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If you don’t know me, or at the very least didn’t know me from August 1, 2014 through July 31, 2015, then you most likely missed out on The Year of Blogging Faithfully. (Also missing out was my mother, who says that reading my blog feels like reading my diary, and that is something she trained herself never to do.) The Year of Blogging Faithfully came about after I walked away from a career in which I had obtained a fair amount of success. In thirteen years I had worked my way up from a part-time bank teller to a vice president of that same bank. I made pretty good money, got a month of paid vacation each year, benefits, 401k…the whole nine yards. I was even able to consider my ira vs 401k options, my finances were so secured at the time. It was pretty good in some ways, but trying in others. At 34 years old, it seemed that all I needed to do was keep working hard, keep working long days, keep pretending I didn’t know how miserable I was, and keep squashing down the dreams which were being laid upon my heart, and I would be set! Thankfully, the Lord got through to me.
I walked away.
Instantly, all of that relative financial security was gone. But miraculously, the stress was also gone. I had the best summer of my life with my children, who got to know the mommy I was capable of being at the same time I was getting to know the woman I was capable of being, once the priorities shifted. For the longest time, I didn’t even look for a job. Somehow, despite the fact that on paper it made absolutely no sense, we kept our heads above water. God kept our heads above water. Mysterious credits would appear on bills; unexpected checks would come in the mail; gifts would be given by people who weren’t even aware of our situation, simply because we’d been on their hearts and minds. So I didn’t look for a job, but we continually prayed that when it was time, we would know.
The Year of Blogging Faithfully grew out of a desire to see what God was going to do, because I just knew He was going to be ever present and ever faithful. I committed to blogging every single day for a year, just to keep track of the journey–mostly for my sake, maybe for someone else’s. Heck, when I started blogging I had no idea about how or even what I was doing, but I learned the basics about cpanel hosting and web design, and I got to blogging! In my very first post, I wrote, “I can honestly say I have no idea what’s going to happen. But it’s going to be big.”
Was it ever…
While I was very busily not looking for a job, God laid two things on my heart:
- I knew that I was supposed to tell my pastor that I wanted to write something. I didn’t know what that meant anymore than my pastor did, probably, but I believed I was supposed to say it, so I did. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to write a drama for church or an announcement in the bulletin, but I was supposed to tell him I wanted to write something.
- I knew that I was supposed to write a book which, at the time, I was calling Middle Ground. I had never written a Christian romance before, and I hadn’t necessarily planned on ever writing one. But this one I had to write, even though I had no idea how to write Christian romance. I have been a Christ-follower for nearly thirty years, so the faith is not new. The writing genre, however, was very new. My previous books (which I had self-published) had been very secular.
Well, God acted in remarkable ways with those two things He had laid on my heart.
- A couple days after my vague declaration of needing to write, I was in the church office, and we were discussing vague possibilities of vague ways I could volunteer in various ministries, with the vague potential of eventually being on staff. More than two years later, I am working there full-time, doing what God called me to do, loving my career in a way I never knew was possible.
- That book I wrote will be published by Revell in the Fall of 2017. When I wrote Day 365, on July 31, 2015, I was waiting to hear from Revell. I had reached the final step, and I was just waiting to see if they were willing to take a chance on me. I was offered a contract on August 10, 2015.
I had no idea what was going to happen, but I knew it was going to be big. And it was. Bigger than I ever could have imagined, in so many ways. And then, I reached the end of my Year of Blogging Faithfully, and I never wanted to blog again. You can understand that, right? 365 blog posts in a row, without ever missing a day. I wrote blog posts enough to fill three novels. I cried and I grumbled, celebrated and marveled. Publicly. For all the world to see. When it was over I was exhausted, and I was done.
But lately I’ve felt as if God is telling me I’m not done yet. And once I allowed those thoughts to break through my anti-blogging armor and make their way to my heart, I realized of course I’m not done. Why should I be? God is still at work. I am still on a journey. He is still ever present and ever faithful.
And I haven’t been recording any of it.
So, I’m blogging. I’m actually blogging. Not every day, I’m pretty sure. In fact, I’m pretty sure the Lord will have to personally address me in burning bush form for me to ever again commit to blogging every day. But I’m blogging. And I still don’t have any idea what’s going to happen.
But it’s going to be big.