This book began as a burden in my heart for a message I needed to tell. From teaching and discipling others, I have seen the hurts and struggles of so many. I have seen the need for encouragement to persevere for myself, my friends, family and for strangers. There are battles and obstacles we face and we all need perseverance to continue on in the ministry God has called us to.
God gave me this verse at the beginning of writing the book:
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)
During the writing of this book there have been many difficulties. I have dealt with numerous changes at work, unwarranted rejection from neighbors and close friends, the pain of changing churches, the loss of my husband’s job of 22 years, the death of two friends to cancer and the loss of two well-loved pets. I have experienced personal illness, unexplained overwhelming fatigue, horrible allergies, a foot injury during running with pain and swelling for months, a flare up of numbness in both hands and arms waking me at night as well as extreme weakness in my arms and neck making daily tasks difficult or impossible to complete. The day the book was completed I tripped over a box and injured my shoulder
and was unable to work.
My friend and graphic designer/publisher for this book, Vicki has dealt with three cases of the flu all in one season. This has been the busiest time for her to work on designing the book. Her computer crashed and she had surgery to remove skin cancer.
My life did not stop when I felt called to write this book. I still have a job. I still have weekly ministries and teaching that I plan for and lead. I still take care of my home and buy groceries and cook meals and heat up leftovers. I am a wife and a mom that wants to be there for her family and my time in this area is of utmost importance. While writing over these past 4 years, I made a point of taking regular time out to spend with my husband and our boys, to eat dinner, to watch a movie, to talk, to pray and to just be together.
I did not have endless amounts of time to write this book. This book has been written during the routine activities of my life. I have written early in the morning and late at night when my family was asleep. I have written while sitting in the pickup line at school or waiting for my sons to be finished with soccer or track practice. I’ve sat at Panera eating bagels writing while my son was at youth group. I have written while I have been sick and on days of feeling healthy. I have even went away for special writing retreat weekends to concentrate exclusively on the book. Sometimes I have had several hours to write and other times, I have had 10-15 minutes.
When others have sent me a testimony that I requested for use in the book, I have noticed their excellent writing skills and then felt discouraged with my lack of such skill. But then God led me to read 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 and I was encouraged. In these verses, Paul said he came to preach and teach but not with eloquent or persuasive words but was wanting the Holy Spirit to be speaking through the words He spoke and wrote. Others can write much more skillfully than I but God has given me a message to tell and I believe He will anoint what He calls me to do.
I have faced continuous doubt and discouragement on this entire journey. I will pray and seek God and write and then doubt that what I am writing is worth anything. I have had to continually seek God out for encouragement for my spirit as I have written. I have needed God’s help in overcoming my doubts in thinking I have nothing to say and that my writing is useless. It seemed as soon as I had written any portion, the doubt came in and overwhelmed me. It has been a battle in feeling inadequate in what I am writing but then day by day I have felt God’s call on my life to share this message about persevering in the Christian life.
After yet another episode with my continuous cycle of discouragement, God gave me this verse: “And I am certain that God who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6 I finally committed myself to trust God and not doubt. I would not feel insecure for what God had called me to. God has guided me during this entire process and has helped me to not lose focus or become disheartened over the task in front of me.
God led me to complete the writing of this book but it was only possible as I abided in Him daily and looked to Him for each next step. I pray that God will speak to you as you read this book and that you will trust His guidance for your journey.