YOU GUYS, I’m not making this up. I signed a book deal yesterday. Right at the kitchen table with my husband while my dirty kids ate mixed vegetables with their hands. I still can’t even believe it.
I laughed. I cried. I pinched myself. I pinched my husband. I got onto my daughters for pinching each other. We’re all really excited. Writing this book has been a lifelong dream.
I’m writing the story of my struggle with fear and anxiety and how the gospel changed everything. I’ll be telling stories of my funny, “scary” life situations and showing how our fears are weak and temporary compared to the power of God displayed on the cross and our position in God secured by the cross.
I actually wrote the first draft of this book when I was nine. Really. It’s in the big wooden thing in my kitchen right now. It’s forty pages of pure sadness, hand-written on notebook paper. It’s kind of hilarious now, but each page is just one sad, scary thing after the other with a brief respite in “Chapter 8.” That page reads, “I also have some good things in my life. Like, I hardly ever get sick and I have lots of friends like a 34-year-old named Harris, and Betty Fanning (my mom’s TV agent) and my grandparents.”
And then, back to the worries. Divorce. Dog death. Bad haircut.
I was a broken and scared nine-year-old. I mean, everything scared me. I didn’t yet know that Jesus is the only answer. I just knew I wanted to write books. I thought maybe that dream would fix things.
I thought what I needed was for Jennifer Lyell to say sweet things about me and for publishers to let me sign my name on the dotted line.
But, between scribbling on notebook paper at nine and signing a real book contract at 31, I got to learn that no publisher’s opinion and no dream come true can give me what I really want.
Somewhere along the way, I learned that I’ve always had a deeper dream. Writing about fear could never conquer fear. My heart longed for perfect Love to cast it out.
I didn’t need to be read, but known. I didn’t need readers. I needed the Author of life.
Before I was a nine-year-old aspiring author, and even before the foundation of the world, I had a need and Jesus had the answer.
Jesus was the answer.
Jesus is the dream.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Psalm 16:11
Signing with B&H Publishing Group is just surreal. I’m pinching pretty much everyone. But the reason I can even write this book in the first place is because God gave me the grace to find out, before this dream came true, that the dream couldn’t do what I wanted it to.
Only Jesus could.
What He says tells me who I am. What He did decides who I’ll be.
So, I’m thrilled and in shock and excited to share with you all, in way-longer-than-blog form, stories from my life and how Jesus has saved me from my deepest struggle. How He’s taken someone who was defined by panic and created a new person with the peace of God.
I’ll try not to talk too much about this exciting journey. I really will. 🙂 But, if you want to stay up-to-date on what’s happening with me during this process, sign up for my email updates by entering your email address into that little box on the right sidebar, and I’ll keep you in the loop.
Guys, my dream came true!!! Also, I get to write a book!!! There aren’t enough exclamation points in all the world.