I’ve shared pictures of my personal devotional journal for some time now, but I’m sure over the past few months, some have noticed a decided absence in posts. There’s a reason.
They became incredibly personal. Part of it is pride, I’m sure, but a lot of it is just that not everything should be put out there for the world to see. And most of those entries fell in there.
It all started with the weeks leading up to the release of Highlands. We did some experiments with that book, and frankly, they flopped. I sold record numbers of the book, and didn’t even cover my expenses (because of our experiments). Discouragement hit me hard. That’s not normal for me, by the way. I tend to be a “roll with the punches” sort of person.
I asked the Lord for guidance, poured out my concerns, my doubts, my hopes in that journal. And then it happened.
Emails began trickling in. Emails that said things like:
This is a long way of saying thank you for what you do. God has used you to bless me.
It will make you wonder. It will make you think. It will make you re-evaluate
HIGHLANDS vividly illustrates how the attitude of the heart colors the world around us.
This series really makes me contemplate if I am enjoying the life God has blessed me with to the fullest. A great friend is one that makes you strive to be a better person, and this book does that, it makes me want to better.
Yes, many of those entries are from the reviews. That’s because most of the emails I received are so hugely personal, I could never share them. Some wrote of trying to grapple with ideas of defects and how they affect our lives–how Tony’s journey helped them see things in different lights. Others wrote of the pain that suicide victims leave behind and the raw emotions that smother loved ones trying to make sense of it all.
People emailed to thank me for writing the book. Thank me! I always feel like I should be the one thanking readers for spending their time and money on my petty little offerings, and I get letters of gratitude?
So, it took a little while to see the big picture, but I truly believe the Lord had a bigger plan for Highlands than I could have ever imagined. Thankfully, other books make up the financial difference, and it all works out in the end, but even if it didn’t. Do I care?
Reading an email that says, “I cannot tell you how I needed the very encouragement you wove into that story just as I opened it. Reading it changed my life. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve thanked the Lord for your writing. It brought me back to the Lord.” (used with permission), is what my writing is about. I write to encourage the body of Christ through fiction.
The Lord is good to me. All the time. Even when I can’t see it… or perhaps ESPECIALLY when I can’t see it.
Yeah, devotionals are the pits… but working through them with the Lord can also draw you right back out again. Thank you, Father!