Want to know a secret?
I’m working on a new book. After a nearly three-year hiatus, when I thought my writing ministry was a but a dot in my rearview, Papa God made it clear to me that the roast isn’t done yet. And you’re the first to know, dearest BBFFs (Blessed Blog Friends Forever)!
For the past four weeks, I’ve been dedicating my time and few remaining brain cells to creating a new devotional proposal, which is the first step in seeking a publisher who would dare take a chance on a new book by me. (In case you’re wondering, the previous publisher of my 40+ books to date decided to move on without me – which is not at all unusual in Publishing World.)
For your literary education, a book proposal is a pitch to a publisher, usually around 15-20 pages, which covers all aspects of who will (hopefully) buy your proposed book – IF they choose to publish it – when, where, and why (after all, book sales are the reason pubs can keep their doors open, so they are of utmost importance). Your proposal typically ends with 3-5 sample chapters (or devotional readings in this case), which were 3-5 more than I had already written.
Hence, I was scrambling to pull together 5 devos with 5 different scriptures and 5 different points illustrated by 5 different anecdotes (as you know if you’ve read any of my previous devos, I like to use personal stories in all my daily readings), closing with 5 different application prayers.
It may not sound like a lot, but it sure felt like a lot to rusty writer me.
So by the grace of God, I got four done. Whew. Then … disaster. I became totally stuck when facing the fifth. I knew the topic/point and even the title, but I couldn’t come up with an appropriate anecdote to illustrate, “God Is Working Behind the Scenes.” With all the grace notes I’ve received from Papa God, you’d think finding an everyday miracle I hadn’t yet used in a previous reading would be a piece of cheesecake. For some reason, I simply could not come up with a story of God’s faithfulness that fit the (small) word count and made the point adequately.
I prayed for an idea. I paced. I ate brownies. I prayed some more: “Lord, if you want me to write again, you’ve gotta give me something to write about!” I looked back through old blog posts I’d written. Then magazine articles. But nothing worked.
When I came back still empty after a long prayer walk, I felt like crying. I was so close to getting back in the saddle again, but maybe I wasn’t ready after all. I still believe wholeheartedly that if He wills it, He fulfills it. And I never want to push my way into something ahead of Papa God.
Then I felt it.
It was that Holy Spirit elbow jab to my ribcage that means the Almighty is trying to tell me something. But you know, I’m sorta dense. Sometimes it takes more than one jarring jab and a well placed knock upside the head as well.
With the first nudge, I felt a ridiculous urge to go into my bedroom. I ignored it. There’s nothing in there but a bed. How could that help?
A half-hour later, as I was randomly passing by my bedroom, I suddenly found myself standing in front of my bedside stand, just staring at it. There was that holy jab again. What in the world was that about?
I opened the drawer. Jab. It was full of junk, books, and old papers I hadn’t looked at or thought about for ages.
For Pete’s sake. Was I supposed to clean out a dresser during this crucial writing time? Papa God sure has a weird sense of humor.
I couldn’t figure it out. But I couldn’t walk away either. So I started pulling out old address books (remember those?) and piles of stuff from years of mindlessly tossing things in a drawer and forgetting about them.
One tiny ornate pink booklet with blue flowers caught my eye. Cute. What was it – another address book? Or maybe a wee diary? I had no memory of it whatsoever.
I opened the cover and just about dropped my teeth. My own handwriting boldly proclaimed across the top of the first page, “God’s Miracles in My Life.” And then at the bottom of that same page, “So I’ll NEVER doubt!” Contained inside were pages of grace notes (Papa God’s fingerprints in my life) beginning in April of 1990.
Good heavens. Over 30 years of miracles right there at my fingertips.
I laughed out loud. Really? Are you kidding me? Talk about a direct answer to prayer.
Then as I thumbed through story after story of God working in my life, I shed a few tears. Not just because I had hot proof that He’s been there all along, orchestrating miracles just out of sight, behind the scenes, but also because that little book in my hands is affirmation that He’s genuinely interested every detail of our lives. That He heard my pleas, saw my conundrum, and acted.
That He overtly worked behind the scenes just to prove, well, that He’s always working behind the scenes.
And that maybe He really does want me to start writing again.
The jury’s still out on that one. I did send my completed proposal to my agent a few days ago, who in turn sent it to a possibly interested publisher. But the wheels turn v-e-r-y slowing in Publishing World. So I’ll keep you posted on how that turns out if you’re interested (let me if you are).
