. “Ever since I read your Titanic book it’s been my dream to start my own business helping authors. I’m not a writer, but I’m a reader. I want you to be my first client.”
Stunned, I asked questions, realizing Carmen had the software and systems to take the overwhelming, seemingly impossible task to doable reality, including organizing my multiple files so I could concentrate on writing and editing. We agreed to meet and see where God took us.
Then I called a friend who’d long encouraged me to compile my devotionals into a Soul Scents book. I thought she’d enjoy knowing her friend Carmen and I were dreaming together.
I love God’s timing.
“Just this morning God and I had a talk about you,” she said. “Actually, I was mad. Asking Him why He wasn’t moving you forward with all that content you had already written.”
I’m pretty sure my friend asked the Lord to kick my you-know-what and get me going, even though she didn’t tell phrase it that way. The fact she’d prayed about this particular project that very morning was another confirmation the Lord, Carmen, and I were on the same page.
That was the beginning of the publication saga of Soul Scents~A Spiritual Journey in the Son’s Embrace. At the time it seemed logical and doable, especially when Carmen organized my many files into new software that allowed me to move files more easily as well as work in bit-sized chunks. As time went on, however, I had several set-backs. it looked like my dream for a devotional to release for 2016 was impossible.
My vision for the book was to edit the devotionals I’d written long ago and add to them devotionals from the more recent insights I’d gained. I had my own devotional website in 2004, mailing a weekly devotion to a growing list of subscribers, but when my family went through multiple crises in 2008 I had to take a break.
The season which followed was long and difficult. I felt to truly express spiritual insights that weathered the test of time I needed to not only do a deep edit on the content I had already produced, but to also write content from the insights I gleaned in the incredibly difficult years.
My work was start and stop. Sometimes the grief over the struggles we went through would halt the flow of my writing as I sat at the computer and sobbed. Eventually, the LORD asked me to rest. Instead of being productive on the project of my dreams I surrendered to another season of healing. Long walks, caring for my flowers, and visiting with friends and family replaced computer time. Instead of writing devotions most of my writing was once again in my journals. Deep and personal, this writing was about the Lord and I working through the pain together.
Then the Lord asked me to do some brave things that took me into deeper healing around issues not related to those struggle years, but to trauma before that.
Mixed in with all this deep, inner work were multiple get-a-ways. Lovely moments of travel, peace, and joy.
God is good at this healing stuff.
But when autumn arrived without progress on the Soul Scents book, I gave up on my dream. Comforted by the knowledge I’d rested in God’s plan and direction, I didn’t even grieve too much.
Who knew God still planned to see it through?
Tomorrow I’ll tell you what happened next!
PS This is an on-going saga of the publication of Soul Scents~A Spiritual Journey in the Son’s Embrace. Click here for part 1.