What a journey I’m on! Who would have ever “thunk it”, me an author. Several have asked, “Have you ever written a novel before?’, “What makes you qualified to write a novel?”, “How’d you come up with the storyline for Naked and Unashamed?”, and “Which character are you?” All valid questions. I asked many questions myself---“Who am I to write a novel?”, “Why would anyone want to read what I have written?”, “Could I really do this thing given husband, children, and work?” All I can say, is “But God!” He gave me a vision, I heeded His call, and I’ve been following His lead ever since---not always with a smile or with confidence or with great clarity---but I’ve followed nonetheless. In a nutshell, that’s what surrender is all about. Just walk out there on the ledge and jump! Don’t overthink it. Don’t let fear stymy you. Don’t let the naysayers discourage you. Just freefall into the loving arms of the Father. Glide with Him. Enjoy the adventure of soaring. Taken in the sights along the way. Jump and glide my friend, jump and glide!
So back to the questions posed:
Have I ever written a novel before? No, this is the first. The first of several in the series to follow so stay tuned for Deliver Us from eviL. God doesn’t need your expertise or experience, He just needs a willing heart and a “Here I am Lord, use me” attitude like Isaiah (Isaiah 6:8), Mary (Luke 1:38) and Samuel (I Samuel 3:10).
How’d I come up with the storyline? Well, I lived my life and then wrote about personal experiences or my imaginations of what life could be like for others. Your life can be your testimony too!
Which character am I? Initially, I started writing as if I were Shula. But then bits and pieces of me began popping up in several of the characters, so I guess I’m a compilation of them all, if that makes sense.
Who am I to write a novel (or should I say a book that’s more like 3-in-1): a novel that entertains, a Bible Study as well as a Self-help guide for women? Every time I question the why of this all, I’m reminded of Habakkuk 2:2 – “Then the LORD answered me and said, "Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets that the one who reads it may run.” I’m just a humble servant of God, and I believe He gave me a vision and a gift of writing and so I’m being obedient – writing His message as given to me so that others may run with it!
Why would you want to read it? It’s a message for you that will not only entertain but educate, amuse while amaze, instigate questions while inspiring you to act. It’s one thing when your hubby tells you it’s a good read but when others share their testimony about how their lives have changed, well that’s a whole other level of affirmation that you’re doing what God called you to do. What are others saying? --- “Naked and Unashamed challenges beliefs, provokes thought and guides the reader to find their own answers to their own life questions by witnessing how the characters of the book make their own destiny.” “That's some good Holy Spirit inspired stuff in that book! Almost had me shouting! Now about that spa...I need that spa!” “It is no coincidence that I read this book as I a preparing for marriage. Sex is a big issue I think about. How I was raised (super conservative) and painful experiences in my life growing up make me deeply contemplate my past’s impact on my future marriage. This book made me think deeply about my relationship with God. The theme of submission was explained in a way that was quite illuminating and deep.” And finally, “the book presented marriage and relationship principles in a new way for me – the most surprising being submission. No longer was this a command to be subservient to my husband, but instead to come alongside him. I’m not just a cheerleader standing on the sidelines of life, encouraging him to be his best self; I’m actually wired to be in the game with him to support and block and run with him and back him up.” So don’t take my word for it, read it for yourself.
So what’s your big idea, your big dream or the vision you’ve received from God? Are you living the dream? Are you pursuing the vision? Have you declared it and claimed it? If not, what’s holding you back? Fear? I get that. I was/am afraid too. But God is bigger than our fears. Jump and glide! Perhaps the seeds of doubt planted by others is holding you back? I had lots of naysayers in my life too---nobody reads anymore, you should take a class first, you won’t be able to juggle it all---but the only voice that you need to listen to is the voice of God. Psalm 118:6 is my mantra, “The Lord is with me, I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Perhaps you’re impatient like me? The story of Joseph should inspire you to hold onto your dream. It certainly inspired me. Joseph received his vision in his youth. The vision wasn’t actually fulfilled until approximately 15 some odd years later. Talk about patience. Joseph could’ve become a victim of his circumstances, but instead, Joseph continued to prepare even from the pit.
Whatever is standing in the way of you living your God-ordained, purpose-driven, life; whatever is keeping you from living your passion for His purpose; surrender it all to God and then simple jump and glide!
Bible Verses: Psalm 188:6, Habakkuk 2:2, I Samuel 3:10, Luke 1:38, Isaiah 6:8
- What’s your biggest hope, dream or vision?
- Are you assured that your vision is from God?
- What’s holding you back from jumping and gliding?
- Whatever is holding you back, surrender it all to God. Pray this prayer, and then commit to living your passion for God’s purpose! Dear Heavenly Father, let me hear Yourquiet, inner voice. I need a dark, doubtful sense of uneasiness if this hunch is wrong, and I need Your bright, confirming peace if it’s right. Guide my hunch Lord. I need a HOLY HUNCH. In Your name I pray, Amen. (Richard Kreigbaum)