Jesus quoted a Jewish proverb that said: “ Physician, heal thyself.” Luke 4:23.
These blogs I write are not just for you. The Lord inspires me to write them by putting it on my heart, and in my life. What I must remember is to daily, even hourly, take my own medicine that I regularly give to you in these blogs. Do not believe for a minute that I have mastered a single thing I speak or write of, because my life, as yours is too, is a continuous lesson in learning and growing: two steps forward, one step backward, then 2 steps forward, and so on.
It is confession time: a hard to admit truth about my heart, and I feel the need to share this with you, including the eventual outcome. This is my cry to you, a testimony of what has been infiltrating my life lately: anxiety, panic, deep sadness, dejectedness, depression, desperation, jealousy and hopelessness. None of these are good or Godly. I am embarrassed to admit this to you, but hopefully my honesty will help you to conquer similar struggles. That is my purpose today.
What you are about to read is not a ploy, a subtle way of promotion, a manipulative blog with the underlying purpose of selling you something or enticing you to buy it. I repeat: read this, and please do not take it as a selling tool.
“Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.”
Two and a half years ago, I completed writing my story, and got it published by a fledgling publisher at the time, who happened to be a former co-worker and friend of mine. It had taken me 15 years to write! The day came when I saw it realized in print, and naturally was on an emotional high and extremely grateful to the Lord that my book was now able to be shared with those that needed encouragement, healing, and a boost in their faith.
Being an author with a book on Amazon, I can track the general sales of it in print or Ebook. For the last 2 years, sales have been diminishing, like a train that was roaring toward the station, but gradually slows down and comes to a complete full stop. This train’s journey has ended for the day. This is where sales for my story are at. My book, that I had high hopes for in encouraging thousands who could relate to even a portion of my story, appears to be dead. From my perspective, it is no longer a tool that God is using, but more a shelved story that is gathering dust.
Truth be known, I never thought that this book would make money. For my publisher, that was her hope, as well as getting the story out there. For me, I wanted to be able to help others, even 1 person, and that would make it worth my while.
Thus the discouragement began, along with regular prayers. This eventually led me into a depression, which quickly led to desperation. I kept trying to find ways to promote it. I would give copies away to encourage reviews. Yes, God knows from countless prayers that this book was his, that I gave it to Him, that He could do with it as He pleased, that I laid it at his feet. But, then He would see me pick it back up, try to pawn it off on people, and hear my pleas of “Please….God.” I was getting desperate: for people to find encouragement, for my publisher to see how God takes care of his own children, and to see her get paid back for her willingness to publish my story as an unknown author. More prayers, more laying it at his feet, more picking it back up again; a vicious cycle that sent me spiraling downward.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:7
In my mid twenties, I was determined to find a husband. I had moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and had many friends who were in the christian music business. So my hunt began. After a long and discouraging unfruitful year of desperately searching for my future man, I recognized that it was time to give it up. Perhaps God wanted me to be single? It was at that point that I stopped looking for someone to fulfill me, and willingly accepted whatever lot God had for me, single or not. It was now fully in his hands, and out of mine.
Then God… Because I had relinquished my power and will, He stepped in, soon showing me that I had already met the man whom I was to marry. This only came about because I decided to accept my fate, whatever it was to be, and trusted it with Him. I had willingly walked away from the hunt, only to have my husband handed to me as a result.
I had forgotten this part of my story while I was in the throes of depression and desperation about the book sales.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Very recently, during a phone conversation with my sister-in-law, I bared my heart about the situation. I shared my jealousy of 2 other local women who had just published books, and how many of our same friends were so excited and buying their books immediately. My sister-in-law, after listening to my sob story, said very matter-of-factly, “Well, you need to let it go.” Those words hit me as hard as a hammer and squarely in my spirit. Sure, I have given this to the Lord so, so many times, in fact, like every other day, but this is different. To let it go is more like giving it away, not simply laying it at Jesus’ feet, but then intentionally walking away from it. Leaving it there. No turning back.
( I will be rereading this weekly!)
So, I will LET IT GO AND LET GOD (whatever He so chooses). If it brings Him joy or glory to use my testimony, then so be it.
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
2 Corinthians 12:8-9
Paul had something in his life that he was desperate for God to change, but in his sovereignty, the Lord said NO.
Sometimes that is his answer, and no amount faith will change that. His plan, his way, his decision, not ours. He is after all, the KING of all creation and the Creator of time, but mostly the one who loves us perfectly.
I have for the last time (hopefully!) laid my book at Jesus’ feet. It is his story of my life, and He either will or won’t use it. He might be done with it, He might not be. It may have been used for it’s purpose already. Regardless, I am no longer sitting in God’s waiting room, hoping for something. Instead, I have relinquished it, leaving it in God’s capable hands and at Jesus’ scarred feet.
Faith means regardless of the outcome, we will trust in God. I am at peace.
“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”
Food for thought: I will not post the book information on this blog, since that is not the ‘why’ I shared my heart with you. If you truly want to know more about it, check out the ABOUT ME section of this website where those details are available.
Fun facts: There are between 600,000 to 2,000,000 books published every year, at least half of those are self published. They tend to sell on average less than 250 copies each.
Photo by: Kari Wiseman – The Coastal Rainbow just before Hurricane Elsa