Seeing my childhood dream of writing and publishing come to fruition has been filled with so much emotion and learning that it is difficult to put into words. But try I must. Not unlike the ocean, it has been at times calm and motionless, to a raging storm turning up sand, shells, and fish upon the beaches of my soul and mind. There were periods I decided that my dream was just that, a silly childhood desire that I should put aside to “adult”. There were periods when the learning curve seemed too much for this older youth. While I loved the writing, editing, working with the publisher, blogging, editing some more; the marketing has me literally losing my hair. I’ve said this before, I survived a plethora of medical mayhem (my own and family members) but getting the word out has been challenging. You make calls, write, email and no one answers. You show up on the door step and the right person is not there or they no longer do signings, or cannot carry your book because it’s too Faith based. My “Pending” file is stuffed full of possibilities and yet only a few have made it out of there to the “Upcoming Events” file. Social media, website design, marketing, and programs like Mailchimp and WooCommerce drive me to the edge and make me want to just sink to the bottom of the ocean.
Then there are the cartons of books sitting in my garage reminding me of what I’ve yet to accomplish – the selling of the books. Truth be known, I never thought about selling my books and making money, rather only equipping, empowering and inspiring readers on how to survive medical adversity. Call me stupid or ignorant, but I was blind sighted by all that goes into marketing a book. I feel like I’ve been treading water forever though it has just been a year since the book launched. So I worry. Do I have what it takes to do this? Can I learn, implement and carry through what I have started? The doubt, the fear, the worries and feelings of inadequacies are piling up like sand dunes along the beach.
Questions keep surfacing from my soul – Is this what God wanted me to do? Did I misread the road signs? Did I listen for God’s inspired message or recklessly chase my own dream?
So I took the summer off. Partially because we were going to be doing a lot of traveling and partly because, frankly, I needed to submit, rest and wait Psalm 37 tells us to “Open up before God, Keep nothing back (submit). Quiet down before God (rest), and be prayerful before Him (wait). Besides, I was so far inside myself if I didn’t submit, rest and wait, Thad would probably have to drop me off at the nearest Asylum for the insane.
Have you ever felt that way too? Do you share some of what I am describing? Are you thinking “Om gosh! What have I gone and done and what am I going to do about it?”
I recently read about Corrie ten Boom whose story gave me some insight. Cornellia “Corrie” ten Boom was born in the Netherlands in 1892. She grew up in a religious family and was a watchmaker and writer. During World War II, she and her family harbored hundreds of Jews to protect them from arrest by Nazi authorities. Betrayed by a fellow Dutch Citizen, the entire family was imprisoned. Some of her quotes have reminded me of the futility in my whining and worrying.
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength”
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God” – Corrie ten Boom
My daughter reminded me of the book of Joshua. You remember this guy, right? He was the second in command to Moses. He was and did take over for Moses and led the people to the Promised Land. Can you imagine the shoes he had to fill? Can you imagine how overwhelmed he felt? I have trouble corralling my two grandsons and grand dog let alone the children of Israel!
Joshua was mentored by Moses and included him every time Moses met with God. So Joshua was exposed to God and thus strengthened his faith in the Lord and the responsibilities that he would face. God provided him with what he needed. And He provides for us as well.
God provides us with what we need when we face our battles with prayer. Why must we do battle in this life? Joshua shows us the purpose of these battles brings us to know God and Jesus and thus be transformed. To do this, we must surrender to God before the battle to get to God’s victory. We must take refuge in God’s strength and not our abilities for we are neither strong enough nor big enough to handle it all; but God can and He will. American poet and writer Jackie Hill Perry is quoted as saying “If you’ve already caste those cares at the Lord’s feet, don’t pick them back up before He does.” I have done just that time and time again, like a child refusing to relinquish a favorite stuffed animal that needs to be cleaned, only to go back and dig it out of the laundry basket. And while we wait, we are assured of God’s eternal love and care in this life and the next. With patience, God will pick up our cares and lead us to tranquil waters.
While I may find myself in calm waters one minute and raging seas the next; I know that through it all I learn the lessons imparted to Joshua. Faithful service is essential (keep me eyes focused on the horizon (God) and not on the waves), mentoring makes a good person better (look to someone whose gifts and abilities are greater than yours. Obedience does not require comprehension (I don’t need to understand all marketing just trust that God is leading me). Perhaps instead of only looking for my end result, I ride this wave to where God is leading me assured that in God’s time, I will learn and grow, my faith will be the surf board that carries me above the waves and to our loving Father’s desire for me.
So, I will persist. Why? Because the message of my book is greater than the messenger (me). The message is about hope. Hope despite the pain. Hope despite the loss. Hope despite fear. Hope despite the circumstance. The message is God.
While it is hard to sell myself, an author needs to be a promoter as well as a writer for their message to help and heal. In that vein I am asking that if you or someone you know is going through medical adversity please give a gift of knowledge, faith & humor by buying my book: Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts. Buy a copy today.
If you liked my blog, please take a moment to check out my website. It has lots of resources that are full of free, useful information. www.lorettaschoen.com
Blessings for Health & Wellness.