It wasn't easy to write my first book. It wasn't easy to share some of my life stories in it either. Are people going to really buy this book? If they do, what will they say? What will people think? Will they just critique the "typos" they may find? Will they be judgmental of me and others who shared in the book? Will they like it? Love it? Hate it? How will I handle negative reviews - not everyone is going to be thrilled? These are all questions that played through my mind, especially as I got closer to publishing.
And honestly, there are days when I wonder if I even got it right. Did I tell the life stories of my own and those that others have shared with me in a way that glorifies God? Did I share the stories in a way that gets His message across? I came to realize these were all just ways in which the enemy was trying to discourage me from writing. I know that now.
But I also think it is human nature to have doubts about pretty much everything in life. But when doubts arise...when the enemy tries stopping you from doing the good things God has set you out to accomplish, there is always someone or something that will help to reconfirm to you that the right decision was made.
And that is absolutely the case with Just Be! Every time I have a doubt that I've shared what God would have me share in a way that is pleasing to Him, I get a message, or an email, or even a phone call that is encouraging. People that have read Just Be! and have found encouragement or confirmation or just whatever it is that they needed at the time within the words of this book would somehow contact me and convey to me just what they've received from it. And it melts my heart every time. The floodgates of tears open up (yes, I'm an emotional person who cries with not just sorrow, but tears of joy as well).
Every time I receive a message from a reader I shed tears of joy. And I thank God for setting me out on this journey. Little do the folks that have read my book, and shared their thoughts and feelings with me, know but they are encouragement to me. It brings such joy to know that God has not only used me, but has allowed me to touch someone's life or be the encouragement someone may need. And He's allowed me to see the good that comes from it.
I think the most surprising thing through this experience is that men have not only read Just Be! but many of them have also been touched by it. Why is this surprising? I had a general audience in mind when I wrote the book. I had hoped and prayed it would impact the lives of women all over the world. I never imagined it would have any impact at all on men. Not to be ugly....I just didn't. It was intended for women. But I am so thankful that God has allowed others that I never imagined to read the book and to be moved by the words within.
So my point in all of this is twofold......
First, share your story as God prompts you to do so. Someone else was meant to hear it. Give God the glory in all that you do and say.
Second, when you read a book that touches you, or gives you encouragement or support or confirmation....or whatever it is you gain from reading the book, write the author or publisher.....or leave your positive reviews for them to see wherever you can. It can make a difference in their lives too.