In the meantime, we’d all love to hear your own evidence of Papa God working behind the scenes in your life. Ya never know – your story might be just the one He has in mind for my new devo!
I’m always interested ??
I know this to be true, Jan. I also know you well enough to know you probably wrote a lot more than that and somehow deleted it by mistake. You always make me laugh, dear one. (I can’t blame you for the weird question mark at the end – that little bugger keeps popping up on almost everyone’s comment so I guess it just has a need to be heard.)
Julie Blackmore says
The funny thing is it was.prophesoed to.by my mentor to get a Triple A membership card…within 24 hours, I received an application form from Triple A.and.the actual Triple A card had my name embossed already on the Triple A card….God is AMAZING!!!!
He most certainly is! And I love it that you were able to recognize that even something like a AAA membership card is a grace note from His hands. Hugs!!
Julie Blackmore says
By the way, I will be praying that your new book will be a success in Jesus name in addition people will feel a deeper closeness with God through your devos in Jesus name
Thanks so much, Julie. I appreciate your prayers more than I can express. Praying for you right now too.
Beth Willis Miller says
WOW! So amazing! God is so good, ALL the time! Praying ?
All the time, He is good! Love to you, Beth, and please do keep praying for our community of BFFs (and me!). I’m stopping right now to pray for you, sweet friend.
Karleen Sveum says
I would be very interested in a new devotional by you!!
Awww, Karleen – you made my day, girlfriend! Your support means the world to me. Hugs!
Ginger Sain says
This is exciting news. I’d love to hear what Papa God is doing with your publishing proposal.
Almost 4 years ago, our family went through major transitions. My husband, our 2 sons and I lived in Colorado. Within a 4 month period, God sustained me through 2 graduations, a wedding, a job transfer/out of state move, moving 1 son and his wife to another state for graduate school, moving our baby to college in a third state, selling a house and buying another one. Because my husband travels out of state with his job, I decided I would find an online job when we moved. Now that we were empty nesters, I could pack up my laptop and travel with him instead of staying home by myself in this new town (and state) where I knew no one. This move was challenging me. It felt anything but normal. I missed my boys terribly and my friends and my church family. I lacked community and purpose. We decided to visit a local church. It was there that I began to meet people. On our second visit, we met a lady who was friends with my husband’s coworker. She is a teacher, and I was a special education teacher searching for an online gig. She knew the superintendent of the local school district and knew they had an open special education teaching position. But I was a special education teacher searching for an online gig. When we got home to our camper that night, my husband’s phone began to ding and chime. His coworker wanted to know if he could have my phone number to share with his friend. The lady we’d met at church wanted my phone number so she could share it with the superintendent. Because I was a special education teacher searching for an online gig, I let them know that I had applied in the school district to be a substitute. If the superintendent wanted to call me, my phone number was on that application. Well God was working in all of this. The next day while my husband and I were in the meeting closing on our new home, my phone rang. Unknown caller; if it’s important they’ll leave a message. Twenty minutes later my phone rang; same unknown caller. At the conclusion of the meeting, I listened to my messages and returned a call to the school district. The superintendent invited me in for an interview for the open special education teaching position, a job I had not applied for. Can you guess what I’m doing these days Monday – Friday 7:30-3:30?
Wow, Ginger – that was definitely NOT a chance meeting! I’m guessing by now you’re recognizing why Papa God wanted you in that job so badly. You’re no doubt blessing lives and fulfilling your own. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your story – it encourages us all!
How exciting! I would love to read your newest book! God is faithful in so many ways! He sends just the right person or thing that we need, just exactly when we need it!!
Thanks, Sandi! You are now and have always been my biggest supporter! If there ends up being another book, I’ll hand-deliver a copy to you, girlfriend.
Robin Johnson says
It takes about 10 min to fill our tub, so I stepped into the bedroom to tune my guitar while it was filling. After tuning the guitar, I started playing the guitar, and … All of a sudden my dog who is not allowed in the bedroom, dashed in and ran around the bed to where I sat, stopped, and stared at me. I looked at him, and at the same time I saw a strange difference in his eyes, I remembered the filling tub. I said you are not supposed to be here, which was rather ungrateful of me, and he raced back out. Best not to explain just exactly how Jesus helped me, just know He did. God does help us with the little things.
I love this story, Robin! Sounds like your elbow jab came in the form of a canine cue. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if our furry friends don’t have a hotline to the Almighty that we know nothing about. Hugs, girlfriend!