I’ll never forget the day I locked my keys in my car at the library. I had just returned my kindergartner’s books, and walked back to my van, only to discover my keys still dangling in the ignition. Not to mention my purse, wallet and cell phone were sitting in plain site on my passenger seat.
One of those days.
And for some odd reason, I didn’t have my four children with me. That rarely happens. I walked into the library past the kids’ section to ask the clerk at the help-desk if I could use their phone, you know…to call my husband to bring our spare set of keys. Only, when I picked up the landline, the library calendar of events was flopped open for me to see the words:
Writers’ group, 2nd and 4th Tuesday nights from 7-9pm
I swallowed the uneasiness building in my throat as I heard the same words often repeated in my mind:
Write the book.
Just so you know, I didn’t write back then.
Not at all.
I was a speaker, not a writer. I was a number crunching budgeter—and words, well, they seemed to get garbled up in my dyslexic mind. So, when I saw the schedule and felt God nudge me to ask more questions to the staff member, my tummy twisted. The librarian chimed away about how this group met every other week to offer feedback on whatever literary piece you felt confident to share.
And that was the problem.
I wasn’t confident.
I hated words and writing and all things that required properly placed commas.
I remember when God first whispered this book-idea after I spoke at a crisis pregnancy center one night. A woman rushed up to me afterwards with eyes wide, and reassured me that people needed to hear the miracles God had allowed in my life, and she was convinced that writing a book would reach a larger audience.
Chuckling, I said that I wasn’t a writer. That’s when she had the nerve to say, “You know, God equips the called.”
Pressing my lips into a lopsided grin, I realized the truth.
It was never really about me,
but what God wanted to do through me.
Deep down inside, I knew this. I knew the Bible story about David and how God equipped him to pummel Goliath with a smooth stone. His confidence surfaced only after his previous successful wrestling endeavors with a bear and lion, which he slayed with his hands. But this was David we’re talking about here, not some 5-foot-vertically-challenged blonde who was made fun of for failing the 4th grade. I had just learned how to babble away on a stage without passing out, and now God (and apparently strangers) were pushing this book idea?
None-the-less, the seed was planted and would not silence until I started meeting weekly with a brave friend who graciously edited my cruddy chapters (God bless you, sweet friend).
All the while, God tethered me to this library where I was forced to make a decision that ultimately changed my life forever.
Are you seeing the baby steps here?
Much like David had to grow in his confidence, so did I. Speaking on a stage led to a stranger nudging me to write, which led to playing around with chapters a friend edited because she saw something I couldn’t, which led me to being trapped in the Royal Palm library where I joined my first writers’ group.
Coincidence? I think not.
Just like it’s no coincidence that you’ve read this
far in the blog post right now.
Do you feel that?
He’s tapping on your shoulder and whispering in your ear about that project He’s told you to undertake.
He wants to use you. He has placed more in you than you will ever realize until you take that first wobbly step. What do you have to lose? You either look back ten years from now and wonder “What if I would have started that company?” or you jump in and run with determination.
I love that God reminds us that,
“Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it,
for the Lord is with you.” 2 Samuel 7:3
Ok, after you’re done reading a few encouraging words that have reinvigorated me over the years.
Our 30th president, Calvin Coolidge, said,
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent (unstoppable).”
My precious friend and pastor’s wife Aimee Nelson once said,
“It’s not about your ability,
it’s about your availability.”
The only thing that successful people have going for them is that they refuse to give up.
Refuse to give up.
Don’t give in.
After attending a few writer’s conferences, my book was eventually picked up by a traditional publisher, not because of my wicked-wordsmithing, but because of persistence and much prayer.
The funny thing was, the moment this woman suggested I write, I started mentally imagining the book. God used her to plant the seed. Not because I’m anything, but because He is everything.
Man, God loves to use the unusable
because it only points others back to Him.
Here’s one more secret…so listen closely.
If He can use me, a math-loving, dyslexic, 4th grade failure, He can use anyone.
Ask Him what purpose He has for your life, then silently wait for the whisper.
Today, be unstoppable,
and refuse to give up.
This next series features amazing speakers, including my friend Aimee Nelson I quoted above.
And never look back.
I hope to see you there. Let me know if you registered, and I’ll save you a seat next to me. Events with sweet friends are always more enjoyable!}
This article was previously published on the Palm Beach Women’s Network site.