For the last several months, I’ve been eager to share when the new hardcover copies of my debut novel, DARCARA, will be available for online purchase and to announce the release of the audiobook!
This is not that update.
The press who published my first book only five months ago announced a couple of weeks ago that they would be closing. The precarious tower upon which I felt my career was perched crumbled with a single email. What follows is the account of my breakdown and God’s subsequent rebuilding. It's important to keep a record and continually remember that sometimes the best stories need a bit of a twist.
Phase one: Doing My Best
As I’ve noticed happening at almost every piece of unpleasant news, my reaction was immediately polarized. Torn between, “Of course. This is just the kind of thing that happens to me. I should have known it was all too good to be true,” and, “I wonder how God is going to come through in this. He always does.” Naturally, I said goodbye to my husband and kids, jumped in the car, picked up emergency French toast and bacon from a local café, and then went for a hike. There, I’m happy to say, the latter reaction won out. I made a tentative game-plan, looked on the bright side, and it all kind of started to be okay.
Until later that afternoon.
When a family friend asked how the books were coming, I opened my mouth to answer. That’s when every doubt and dark, nasty kind of thought welling up deep inside pushed to the surface. My precarious tower of optimism hit the floor, and I had to start all over again. Except, by then, I was too tired.
Phase two: Collapse
Why did I think I was so special? Why did I think I wrote a book that was going to matter? Why was I so delusional to believe God would plan something good for me? Don’t we grow through hardship and failure? Don’t I, of all people, need to grow? How did I let myself think this was real?
It all came back, all the horrible things I’ve fought to not believe. The ways truth had managed to twist itself in my mind were paramount to a serpent whispering, “You will not surely die.” And, like Eve, I took the fruit.
It was at this time that I recounted to my husband the last time, about a decade ago, when utter collapse and self-destruction preceded immeasurable rescue and blessing. If I had waited just a little longer, I would have seen everything was fine. Funny enough, I was using it as an example of God only having come through for me like that once. It’s not like it was a regular thing. I can’t expect it to happen again. The next 36 hours weren’t my finest.
Phase three: Not quite “I told you so”
All of my five tattoos mark some kind of major breakthrough of which I need daily reminding. Perhaps this one should be engraved on the lenses of my glasses, so I literally can’t see without it. You don’t have to be happy with God in order for him to be moving.
Getting mad at God and having doubts, raging and being honest, doesn’t mean you’re cut off and out of the family. God can handle our human. Isn’t that odd? Isn’t that refreshing?
I can’t yet give the details on what turned around. The publishing process enjoys its surprises and, like Christmas gifts to in-laws, just because I think surprises are horrifying, that doesn’t give me license to spoil them for others. But I can say, 36 hours after I gave up entirely, God came through, as he does, in ways I ACTUALLY said were not “done,” were not, “possible,” and that I “wouldn’t ask for.”
It’s times like these (which happen more often than I’d like to admit, considering I apparently still need the reminder) I think of the story of Lazarus’ sisters at their brother’s tomb in John 11.
Could Jesus have healed Lazarus before he died?
Was Mary indignant when she scolded him for not getting there sooner?
Did Jesus tell them how silly they were and that they should have had more faith in him?
He wept. Because he was sad. Because Mary and Martha were devastated. Jesus KNEW it was all going to be okay. Yet he wept with them, for them. And then he turned it around.
Our despair may be silly. But he will never treat us that way.
Collapse. Mourn. Break down. Self-destruct. It won’t change his love for us or his plan. It won’t mean brothers (or books) who would have come back to life stay in the grave.
Because Lazarus came out of the grave with one command.
And my hope in my career was repaired with one Facebook Message.
We’re going to be okay. But it’s also okay to not FEEL like it in the waiting. It won’t stop God. Though, I will say, remembering his faithfulness makes those 36 hours (or, in other areas of my life, 7 years, and I’m sure far longer for others waiting on other things) not hurt so badly.
This time, it was quick. This time, I’m humbled beyond words but never scolded or shamed. This time, I’m left better off than I was before the tower collapsed. And I can’t wait to tell you more!
What does this mean for you?
Well, you’ll have to wait a little longer for that new hardcover link and audiobook, but it will be WORTH IT I PROMISE!
Also, if you would like to show your support while all of this gets ironed out, you can do so best by subscribing to my email list where you will receive Forgotten Promise, the free short-prelude to DARCARA. If you already have a copy of DARCARA, please read it, tell other people about it, and consider a review. Reviews posted on current listings will soon be taken down, but new listings will be up soon enough, and it will help SO MUCH if you share your thoughts! You can also help by following me on social media, using the buttons in my website header, if you don’t already. (I’ve been on hiatus for a few weeks, but that is about to change!)
As always ,THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for being here. I’m so excited to share more with you as soon as I can!