Don't Expect a Red Carpet


A few weeks ago my agent told me he asked an author he met at a writer's conference if she would consider endorsing my book. Then he asked if I had any additional chapters (beyond the standard three chapters included in a non-fiction book proposal) so she could get a good idea of whether or not she wanted to do the endorsement.

I had the rough draft of quite a few more chapters, and asked him for two weeks to edit and polish. I figured I'd be that much further with my writing, and the author would have a clearer representation of my book. So, I got to work.

And then all hell broke loose. (Scroll down to read last week's post to get an idea of just a few of the things we dealt with.)

It was warfare, but I kept pounding away on the keyboard. Finally, with a sore fanny and aching back, I e-mailed the chapters off to not only my agent, but three other author friends who had just agreed to consider endorsing my book.

And then something completely ugly happened.

In the depths of my heart, I cringed. I suddenly felt like the lamest pseudo-writer on the planet. A foolish nobody who had exposed her soul on paper and then sent it off into cyber space to what could only be certain ridicule.

For almost two days I felt tortured and stupid. I wanted to hide under my covers. I wanted to un-send the pages I'd e-mailed to the authors. I wanted to disappear.

Can you relate? Have you ever tried your best to do the very thing you believe God has called you to do, only to struggle against crazy opposition that led to serious discouragement?

The truth is, Satan is not about to roll out the red carpet and allow us to waltz into our God-given destinies. He will attempt to oppose, hinder, discourage and immobilize us.

The enemy will always attack most fiercely:
  • Before a major breakthrough
  • When we are pursuing our God-given destinies.
But God is greater.

Finally, it dawned on me that I was (1) under attack, and (2) not doing my part. James 4:7 says "So be subject to God. Resist the devil (stand firm against him) and he will flee from you."

I also started to understand that the enemy attacks at our weak points--and one of my weak points (right now, though Jesus is clearly dealing with me on this!) can be fluctuating confidence in my calling.

Through the insight of the Holy Spirit, worship, prayer, and the sweet encouragement of my husband, I'm back on track...stronger and wiser. And I've taken this verse to heart:

I know that You can do all things,and that
no thought or purpose of Yours can be restrained or thwarted.
-Job 42:2

For some of us, fulfilling our God-given destinies will probably be the hardest thing we ever do. But I am determined to persevere. It will be worth it.

How about you? Have you ever felt foolish, inadequate, intimidated or discouraged? Then you're probably on the right track. Determine with me to get back on the right track, by God's grace. Let's link arms and declare together that we are women who believe God!

"But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed,
but of those who believe and are saved."
-Hebrews 10:39



20 comments:

Rachel Beran said...

Oh boy, thank you for these words of encouragement today, Julie!

I shared a link to this post on the Rise & Shine Women's Retreat facebook page. Hope that is okay.

Keep on, keeping on knowing that the devil must be trying to discourage you because He knows what kind of impact you can have for God's glory.

Daughter of the KING said...

Thank you for these words of encouragment. Have been there before and still there are times when I allow myself to return... What a great reminder that God is in control of what He has called us to do and He is more than able to complete that which He has spoken into our lives.

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

My dad always taught me from the books of Nehemiah that whenever we say, "I will arise and build" , then the enemy says "I will arise and appose." Thanks for the reminder.

I am praying for your protection as you continue to write.

Fondly,
Glenda

Mining for Diamonds said...

"The truth is, Satan is not about to roll out the red carpet and allow us to waltz into our God-given destinies. He will attempt to oppose, hinder, discourage and immobilize us.

The enemy will always attack most fiercely:

* Before a major breakthrough
* When we are pursuing our God-given destinies."

Oh, girl! You know you are telling the truth! One thing I have learned in walking this path is to STAND FIRM. There is strength in the standing.

Thank you for sharing your inspiring journey! I am watching very closely and taking notes! Blessings!

Josey Bozzo said...

Oh, Julie
How many times I've felt this same thing. Every time I write, I feel like I'm just wasting time. I've started working on an actual proposal to bring to She Speaks. Two days ago after registering, I had a melt down about it. "what makes me think I can do this?" "I've got no talent for this." "I cannot write this proposal".
I'm sure you get the idea.
Thank you for this post. I needed it.

Karen said...

Oh, Julie, I just read both posts! Life just gets all jumbled up at times. I think we've all had that. But sending off your own MS is scary. I can relate! I understand.

I know the Lord has a great thing in store, so strap on those army boots! :) Oh, I continue to pray for our troops! Blessings**

ginny said...

All I can say is AMEN! Julie!
Have been there and back a few times. Intimidation is my biggest foe. My latest (devil induced) thought...What if all God has planned for me is just what is front of me now? hmmmm....

Bonita said...

