It was seven years ago, just about this time of the year, when I climbed my weary and exhausted self into bed one late evening and heard a very real, distinct, crystal clear voice speak directly into my spirit.
The clarity of these words were as if someone had crawled up into bed next to me and whispered precisely in my listening ear. These words, these statements, these absolutes, these clear whispers being dropped strategically in the heart, made no logical sense to my every day life and the many, multiple limitations I was experiencing.
Yet, I distinctly heard a voice, Gods voice I was certain, deliberately, penetratingly and passionately say "I'd like you to write a book, Joy."
"What?" I thought.
This voice even had the audacity to continue sharing a few more unreasonable details regarding this new venture-to-be, while leaving my conscious thoughts aggressively refusing to accept it, adamantly shaking my head no.
His words made absolutely, positively no sense in any way, shape or form. I had never been much of a writer. Didn't He know that? In fact, I flunked my college entrance writing exam, twice, I believe. How could I write a book?
Not only did I not have the gift of writing, what did I have to say? I was a young mama in the throws of survival mode while three little ones demanded my every waking attention. I was broken emotionally, luke warm spiritually and barely surviving maritally.
And God's informing me I was to write a book? It had never been anything or anywhere or even-near to being on my mental radar. Nothing in my greatest imagination ever considered to write.
I simply chose to tuck that God bed-time meeting deep away in a pocket of the heart, never to be spoken or thought of again, with anyone. At least, so I thought.
In fact, It was precisely in this particular season I became an avid reader. I was desperate for wholeness. Parched for truth. Hungry for joy. With every rare, few and far between moment of silence I'd carve out during nap times, I'd park myself in a quiet, secluded, kid-free zone of the home and feast on multiple books that would fill the withering heart; from the latest New York Times best selling christian self help book, to His Holy Word; I was simply starved for direction. Little did I know then, that it was precisely while in this thirsty season, He was soaking my soul with His wisdom, with His love, with His strength, with His endurance, with His forgiveness, with His peace, with His understanding, with my identification; all in preparation for that which He had waiting up ahead.
I share all this, as difficult as it is to see these admissions on paper, to say this whole book thing was not my idea. I was not prepared or equipped or supplied mentally, emotionally, spiritually or practically to write anything to anyone. I needed to receive, I vigorously argued back to God; not write a book!
Almost five years to the day after that August evening whisper, I began to write. He'd wake me up, night after night, usually at the 2:am hour and hand sew each and every word deep into my spirit. My little fingers couldn't type fast enough on my bedside yellow note-pad iphone app. Page after page, night after night, hour after hour, His spirit poured out into me and onto the pages of the glowing phone screen in the dark room as I lay next to my sleeping husband.
Uncertain of what He wanted with His thousands upon thousands of words now plugged far into my phone, I slowly began to step out of my well-furnished comfort zone and publish His writings through a simple blog. Over a two year span, He's provided multiple writings; some easy to post, others simply torturous.
All this to say, today, He had me write the final word, on the last page, of the end chapter of the book He whispered I was to write seven years ago in this very bed. Same dark room, same amazingly-supportive sleeping husband, same 2:am hour, same note-pad iPhone app; yet same, I am not.
I'm not sure where you are, or what God's told you, or what you've possibly told yourself. But this I know; if you place your ear on the Father's chest, dear friend, you will hear Him whispering deep in the inner most part of you, "Ask Me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come" (Jeremiah 33:3.)
Do you hear Him?
He's sharing secrets, right now, in this place, at this time; secrets of your purpose, secrets of your calling, secrets of the unthinkable, unfathomable, awesome hand-stitched details of that which He sang over you while in the womb. He delights in giving you the secret, often-unknown, desires of the heart.
"Let us hold tightly, without wavering, to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise."