I have dreamed of writing a book for a long time. I thought perhaps I would write a young adult book: as a middle school English teacher, I devour plenty of those, wanting to be able to share my love of reading with my students who are always looking for a good book.
I wrote two young adult novels and even sought out publication for them. I even had a few agents interested in one of my books but they wanted me to make some changes that I didn't have time for, because I was suddenly thrown into a world of special needs parenting.
Both of my boys, ages one and three were receiving diagnosis after diagnosis, and my life revolved around their therapies, doctor's offices, fighting with insurance, and researching online how to help my boys. Anxiety and depression took turns settling into my life and making themselves cozy. God felt far away and no longer like the good God I had loved and served for the majority of my life and I experienced a crisis of faith that scared me.
And then, one day God whispered one word into my anxious heart that would change everything for me.
Embrace what? I wondered.
And idea after idea came to me. I needed to embrace my children, their hearts and their personalities, rather than focusing so much on their diagnoses and their weaknesses. I needed to embrace God like never before. I needed to embrace the special needs parenting journey and all that it had to teach me. I needed to embrace myself instead of always feeling like I wasn't doing enough for my children. I needed to embrace my husband. And on and on it went.
I was so inspired. Encouraged. Loved by the God of the universe, and it led to me creating this blog to share with the world the message God had whispered to me.
But it wasn't long before God told me I needed to write the things I was learning about embracing life into a book that would encourage other moms on the special needs journey struggling with the same things I was.
I resisted it. Surely I heard God wrong. Surely I wasn't qualified enough. Surely I was too busy, taking my two young lads to a million therapy appointments. Surely someone who had been a special needs mother for longer than me was more qualified.
But God was persistent and I realized I had to embrace writing this book that I could not get out of my mind, no matter how many excuses I made. I had to embrace that I was the one called to write this book, even if I did feel unqualified and busy and afraid.
And so I began writing. And procrastinated. And then wrote some more. And then I rewrote entire sections of the book. And wrote some more. And procrastinated again. And then revised. And revised. And edited. And edited. And even got it professionally edited. And basically, I dragged that process out for three years, because honestly, I was afraid. I still felt unqualified. Insecure.
Finally, the book was done. And yet, I procrastinated on launching the very book that God had told me to write, until it hit me one day while reading through the book of Jonah that I was doing something very similar. I was running away from what God had called me to do, valuing my own feelings and fears about the calling rather than being obedient to God's plan. I had a message to share with special needs mamas that could greatly encourage them, and yet I was keeping it to myself, thinking my feelings mattered more than theirs. I was burying my talent and my message like the servant in the parable of the talents who thought he was being smart by keeping his one talent safe, but instead got in trouble for not investing it and helping others (Matthew 25:14-30).
I determined to be obedient. To value God's plan more than my insecurities and fears. More than my fears of rejection or criticism or failure, or even success. I prayed for courage constantly. Read scriptures about overcoming fear.
I still procrastinated. And God would gently remind me again that I had a message to share with the world. That there were mamas out there who needed it.
And so just like I needed to embrace writing the book, I needed to embrace releasing the book so that it could help someone. I needed to be obedient. I needed to be faithful and courageous and do it scared, rather than continuing to sit in my familiar comfort zone.
And so, it is with excitement, and a little bit of nervousness, I tell you that my book, Embracing This Special Life is now available on Amazon!!
I pray that God would guide mamas who need this book to find it. That those mamas who read this book will be encouraged and challenged in their faith. Please do share this book with any special needs mamas you know who could use a little encouragement.
And I pray that if you have been called to write a book or a blog or whatever God-given message you've been given, that you would do so in obedience and not let fear or insecurity or doubt stop you. Being vulnerable and sharing your God-given message with the world is scary. But being obedient to that message and the gifts God has given you is so worth it. 🙂