A humbling. That is the best way to describe it. As you are aware, my OG’s, I am preparing a book proposal for the She Speaks conference. I hired a writing/clarity coach to help me polish it up. I approached our meeting rehearsing all of my responses to his congratulations of me being one of the most brilliant writers he had ever worked with. I decided on “one of the most,” because I am super humble.
Pride goes before the fall……
It did not go as planned. He told me that I had a good idea and a nice story, but that is as far as it went. There was no deeper message about God, and that is what draws people in to read, not me. (Charming as I am) So being that he is a brilliant coach he started asking me what it was that I was trying to communicate to people with this book that shows how I lived out the book of Romans. My gut said, “I want women to know that their lives matter in the context of God’s timeline, that he works out a timeline in each of us, mine just happens to look like the book of Romans.” (I know! My gut is super thoughtful.) And he said, “Then that is what you have to build this platform on. The platform is not built on your back, it is built on God’s Word and how you see a timeline in it. God does it because he has the power to save, not you.” (#Humbled) He told me to put the book proposal on pause and do some interviews (like 20-30) to refine the message and see if it even resonates with people.
He told me, “Seriously when we hang up from this call, I want you to go onto Hope Writers Facebook Page and ask to interview people.” In my head I said, “I am totally not doing that you crazy dude.” Out loud I said, “Oh, I will just invite people from my church to have coffee.” He said “Sarah, She Speaks is in a month, in the time it would take you to sit down and have coffee with 1 person you could do 5 interviews. You want to talk to a lot of people so that you can refine the message.” And I thought, I signed up for this? Does he not know the level of fear of rejection I deal with, and now I have to tell perfect strangers my message??? Instead of my lovely friend’s who’ll love me and never say anything harsh to me? You see his point, don’t you? Even I saw it. And I did what he said. I hung up the Zoom call and put a post on Hope Writers.
I got more responses than I had time to interview. I am truly blown away by this writing community I am a part of. I mean if you think about it in a worldly sense, we are all competitors. But because we all love the Lord, we just want the Lord’s words to get out into the world in an impactful way. So, I set to work scheduling Zoom meetings with these willing participants. Then a thought hit me, “What in the world am I going to say to these writers.” I will admit to you that I panicked. The hurt pride and the fear of facing these interviews made me drop on my knees in front of the one who is actually in control and actually has the power to guide me….
You guessed it, Jesus. As I prayed, I was remined of all the times Jesus “showed up” to get me through something I thought would be the end of me. So, in waiting for the interviews I was able to practice a new skill I have learned. I call it, well actually Dana my counselor calls it, “sitting” in the tension, or just “being” in it. You don’t try to fix it or solve it, you just let Jesus do what he does best, change the way you think from the inside out. Time + Jesus = Growth.
I will only admit to y’all that as I learn to sit in the tension and not fix it, I can appear to be, shall we say, “broody?” So, you can understand why Friday night my family sort of, kind of, had to um, shall we say, steer clear of me? Listen, I am super charming to live with. Anyway, the cool thing is, as I sat with it and presented ideas to Jesus, I started to latch on to the deeper message about God I wanted to tell people about. And I want to tell you, the OG’s, what I think that deeper message.
The reason I saw my life line up with the timeline of Romans is because God’s Glorious Timeline jumps out of the Bible at me. I believe the reason my life matters is because of my unique spot on God’s Glorious Timeline. Charming as I am, He gives my life meaning. I see how throughout the Bible He works in one overarching timeline but also the smaller personal timelines that are unfolded for us through the narratives. I think as we study those personal timelines, we see how everyone fits into this Glorious Timeline. We also see how God works through specific struggles and sin to move people along the timeline. As I see it, sin gets us stuck in a cycle, but faith moves us along a timeline with God. I think when we start to see our place in the Glorious Timeline that is when God’s Glory touches our Middlemarch. (We coined “Middlemarch” last summer to describe daily life, if you would like to read that post click here.)
I want you to know that your life matters too, because of your unique spot on that Glorious Timeline.
The exciting thing about this is your enneagram number, your suffering, your joy, your pain, your tears, your hustle, your laziness, your age, your job and your laughter really do matter. *BUT* they only matter in the context of how you fit in on that Glorious Timeline. He is the reason you matter. Even if you don’t believe in God you are still on that Timeline because like it or not, He created you! He will use every part of your story to bring Glory to Himself. And friends, we can all take a deep breath together and praise the Lord because we can stop wondering if we matter.
You do matter because of your unique spot on God’s Glorious Timeline.
In that broody-crabby-hurt pride-embarrassed, oh wait I mean, as I sat with the Lord in the tension for 24 hours, I realized my original message for the book was self-centered. Now, being self-centered is my spiritual gift, but God challenged me to think of you instead of me. I wanted to tell you all about my life and how it lined up with God’s Timeline. And Brian was right, that would have been a good story. BUT my heart burns to have YOU know that your life lines up with God’s Glorious timeline too. I believe when you see and understand God’s Glorious Timeline, well, watch out because your Middlemarch is going to LIGHT UP!!
I have already done a few interviews. In Part 2 of this post I will share with you what I learned from all the interviews. Just so you know, Jesus did what he always does. Showed up right there in that moment when I had no idea what to say to my first interviewee. And now I am on fire! I am back to stopping people in the grocery store to tell them about Jesus just like I did when I was a new believer.
If you are interested to know how your life lines up with God’s Glorious Timeline could we set up a Zoom call? I would love to meet everyone in person, but we are in crunch time and I want to be ready for the opportunity I have been given of presenting this idea at She Speaks.
I’ll leave you with this. I am becoming aware of another timeline—the one for this book. It will look like this…..
Thank you for being on this journey with me, at least we will get a lot of blog posts out of all this!