Confusion and discouragement bruise my resolve. Have I done enough? Did I obey? Was there more to this? What should I do now?
In January I published my first book, Navigating a Sea of Emotions. The journey of listening, writing, and editing took two years, but I persevered through the dry spells and continued to see God’s hand open gates and help me over speedbumps. After my book popped up on Amazon, I sighed nearly 30 years off–dream accomplished. But since that time, people keep asking me, “How’s the book going?” Truly, I don’t know how to answer that question. How is it supposed to go? How does one measure success?
I’m not skilled at marketing; I’m a writer. But, these “setbacks” and unchecked boxes other lucrative writers set before the beginners deflate my ego. I’m a go-getter, yes, but do I have to keep climbing this ladder to reach fruit? Who is my tree supposed to feed? Should I make it accessible to everyone everywhere? How much time is too much time and should my energy be invested in promotion or my family? These questions have bombarded me for weeks. How much should I do now? As nice as it would be, my goal wasn’t to hit any best-seller list. My goal was to write and publish a book.
Last night I met with my mentor and she asked about the book and my next-step plans and agenda–she’s a go-getter like me. She told me she’d been praying about me and my writing/book and felt the Lord bring a Scripture to mind. She explained to me that it didn’t make a lot of sense to her, but that she felt the urge to share it with me and would trust the Holy Spirit within me to discern and explain it. As she spoke the words God had laid on her heart, tears steamed my eyes.
“Who told you that you were naked?” “Who told you that you weren’t successful and that you weren’t doing exactly what I wanted you to do?” Without a doubt, I sensed God’s leading over the writing of this book, but since then, I’ve been wandering around in a fog. If my “what now, Lord?” is met with silence, perhaps He hasn’t called me to do anything else with it for now. He prompted me to write it and I did, and now I’m feeling all this compulsion to “take it to the next level”–but I’m not sensing the urgency from Him.
I told my mentor she had no idea how much relief her words had over my conflicted spirit, especially since her personality is usually the kind to urge me forward into action. Hearing God’s Spirit say “rest, you did what I asked of you,” caused relief. I felt challenged to assess the promptings (and guilt) from the world. And I felt encouraged to remember this: I take my cues from God. He’s my vision and I want to follow His voice in all things. So, I’m submitting a new checklist: Lord, what is on your list for me?