“I think you’re called to this,” he said, with the ease of remarking on the weather. We were driving to have dinner when he told me. I don’t know how we manage to have these conversations, so pivotal and unexpected, while driving. Perhaps there is something about the forced companionship or the way the world slides past in shades of green and grey that helps the words find voice.
He was talking about me writing. A book, specifically, on what it is to be a Christian family without children and the overflow of grace within that life.
And he used the word calling. A shiver snaked down my spine.
Over fajitas and iced tea we chatted more. Fear was my reflex. Isn’t it always? I had my excuses lined up like ice cubes in a tray and I spread them out on the checkered plastic table cloth and watched them melt. The audience is too small. I don’t know how to write a book. What if…
Between on us on table between the fresh-pressed tortillas and sizzling chicken and peppers and onions was the knowledge that a publisher had been leaving messages for three weeks. Something was happening here, so far outside of my expectations or supposed timeline that I knew it had to come from only one place. Strangely, that knowledge did little to stop the wild thwap of my heart against my ribcage.
I called the next morning. From work. I attemped to focus on simple tasks as I waited for the perfect time to pick up the receiver and punch that number into the phone. It didn’t come. What did was a hymn I had trouble placing… the tune flowed strong and quiet from within though the words were lacking.
I called. He answered. Somehow my hands did not shake as I doodled lines and flowers across a pad of paper.
Then, another shiver. Gooseflesh lined my arms.
He said words like, ‘I believe the Lord is calling you to a great work.’ And, ‘potentially large audience’ and ‘a good fit for our publishing needs’.
And I responded the way any writer does when her dreams tumble from some substance intangible to a reality only God could work: ‘Oh. Okay.’ Not my best moment, but apparently I’m kinda new to this…
With the help of a friend, I found the words to the hymn later that morning:
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace…
And so, my friends, I am writing a book. I’m testing out my ‘brave’ here with you because, well, y’all make me braver. Because I know that I’m weak and freaked out and your prayers mean so, so much. And because, as my friend Jennifer says, sometimes you have to be willing to fall flat on your face if it’ll bring God the glory.
And I want that, friends. More than anything, I want that.
Tune my heart to sing Your grace…
Yes. And amen!
With Jennifer and Sherbert: