The release of my first royalty-paying writing gig looms on the horizon. It’s a staggering reality that I’ve scarcely had time to think about, honestly, due to the last-minute hubbub that surrounds a book launch. And of course, with hubbub comes stress, which centers itself right in my gut. Edits (is it really tight enough?) Blurbs (does they entice sufficiently?) Acknowledgements (am I offending people by not mentioning them by name?) Dedications (will my kids feel jilted since I only dedicated this book to one of them?) All these tasks and more war for my undivided attention, and none of them really get it in the midst of life’s busyness. And I can’t escape the constant fretful retracing of the thoughts: “Have I done enough? Can I ever do enough?”
A realization crept into the corner of my mind while I was frantically scrubbing dishes and thinking about cover art files–so little of this is up to me, and honestly, the smidge that is in my court only feels that way because God is gracious and allows me to feel like I’ve got some of it under control. The fact of the matter is, while I am a player in this great drama, an integral part to how it all unfolds, with my own penchants and choices contributing to the path of the journey, I’m not the real decider of the destination. It’s all within the will and the way of a much better Chooser.
When I can recall this with any clarity, I’m able to ease a few notches further away from hyperventilating. Not only can I release the responsibility to make all the little cogs mesh together, I can also let go of my fear that I possess the power to mess this thing up beyond what God has imagined and planned for. And thankfully, God’s imagination is a gentle, benevolent place. He wants to prosper me. He has no desire to harm me. He may let me make things more complicated for myself as a “see what happens” kind of lesson at times, but I can rest assured it’s always for my good. God is just not the type to sit back and snicker while we reap what we’ve sown.
So, as I take my first few strides into the world of the small-press published, I need to keep reminding myself. I’m not alone in what I’m trying to do. Not only do I have an excellent team of publishing folks looking out for my best interest, I have a great circle of family and friends willing to step in and help me along. And foremost, I have the still, small voice of the Lord to consult whenever I can remember to slow down enough to listen to him. I can find his whispers in the simple beauty of wildflowers, in the sage voices of his people, in the memories of gallant people who have gone before, in the vast wisdom in his Word he’s left us as a guide.
I thank you, my readers, for listening to the little bits I’ve seen fit to share here. It’s good to be the messenger, especially when we know we can depend upon the message. Perhaps my rendering of such truth has not always been crystalline, but Lord willing, I’ve got a lot more words to coming in the future, and the fewer of them that try to I call truly mine, the better.