Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Be Strong and Courageous

Last week, God did that thing where He keeps making the same message just pop up over and over in my daily life. That hasn't happened to me for a long time, but I know that whenever it does happen, it's probably a pretty good idea to pay attention. The theme this time is "be strong and courageous."

It came up in three of my friends' facebook posts. Then it came up again in worship at my preschool. It came up again in my MOPPETS lesson (I wasn't even planning on teaching that lesson--it was the one provided when I got there that morning). Then it came up again in a scripture passage I was reading. It came up AGAIN in this movie I was watching. Over and over again, God's kind of thrown "BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS" in my face. And I kinda sorta figured there was probably a reason for that.

And I think it's time to take a risk. I've had an opportunity to get published through a small publishing company for a few months now. I've talked to the guy who owns it, and he would be thrilled to help me out. The thing is, he also said stuff like, "But your work deserves to be handled by a bigger publishing company." (What a nice thing to say!)

I don't know how good my work is. I mean, I love it, but I'm just a little bit biased. I've had these characters and these stories in my head for almost a decade. I think I'd love to have my stuff represented by an agent and sold to a major publishing company. I think I'd love to be as well-known as J. K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer. I think I'd love to have my books made into a wildly popular movie series (with John Williams writing the main theme). But these are just things I *think* I'd love. The truth is, I really don't know what being a famous writer would look like. I am not sure I'm ready for all of it. I'm incredibly ignorant to the publishing process, and I am very sure that will be evident to any agent or editor--or pretty much anyone else.

I have only queried a few agents. I know there are others I could query. Given enough time, I might be able to snag an agent. But even that is no guarantee that I'll get published. I don't want to be impatient. I don't want to do anything because I am looking for an easy way out.

But the way I'm starting to see it is, I really don't have anything to lose. Christopher Paolini self-published Eragon, and it was later picked up by a bigger publishing company. It's very well-known now. They've even made a movie out of it (even if it WAS horrible and left no room to include the sequels). If I do get it published under the small company that's just starting out, that's not necessarily the end of my project. Who knows what might happen to it and to me if I just take this risk?

I know it will mean a lot of work in marketing (thank God for Twitter and Facebook!). I don't know exactly how hard that's going to be, but this is all part of the learning process. I'm learning more and more every time I step out in faith.

I have not made any decisions yet. This week, I'm just trying to pray through this decision and see what the Lord would have me to do. If you want to pray for me, too, that would be awesome(but I'm not looking for advice at this time, thanks!). I could use all the prayer I could get (can't we all?). If I still think this is where the Lord is leading me by the end of the week (or a little longer--we'll see what happens), then I'm just going to talk to the guy who owns the small company. There's a lot of things to consider before deciding anything.

What I find hilarious and wonderful is that the Lord has really been stretching me this week. It's only Tuesday, and already I've had to take my car to the shop b/c it decided it was tired of being a Ford Taurus and decided to be a recalled Toyota instead (it was accelerating by itself for no good reason--thank God for good brakes and a fantastic mechanic who only charged me $80), I lost my cell phone (hopefully it's in my friend's car), and I got home from a hectic day at work (who knew that 1 yr. olds and firetrucks don't really mix that well??) to find out that termites have been snacking on the 100+ year old hard wood flooring in my 100+ year old apartment. Jerks. Go eat new wood.

It's already been a CRAZY week and it's only TUESDAY. I'm wondering what else is going to happen. But I just look at all the stuff that's going on and I have to say, "Lord, thanks for all these opportunities to trust You."

My car was in the shop and I was expecting my mechanic to tell me a) Your car has the plague and is going to die--time to get a new car; or b) Sure I can fix it. That'll be $700 or your firstborn child. But instead, it was a minor thing that cost less than $100 to fix. I had amazing friends who drove me to work and to the mechanic. My car didn't kill me or anyone else (always a good thing, right?) when I drove it, riding the brake all the way, to the mechanic. I had no idea how it was going to turn out, but I knew it would turn out. And it did.

I don't know if my cell phone is in my friend's car or not. If it's not, then it's lost. And if it's lost, then that will stink, but it's not the end of the world. I'll be okay. I need a good excuse to get off my parent's phone plan anyway...

There's a guy here currently using some sort of machine that sounds like it's tearing up my living room floor (probably because it is some sort of machine that's tearing up my living room floor). But I'm not going to die to death because of termites or weird guys/noises in my living room.

It's all going to be all right. There's all sorts of reasons to "be strong and courageous." As I told my MOPPETS kids about a gazbillion times on Friday morning, "When we're scared, we can remember all the things that God did in the Bible and all the things God does in our lives, and we can remember that He is powerful. We don't have to be afraid." I don't know exactly why God's giving me all this stuff right now in the midst of this decision I'm trying to make, but I'm pretty sure He knows what He's doing.

So thanks for your prayers. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with what I've been given at this point, but I am confident that I'm going to get published one day. Whether it's sooner or later, God is still God and God is still good.


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