I make no apologies for my title, even though we all know its a gross exaggeration of what happened this past weekend at the LIT conference I attended with my friend Lindsay.
Instead let me just say you would think I’d gotten beat up considering how much I cried. Now, you ALL know that I am NOT a crier. So it was kind of disturbing to my stoic sensibilities just how much my eyes leaked during the worship time…Christy Nockels was such a blessing and I’ve currently got this song on repeat:
But I think the real tears came during the publishing breakout session. It was kind of then that it hit me just how much dying to self I’ve got ahead of me. I know, this probably seems really obvious to you reading this, I wish I was as wise as you! But let me just say, I thought
I’d done my “laying down of self” way back when I decided to self-publish instead of trying to get a book deal with a major publisher. As I sat on the front row, with that major publisher standing over us, and she ever so bluntly laid out just how I had slammed the door on that possibility ( she clearly didn’t know she was being so personal!). For one thing, I’d written my entire book before pursuing publication-something that she stood there saying, “no, no, no, no, no, NO!” about ( Friends, apparently you want to have the input from your major editor throughout your whole writing process! That way your book is actually “marketable”. Don’t just sit at home, you and the Holy Spirit, and expect anyone to throw confetti when you get done writing!). I also don’t have thousands of followers on social media and therefore I don’t come to ANY table with a “following” that will most definitely buy my book. So yeah. I’m not really a contender.
I knew this.
I really did.
But, somehow having someone just a few feet away slamming the door and locking it was a little different. Later after I’d stopped crying. I was able to gather my thoughts and realize that my pride is still there. As much as I hate to admit it, I DO want thousands of people to read my book. I want people to find it out the shelves of their local, albeit struggling, book store and not just on Amazon. I want the work I’ve been doing for years, the things that the Lord has laid on my heart to be shared… I want it to matter. I want it to make a difference on a large scale.
But the bottom-line is that this book is not mine. It was always His. From the beginning.
I must decrease and He must increase. This will have to be my choice ever single day. Because the world we live in, even the nice Christian world here in the West, tells us that “success” is measured by certain things. Certain things that I must not pursue.
One of the main takeaways I got from Beth Moore’s sessions was Galatians 3:3…turns out it’s the perfect verse as I begin the task of taking my Editors edits*, and going through each one and making my choice of how to make my manuscript better:
How foolish can your be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your Own Human Efforts?
Oh Lord! Help me! That after all this time, of pursuing something the Lord laid on my heart…the story that He allowed us to live through so that I might share from it… that I would not now ruin it with my own human efforts! Whew! So convicting! SO SCARY!
So, I come away from this last weekend feeling a little beat up by my own pride, my own selfish desires. But I’m also excited. I’m excited because the Lord loved me enough to teach me this hard lesson now, and if I take heed to it than things will be so much better than if I struggled with my own deep seeded desires for a best seller. Instead, I will pray over my book each day, that it would find its way into the the right hands. That it would find its way to those hurting or those confused, that it would bring Hope and Life where there is none. If it can touch the heart of even one: That is better than a best seller made by human hands.
*My book is back from the editor! WHAAAAA!?!? Of course, now the real work begins! Going through, line by line, and making my book better with the editors suggestions and my own elbow grease. Its gonna be harder than I thought! But today in my quiet time the Lord gave me this verse:
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.” (Is 29:14)
A good conviction when I struggle with what I might think is the right way, but what might not be best for my message. Ugh! This is really like having a baby! These contractions are no fun!