It feels like bragging.
I’d much rather let someone else share the good news while I nod, smile, say thank you, and we all move on.
How do you tell people you won an award (or, um, two) without it sounding cocky or prideful?
I don’t know.
Covert Justice won the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel and a few months ago it won the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense.
Why was that so hard to say? It’s ridiculous really. Especially since my #1 love language is Words of Affirmation. I crave approval the way a kid craves sugar. But even when other people talk about it, it makes me uncomfortable. I appreciate it, but I don’t know what do with it.
So I’ve been talking to my heavenly Father about it. About why He’s chosen to give me such lovely affirmations and about why I’m simultaneously ecstatic and embarrassed by them.
I don’t have a definitive answer. I may never get one. But this weekend, I got a glimpse, a snippet, a clue into what’s going on.
Turns out, I’m just like Gideon.
Two fleeces. Two awards.
You know the story, right? God calls Gideon to a work he doesn’t think he can do, so Gideon asks God to prove it. To prove to Gideon that all of this hasn’t been in his imagination and that He will be with him in battle. Instead of God turning Gideon into a little pile of Gideon dust, God agrees to the test! One night, the fleece is wet and the ground is dry, and still Gideon doesn’t quite believe. The next night, the fleece is dry and the ground is wet. Boom.
I didn’t ask God for a fleece, but I might as well have. He knows my heart. Knows my fears and insecurities.
Now, I have to wonder if when I sit down to write a new story and am overcome with panic that someone’s going to figure out that I.AM.A.FRAUD.—does God want to grab my face in His holy hands and turn it around until I see those two awards sitting on the mantle? The two awards for a book that I didn’t think I could write. For a book that His fingerprints are all over. For a book that has opened up opportunities for me that I never could have imagined.
Is He waiting for me to finally believe?
Not to believe that I can do anything, but that He can do everything.
Not to think that I have any reason to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, but to understand that I have every reason to shout from the rooftops how awesome He is, and to cheerfully and with a peaceful heart move forward into the battle He’s calling me to fight.
Is He wondering just how much He is going to have to do to convince me?
I wish I could tell you that this realization has left me raring to charge into the fray. That my fingers are twitching with the possibilities. That I’m thrilled to find out how God is going to show up in this next chapter.
But the truth is, I’m still afraid.
My mouth is dry, my chest is tight. My fear of failure is off the charts.
So I do what I always do. I try to figure it out. I work myself half to death this week and I get caught up. I get caught up on the laundry, the housework, the bills, the school schedule.
And I kid you not…five minutes after I think, “Okay. I’m going to survive this. This is going to work,” I get an email that sends me right back into panic mode.
It’s a good email. A positive one. But it contains marching orders. There’s more to do.
And once more, I wonder why God picked me for this and then I think about Gideon. He figured it out. He gathered his army—and God sent most of them home. We all know why—so no one would ever be able to say he’d won in his own strength. The battle is the Lord’s. He will win it. And anyone watching, anyone listening to the story as it’s told later, will have no choice but to say, “God did that.”
So this is where I am.
I’m marching into battle armed with a few words and a few ideas and a whole lot of questions. I am terrified, but I know that anything good that has ever happened or ever will happen is because of Him. I am clinging to these words from Thessalonians… “He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.”
If you want to know how you can best support my writing, pray that I will stay close to Jesus and that I will rely on Him to do what only He can.
He’s amazing and when I’m not hyperventilating, I really am excited to see what He’s going to do next.
Thank you for joining me on this wild adventure with Christ.
Grace and peace,