I have no idea what to do now.
I’ve written and rewritten and edited. The in-text notations are formatted. The bibliography is finished.
Ten months of work (in fits and starts) completed.
What are you supposed to do when you reach the goal?
At age six I knew I wanted to be one of three things: a writer, a teacher or a gardener. Occasionally I flirted with the idea of becoming a lawyer, but for the most part the dreams stayed the same. Wonder of wonders, the Lord has seen fit to grant me the desires of my heart. Oh, not in the ways I imagined. There is no dust jacket (yet). I don’t stand at the front of a classroom. I’m not a master horticulturist. Still I get to pound on the keyboard and lead people through Bible studies and dig in the dirt. The path has been anything but straight, but I am fortunate to be able to do exactly what I set out to do.
I’m not entirely sure why I’m bewildered that I’ve written a book.
It’s almost…embarrassing. Perhaps the sense that I should feel…ashamed?…for seeing it through. There’s a feeling I can’t quite describe associated with the completion of this project. I can’t quite believe it’s really done. That I, this person whose faults and failures I know all too well, did the thing.
I’m not searching for compliments or reassurances. I’m aware that defeat snatched from the jaws of victory has its source in the Enemy of my soul. He wants me to stay down and stay hidden. He’s madder than a hornet that I’ve finished. I get it.
Stupidly I am more comfortable with that then the sense of the Lord’s pleasure at my obedience. Yes, I am hard on myself. I know. But this is the battle. Getting that last word on that last page was the easy part, and I sweat plenty of buckets in the process. Now, figuring out what to do next, that’s the truly hard thing. I could quite easily let this manuscript sit in the netherworld of the Google cloud for the rest of my life.
People can’t tear apart what they can’t see.
So, dear reader, I seek your prayers. I ask you to join with me in petitioning the Lord to make His will clear. It’s easy enough to know that I am supposed to share this thing others. The how isn’t easy to discern. I would love to have a professional editor hack apart my precious and mine from it the jewel within. That costs money. I would love to find and hire an agent. That also costs money. Even if I go the self-publishing route through Amazon (a viable option), I still need to find someone who would be willing to comb through each page in search of errors. If that’s not a professional, then it would have to be someone who is both a grammar nazi and not easily offended.
You see, I did not write a fluffy book. My words are going to make people angry. This isn’t my intention, to inflame tempers, yet it is an inevitable consequence. I know that I’m going to be attacked in a vicious and highly personal way whenever the words go live. Pray for me on that account as well. Ask God to make me strong and brave. Ask Him to help me remember the words He’s given me over and over:
God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people. Tell them, ‘If I bring war on this land and the people take one of their citizens and make him their watchman, and if the watchman sees war coming and blows the trumpet, warning the people, then if anyone hears the sound of the trumpet and ignores it and war comes and takes him off, it’s his own fault. He heard the alarm, he ignored it—it’s his own fault. If he had listened, he would have saved his life.
“‘But if the watchman sees war coming and doesn’t blow the trumpet, warning the people, and war comes and takes anyone off, I’ll hold the watchman responsible for the bloodshed of any unwarned sinner.'”
– Ezekiel 33:1-8 (MSG)
Not that I am a prophet. By no means. Certainly I have not been given some extra-biblical revelation. I fully understand the historical and theological context in which these words were spoken and who they were meant for. Nevertheless, every time I have questioned, doubted, wondered, in the process of writing, the Lord has brought me to this passage. I would be a fool not to pay attention.
I don’t ask you for money or for you to abuse any contacts or friendships you might have. I ask only that you cover myself and this book in your steadfast, hearty prayers. I ask that you join with me in seeking Him. It may be that He’ll have me release the book as-is, on this site, for free. That’s fine. It might be something different, something harder. That’s fine, too. I want to follow where He leads.
Thank you, friend.
I won’t bring this up again until the way forward has been revealed. We now return to our regularly scheduled blogging about everything and nothing.