Author of: The Notes They Played - a lyrical collection of short stories & The Impossible - a what-if story of the triumph over fear

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. - Romans 8:28

Do We REALLY Know This?
I do know this. I do...But often I get so caught up in fleshly principle. I find myself saying, "I know, God, I know but he/she/they..." I fill in the blank with the ways that others have fallen short and need my guidance. I play God. I pretend that I know what's best for myself and for others. I fall back into my habit of fixing. 

He is the Miracle Maker!
But, when I truly surrender, miracles happen. I calm down. I speak love into someone else, even when they are making it hard to love them. I let go of my pride. I make an effort toward being like Him. 

Life Application I have been so frustrated with the process of getting my first novel published. Like so many people, I find comfort in the familiar. This process is remarkably different from my first publication experience. I have not, for the majority of this time, put my trust in Him. Instead, I have focused on all the ways that this probably won't work out. There have been many bumps along the road that have caused me to question my decision to put my book in the hands of this particular publishing company. 

Don't Judge a Publishing Company By It's CoverWhen the first book cover was submitted to me for my review and approval, it became painfully obvious that the persons responsible for the selection hadn't read my book. And, since the cover was passed on to me by my publication assistant, it became obvious that she had not read it either. What a bitter pill for me to swallow - that the people involved with the finishing touches meant to dress my book for the world hadn't even bothered to read it. Talk about hurt pride! 

I sent an email letting my assistant know that the cover would not work, and why, and waited for another cover. All while I waited, I worried and grumbled. I told myself that I would not be so patient next time. If the next cover was not appropriate, I would call her and give her a piece of mind.

When the next cover came, just as inappropriate as the first, I picked up the phone immediately. At some point between the dialing of the number and the voice on the other end of the line, I allowed His patience and peace to prevail. I asked important questions, but I listened more than I talked. My voice was measured, sweet even. And, not that disingenuous, condescending tone that I can be so masterful at. After the conversation was over, I sat stunned for a moment, wondering how I'd gone into the conversation with self-righteous anger and come out with a plan to help in the designing of my book cover. I know nothing about book cover design! 

I went into my photo gallery to find an old picture of my grandparents. If nothing else, I could at least show them the time period in which my characters lived. My book is very loosely based on their life, after all. In the process of searching for that old photo, I came across a picture and heard a voice say "This is your cover!" I nearly shouted for joy. 

First of all, I had no recollection of ever having seen that picture. I remembered that one of my cousins once did extensive research on our family history and sent out a few legal documents he found, and some pictures from newspapers and such. But I had no memory of THAT picture. It was like I was seeing it for the very first time. And, there is only on explanation for it - GOD.

I could have gone with my flesh; insisted that they were in the wrong, insisted that they find me a cover appropriate for my book, insisting that I'd done my job by writing and that they needed to do theirs. I could have shouted and demanded and threatened. I am capable of that kind of prideful behavior.

I believe I would have missed an opportunity to have the God-chosen cover for my book. I believe that when we submit to His example of peace and patience, we fend off the enemy, who seeks to destroy everything. 

I am here to be His reflection. I know that when I aim for that, amazing things happen.  I pray that I will try, continually, to keep my focus on loving Him and serve His purpose, instead of mine.

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