Something remarkable happened when I gave up. I guess I didn't actually give up, I just gave it over.
For those of you who have endured the "summer of my discontent" you know exactly what I am talking about. I have been extremely discouraged with the lack of apparent movement and provision in regard to "The Rhyme and Reason Series."
Last year I realized my former publicist embezzled so much money he nearly bankrupted the ministry. It was devastating in more ways than I can count, but one of the primary ones was that I no longer had the money to move forward to get "Exodus" to press.
A huge and timely LifeWay order gave me enough money to move forward--or--pay back a $10,000 loan that allowed me to launch the series with the release of "Genesis." After much wrestling in prayer I felt sure the Lord would have me pay back the loan and be debt free. I trusted that provision would come as I was obedient to what the Lord asked me to do. I was pretty sure He was so happy with me that it would come soon! And so I waited. And waited. And grew discouraged. And pouted. And whined. When that didn't work, I got mad. But that didn't work either.
So I did the only reasonable thing I could think of: I took matters into my own hands! I sent out letters of support to people who have contributed to the ministry in the past and got one response. Then I asked a woman (at another woman's suggestion) if she might consider hosting a fundraiser for me like a friend did to launch the ministry. I'm pretty sure I freaked her out.
In desperation, and out of other ideas, I gave up. Or, like I said, I gave it over. "Lord," I prayed, "This series is Yours. It's always been Yours. It will always be Yours. My job is to trust You. Your job is to provide what I need when You are ready."I turned the whole thing over to Him and resolved to wait on Him for as long as it took. Because I had tried so hard in my own strength, I asked that when He finally moved, He'd do it in such a way there could be no doubt it was Him.
Meanwhile, on July 4th, a woman in the US Virgin Islands was channel surfing on her day off and came across a rerun of a television interview I had done some months before. She wrote down my web address and ordered a copy of "Genesis." After she received it she sent an e-mail asking if I'd be willing to chat with her about a children's series she has in mind. Of course I was! We arranged a time for her to call.
She told me she cried when she read "Genesis" because of the creativity and obvious hand of the Lord behind it. She told me she had a heart for the Lord and for children and wanted me to help her figure out how she might get her series published. We talked for well over an hour. At one point she asked me why the next book in the series wasn't out yet and what I needed to make it happen. "Money!" I said, "So if you happen to have an extra $10,000 laying around, let me know!" Silence. "I'm kidding," I assured her. "That was a joke!" She laughed.
We talked some more and then finally she paused and said, "Actually, I do have an extra $10,000 laying around." I nearly fainted. I had no idea what to say but we agreed to both pray about it.
A few days later she e-mailed me and told me she felt sure the Lord wanted her to sow into Rhyme and Reason Ministries and that He would have her donate the money to get "Exodus" to press!
I'm still in shock. But God moved the minute I gave it over and answered my prayer that I'd know it came directly from Him in a most mind-boggling way!
So now it's your turn. Was there a time in your life where the Lord did something for you after you gave over. Or are you in the process of giving over to Him now so He can show off on your behalf--and move?