Over two years ago, I was stuck fast to my chair. The Sunday service at Coast had just ended, and I didn’t want to move. I knew there was more for me. So I just sat. Waiting. And I asked God: if you want me to stop writing this book, I will. I don’t want to do this for my sake. Only if you want me to. And I didn’t have to wait long to hear these three words: bless my Church. With those words, my body shook and tears streamed down my face.
Back in my 20’s, I would’ve thought that a clear message from God would mean that life would be easy. Didn’t God say to do it? Wouldn’t all the red lights just magically turn green? Now in my 30s, I realize that when I hear something that strongly from God, the road will probably get much more difficult. Perhaps God knew that I needed to hear him strongly, because I’d doubt his promises otherwise.
And there were good reasons to doubt: my book was originally rejected by InterVarsity Press. They took four months to decide because the editors were split, so they sent the proposal to outside readers. The readers shared enough negative feedback to kill it. But in my rejection letter, an editor was kind enough to say that he thought the book was “publishable.” That was June 2006. Then another publisher rejected me a few months later, saying that they thought it would sell respectably, but they didn’t know me. But how was I going to get known if I wasn’t published? Catch-22. I wasn’t just hitting red lights, but potholes, construction sites and roadblocks. But I thought God said…
But in December 2006, I asked for some time with that same IVP editor at a conference we were both attending. After we met, he gathered an impromptu meeting of five or six other editors on the publishing committee and asked me to share the same story. And they invited me to resubmit the proposal. The rest, as they say, is history. Or at least, it’s in print.
So now it’s in my hands, and I can’t read more than a few pages before putting the book down. I’m too antsy. It’s been at my house for over two weeks, collecting dust on my book table, and I still can’t get myself to read it through. What if there’s a mistake? Or what if it’s not the way I thought it would be? Neurotic, eh? Well, one day, I’ll be ready. In the meantime, I hope the book does what it’s supposed to: I hope it’s a blessing to His Church, and ultimately, to Him too.
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Some news: the book was mentioned in a Christianity Today column.