I’m not confessing out of Christian “duty;” I’ve already talked it over with God. I’m telling you because if we’re going to “reproduce who we are,” as our friend Kenneth Boa said (which I will still talk more about later), and the purpose of this blog is to encourage us to be healthier people with healthier mindsets, then it would be a little hypocritical of me to talk about virtues such as honesty and confession and not “be” honest and confessional myself, right?
And so, back to the lie. This last weekend I was at the 2012 Christian Writer’s Conference. For me, attending was a fleece of sorts . . . God, I’m pretty sure you’ve called me to write, especially after giving me the last 2,834 affirmations, but would you please affirm this just ONE more time? You know, through some “real” people in the industry.
With several copies of the first chapter of my book and a few devotionals tucked neatly in my professional-looking briefcase, I grudgingly drove to the conference late Friday afternoon out of sheer obedience to what I believed God was telling me to do. (I had secretly been hoping to break my leg, get in an accident on the way, or something else so I would have a legitimate excuse to back out. But as God would have it, I ended up making it just fine.)
I wasn’t planning on meeting up with an agent, it just sort of “happened.” After a good ten minutes of conversation, he looked me straight in the eye and basically told me that his main interest was in changing lives. Me too, I thought. He said recently he had one book that only sold about 2,400 copies and another that sold over a hundred thousand copies, but that the one that sold only 2,400 copies was the one he received the most feedback on; it touched the most lives. He reiterated that although success was important, he would rather have a book that didn’t sell as much but touched more people, than a New York #1 Bestseller (my words) that did little to impact lives. Yes!! I’m right there with you!
But later that evening, our keynote speaker began to talk about God-given dreams. He talked about how the enemy comes in and perverts them by making us think that being “great” at our dreams equals success by the worlds standards. To be a great singer, one would have to make it “big.” To be a great writer, one would have to write a top-selling book. He went on to say that many times our dreams are never realized to any degree because we shoot for the wrong “great.”
I was convicted. Big-time. You see, I stopped writing my book a few months ago. I told myself that I was stuck because I needed more “signs” from God that I was going to write it. But the truth was, I wanted signs that it was going to be “great.” And if it wasn’t going to be great the way I wanted it to be great, then I didn’t want to write it. If the game wasn’t played the way I wanted it to, I would take my ball and go home – arms folded and all. I lied to the agent. I would have rather had the New York #1 Bestseller.
It’s not that I don’t have a heart to touch others. I think it’s obvious that I do. But somehow along the way, I lost sight of what was “great.” And God never promised me my book would be great the way I wanted it to be – he just promised me a book. As I drove home through a monsoon of tears, I asked God what do I do now? Repentance is not just acknowledgement. There’s a “doing” involved. God’s answer to my question? Write the book. Even if only one person ends up reading it.
Why am I telling you this? Because my goal is to reproduce holiness. And if I can encourage you to face a truth in your life that maybe you’ve been avoiding, then my own “faux pas” was well worth it.
Are you stuck somewhere? Are you not hearing from God the way you used to? Perhaps you’re in denial about something. Or perhaps God’s been telling you to do something and you’re flat-out refusing. Ask Him. He’ll tell you why you’re stuck, if you really want to know.
And by the way, that agent, editor and book author I met with? Let’s just say I got all the affirmation I needed; they’ll be “in touch.” I guess I’m a real writer now.