Julie, your words could not be more true! It's so easy to panic when things go haywire or we start to feel inadequate, but most of the time it's nothing but sheer attack--from a defeated enemy.

I felt the exact same thing last week just prior to a speaking engagement in Wilmington. It turned out to be one of the best times I've ever had, but it sure didn't feel like it in the days preceding it.

By the way, I met your agent at a writing conference a few weeks ago. Very nice and SO MUCH wisdom about writing!!

Molly said...

Yes, I can relate. Big time!! Thanks for sharing. Knowing others have the same thoughts and feelings is a comfort AND gives me strength to keep on keeping on...

Cheryl Barker said...

You are right on with this post, Julie. The enemy would like nothing better than to stop us dead in our tracks. So glad you recognized the attack and fought back!

(p.s. hope you get good news on the possible endorsements!)

Caroline said...

I totally relate to this: "...one of my weak points (right now, though Jesus is clearly dealing with me on this!) can be fluctuating confidence in my calling."

I absolutely deal with wavering confidence, and I usually bring it on myself.

Thank you for such encouraging words here, Julie!

Tracy Nunes said...

I think I left the She Speaks conference with a very large target on my back and the attacks have not ceased since. I've made great progress in writing despite four surgeries, but still feel like I'm hanging on by a thread. Thanks for this today...I needed it.

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

Yes, LORD. Thank You, LORD. I love how HE so swiftly steps in and sweeps us up and carries us to safety. Praise HIM!

wendiwrites said...

So I'm not the only one standing in front of the enemy's firing squad? I soooooo feel your pain. BUT - and that's a big but - I am learning to smack some duct tape over the mouth speaking discouragements to me, and sassing back with scripture. My God is bigger than my insecurities. :)

pinkdaisyjane said...

Yes and Amen.

Rachel said...

I definitely feel inadequate and discouraged these days. I feel like I'm floundering and not relying on God enough. Makes my chest tight just thinking about my book, even though I know God put it on my heart and he's got plans for it. It's frustrating being human sometimes.

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

Job 42:2. I like that!

Oh, Julie -- I have never felt self-doubt like I have while writing. I can totally identify with you. Thanks for sharing your journey and your encouragement.

Julie Jarnagin said...

Absolutely! My first book comes out next month, and I'm currently working on my content edits for the second book. I often I think, "How much time do I have left before they figure out I have no idea what I'm doing." Other writers have been wonderful encouragers and helped me get through it.

a_athanas said...

Julie, I can really relate to your story about trying to write a (God-inspired) book and receiving lots buffeting from satan to the point where you almost lost your joy AND your assurance that your goal was the right thing.

God gave me a book to write in 2001 and instead, I got all bogged down in earning a living in an office downtown. Things started and then kept going bad with jobs: cliques, gossip, games, office politics, and rampant and transparent religious discrimination in the form of untruthful poor references following me from job to job until I was unable to work in my large city in that field anymore. Although the town is large, the FIELD is SMALL, and they all know each other. I was so offended by the religious discrimination ON TOP OF years of workplace ridiculousness I had ALREADY been putting up with that I became emotionally paralyzed and my joy was wasting away, along with the strength of my inspiration to write that book.

I felt I would write that book finally after I (again unfairly) lost my last job in this town, but I procrastinated, probably because I was such an offended wreck. I got a lot of OTHER good things accomplished in that year, however, which I felt good about, but I knew I should be writing that book.

Now, finally, after diving into the Word specific to my situation for weeks to break through this buffetting and get over my offense(s) from the workworld and renew my mind about what had happened to me, I finally sense the joy and commitment to the book coming back.

TODAY I rented a laptop, believing that this will make it easier to write in the comfort of my easy chair as opposed to on my PC sitting up straight for hours. Now that I feel I am finally getting over it all, I thought I would look online and see if anybody else experienced the same kind of thing. I stumbled across your website and lo and behold: you experienced a similar set of buffetting events while you were trying to fulfill a God-given inspiration to write a certain book. You even explained that not only isn't there going to be a red carpet, that satan is trying to get us off course from what God specifically inspired us to do with all manner of events (practical and emotional).

I just wanted you to know that your words were very helpful to me! Now I know all that was sent to get me off course and lose my joy and get my focus on the wrong things and get me all worked up about handling everything myself.

Thank you for your ministry -- it's very important -- and it is spawning OTHER ministries!!

Barbara Koob said...

Oh Julie,
I am so glad I saw this post. This IS exactly what is happening to me. I have been so discouraged, and it's been so very difficult to keep going when it feels like all hell is against me. But your words ring true - Satan will not roll out the red carpet! And I so agree.... your writing and ministry is spawning other ministries. Thanks for the encouraging reminders of pushing through what God has called me to do.

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