"Is today the day, Honey?"
Nearly every day for the past two months my husband has asked me this question.
"I'm still not ready yet."
At this point, the answer rolls off the tip of my tongue as I stare at the unopened box of books. Over the years I've opened countless boxes filled with books but this is no ordinary box of books and this is no ordinary year. This box contains books with a new author's name across the bottom.
For most first time authors, the months leading up to their release date are booked solid and filled with excitement. Speaking engagements, launch parties and book signings fill their calendars. It's a time they have likely dreamed of all their lives and for the vast majority of authors this path, generally speaking, is similar.
But not this year.
2020 has authored it's own volume of books but they're ones nobody really wants to read. I could go on and on about the details of the year we're just halfway through but there's no need. We are all well aware of them.
Ah. As an author, this ole year, the path less traveled and in many cases, the path never traveled has been the only route there is.
It wasn't supposed to be this way.
For those of you familiar with my testimony and memoir, Shattered Expectations, this is a phrase common to both my experiences and my heart. My journey as a young mother took me up, down, and around roads that were wholly unlike the vast majority of mothers I knew.
In an instant, my world turned upside down and I began the journey of my lifetime. Through deep, dark waters God led me. He held me through heartache and bitterness. He stayed with me through the valley of decision and he never once let me go. I knew no other soul at the time who had traveled such a path as I but I've learned a thing or two from that path.
The path less traveled forced me to see myself for who I was. It forced me to see the darkness of my own heart and illuminated my desperate need for a savior. That path led me to my savior and unfamiliar and painful as it was, it is a path I am eternally grateful I traversed.
So why haven't I opened my box of books?
In part, it is wholly true, that while I do not fully even know how to market and present my first book to the world, I most certainly do not know how to do so during a global pandemic and the resulting societal upheaval. But of far more importance that that, I haven't opened the box just yet because of the things I learned on the road less traveled.
For one thing, had it not been for that road, there would be no book.
For another thing, I long for hearts to read and be stirred by the words I was inspired to write and share with the world, but not a moment before I have examined my own once again.
Can I be honest with you? I was excited for my moment as an author. Was that wrong? No, but was it the path God wanted me on? No
Every word of this book was by Him and for Him.
Every single word.
And, it was for you. Of all the topics I could have written about, God had me write about life's purpose and fragility. Little did I know, What Does God Want You to do Before You Die, would take on a whole new meaning in 2020.
The details are just as God in his sovereignty ordained. It's not about me. It's not about my talents. It's not about my writing career. It's about Jesus. Until this was the cry from the depths of my heart, the box had to stay unopened.
How many of your hearts in 2020 can echo the cry, it wasn't supposed to be this way? I know the road is bumpy and unfamiliar. It feels uncharted but there is one who has already traveled it and He longs to carry you safely through.
As I trust Him to show me when to break open my box, I trust Him to break open your heart. If ever we need Jesus, my dear friends, it is now.