I Quit

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Recently I started something I have never done before. I have started writing a book. Growing up I would be in situations or conversations and think “someone should write a book on that.” I have lists in my phone of book ideas someone should write about. Never, did I ever, consider I might be that someone. I know! It’s a major “duh” like a writing on the wall -no pun intended- that I didn’t see. And now that I am sitting here writing and focusing my attention on this project on a weekly, sometimes, daily basis, I keep considering this thought… What if I am supposed to write more books? And if so, why? Consider my state: I am mentally exhausted but spiritually feeling a change. I don’t remember a time when I was “so stirred” in my spirit that it literally felt like a word “shut up in my bones.” I don’t know how to explain this feeling, but it does feel like pressure, a healthy timely kind of pressure to get the word out.

Along with the stirring of my heart (meaning I can’t stop thinking about it in a good way), I have also experienced several moments or conversations that have hit me like a ton of bricks, in a bad way. I reflect on a moment over two months ago, as sweet woman gave me a gift. It was a book. Previously, I had told her I was writing a book and tried to explain the heart behind it. (I find it difficult to explain something that doesn’t fully exist yet. Anyone else? Or just me?) Anyways, she was so sweet to gift this book to me. It was a book she had heard about, it’s on the same topic as my book. Now I need to be clear, I am aware there is “nothing new under the sun” and I’m not competing or comparing. This is an assignment from God that is causing growth and stretching my faith more than I could have asked or even hoped for.

So back to the gift: I was excited to read the book, I like to see what is out there in the same genre and topic as my book. I remember putting Brecken, our toddler, down for his nap and I grabbed a pen, ready to scribble & underline. I sat on the couch, I had a blanket and a coffee in hand, with the sun coming through my living room window. It was quiet and perfect. I was really excited to learn and see another perspective on this issue. I read the first page, and I had goosebumps, I was so in love with the introductory page as I agreed with the experience the author was sharing with me. I took a picture of page two and posted it on my instastory. I was in heaven. I was thinking “someone gets me! Someone see’s it like I do!” Then the Devil knocked on my door and let himself in without asking. Rude.

I started reading page three, admiring how beautifully scripted the author had penned their thoughts on this topic. I was reading words I had never heard before, and for a wordy like myself, that is a big deal. I started feeling so stupid, I mean intellectually speaking. And guess what thoughts my uninvited guest started throwing at me? Here’s the script: “How could I write this book? I firmly believe this topic has already been written about so well by other people, and now here is another new book hot off the press again to share these words and inspire people in their relationships with Christ in real life! What is wrong with all the other books that are on the same topic as mine? What problem is my book going to solve that theirs isn’t already solving? How could I think my book could sit on the same shelf, under the same “Inspiration” sign as theirs?  What am I thinking? I’m so dumb.” I have had the same “I feel so dumb” moment many times, and through each of those moments, I have had to learn “When the Devil invites himself in, you leave and quickly!” I was in tears and officially embarrassed I had set such a lofty goal for my over achieving self.

I had to move out of this perfectly comfortable, yet shameful spot I was in. The first thing I did, was I started texting my husband. He is my biggest supporter and I thank God for this man. He responded with “remember the word you got?” He was referring to an encouraging  word that a respected prophet had given me, that confirmed dreams only Trevin and God knew I had. Truthfully, I did remember the word, but this whole thing about feeling so dumb for “even trying,” and seriously, like, “who am I?” besides not smart enough to do this, was all starting to sink in. Then he text me one word, “STOP!” I knew I had too. So the second thing I did was pray, I said “God I need you to prove to me again that your hand is on this project, that we are doing this together, and that you have big plans for this entire process.” The third thing I did was, I left the room! Literally. I dried my tears, just started to consciously quit thinking about my limited abilities and started thinking about my breathing, and woke up my sleeping toddler. Que: EVERY MOM FREAKING OUT RIGHT NOW! I know, I know, let the babies sleep! But to be honest, I’d rather have a grumpy kid in my arms than the Devil in my head. (Maybe that’s just me?) We put our shoes on and walked to the nearest coffee shop. I was moving to shake the fear and embarrassment off my heart and my mind. I HAD to move so that I will not be intimidated by the size and quality of someone else’s completed project. I chose to move quickly so as not compare the beginning of my journey with the middle of someone else’s journey. Gosh! The embarrassment was making my face red and hot. I was shaken and so ashamed that I should even try to put thoughts together in word. But looking back, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Watch this!

A few days later, a birthday present from my sister arrived. Inside the gift bag was a Kate Spade journal. It was a gold spiral bound notebook, with small grainy blue and white stripes on it. It had the words “Bright Idea” printed on the front cover. I knew exactly what I was going to use it for when I saw it. This book is the book I am writing in every time God confirms His word to me about the book we are co-writing. Instead of just remembering the bad stuff, I am writing down how I see God’s hand in my life specifically in this project. I am choosing to record and remember the good stuff. Now, keep reading! It get’s crazy!

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When I started looking for confirmation, I began to see God’s hand move more than I had seen it move before, specifically in regards to this project. I mean in BIG ways. Things I could not have expected at this early in the game too! Individuals were supporting me on their own initiative, offering resources and advice. One business woman gave me a card with money inside, she looked me square in the eyes and said “I want miracles in Portland, in the Pacific Northwest, and in the world, and God told me to give this to you, for your project.” She has no idea I am writing a book. NO IDEA! I said “Thank you.” Walked away and just cried, an ugly, blubbering “okay God, I get it” cry.

I have cried multiple times as I have looked back on the sequence of these events. I am living in a season I will never ever forget. Even when I am looking for God’s confirmation & guidance, I am still surprised! Lately, my first response to every confirmation has been “WHAT?! Is this real life?” Even when I get embarrassed and doubt, He will confirm His word again and again.

I want to encourage you choose to look (expecting & watching to take note of) God’s hand in your life and ask Him to move on your behalf. I 100% guarantee that you will have incredible, unimaginably good moments that you won’t ever be able to forget. I want to remember what God has done in my life, and have decided to quit remembering the bad stuff. Now my question to you is what are you choosing to remember? In the comment section below, share a special moment that has kept you chasing a dream in the midst of life’s difficulties. Does that make sense?

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20

6 Comments

  1. Oh sugar this was fantastic!! I especially love the waking of the baby to walk for coffee so the devil didn’t stand a chance! Such a great word here! Trevin thanks for being her jiminy cricket!! Personally I can’t wait to read your book!! God is so faithful and trustworthy! Looking forward to read your first page!! Adore you 💕
    Auntie Suz!

  2. All I can say is, “You GO girl!”
    You are greatly gifted in so many ways and I believe this step of getting out of your boat is just the beginning of a really exciting and fruitful journey!! ❤️

  3. Wow Stephanie! So good!! I have loved getting to follow your blog and posts on Instagram! This word was good for me to hear…and I like the idea of writing down all the things God is doing in my life… because he has been doing some huge amazing things in my life. I loved where you said “Even when I am looking for God’s confirmation & guidance, I am still surprised! Lately, my first response to every confirmation has been “WHAT?! Is this real life?”’ That is exactly how I have been feeling lately!! Even though I have been fasting, praying and asking God for direction and guidance I am still so surprised how He answers my prayers and I too just want to shout “Is this real life!?” God is so good..look forward to reading your book! 😊

    1. Breanne! Isn’t life crazy when we decide to take steps of faith? God is so good. I am so happy you are in the same season, it’s a wild one, but so rich. And we’ll have have awesome stories to tell when it’s over! Keep it up girl!

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