Our Lenten Journey
In my morning prayer time, I’m working through the United Church’s Lenten Bible study. This is the question for March 12: “Is your faith in God strong enough to put your life in God’s hands without hesitation?” My first response is, “I don’t know. God hasn’t asked me to do that yet.” As soon as that thought rippled through my mind, I pictured the boxes of books lining one side of my furnace room, and I chuckled. Over the last 14 years, I written, published and bought 9000 plus copies of my books. Today there are about 1000 books remaining on those shelves. Every time I write another book, pay for professional editing, design and layout, and then order a thousand books, I take a leap of faith. Will they sell, or pile up in my furnace room until I can’t get inside?
Yes, I do place my heart in God’s hands with each new book. Writing and selling takes courage. There is always the risk of rejection. I rent a table and lay out my books. Some people walk by without even stopping to look. These books represent a part of me, and rejection sends an arrow deep into my soul. Yet, I’ve learned that when discouragement sets in, someone stops me at a meeting to tell me how much they love my books, or I receive an email like the one I received today:
“… I don’t read as much as I’d like to. However, I finished Fireweed a few weeks ago, and it’s taken me awhile to write and tell you how much I loved it. You certainly have a way of making your characters seem real and I felt as though I knew and cared for Renee and Steve. I found I’d smile with them and once got teary-eyed as well. It is a good reminder for all to pray and think kindly of all others, no matter what. And so I just wanted to affirm you. From a reader’s point of view, your ministry is alive and well, and in such a gentle, loving way. I have started To Begin Again and am delighted to revisit the same little family, and looking forward to what you have to share about our grandmother. Your books bring a little joy and goodness into this crazy world. Just as God has planned, I’m sure. Love Francie
Emails like this lift the darkness. I think, God obviously wants me to keep writing, to spread Jesus’ message of unconditional love through my books. Gratitude fills my soul. Thank you,God, for giving me the courage to trust you enough that I risk using my God-given talents. I am truly blessed.
Over this Lenten season, I encourage all of you to think about the gifts God has given you for spreading God’s message of love and peace to the world. When you feel discouraged, remember Jesus also enjoyed success with some, and disappointment with others. When the road was rough, he spent time in prayer seeking affirmation, solace, and strength. WE CAN DO THE SAME. You may feel hesitation, for sure, but you can put your life, your efforts in God’s hands. You can do it. Thanks be to God.