Really. Big. News.


It started out as a whisper. I think that's how most dreams begin, really. A gentle breeze that tickles our hearts and invites us to believe.

I accepted the invitation, wide-eyed and plagued with self-doubt, an incongruous fusion bubbling in my heart. But still I followed.

As the dream grew, I dared to believe that God could use a broken woman to create meaningful words to heal and inspire other broken women. He coaxed my heart open, allowing all He had secretly tucked inside to swirl out.

When it became too hard, His whispers caressed my heart and gave me the courage to continue. When the enemy of my soul bombarded me, as he does to all dreamers, I learned to fight and believe and never give up.

And years passed.

The dream grew bigger, sharper, clearer. Yet the work grew more difficult. Doubt pummeled me. But it's been my experience that breakthrough always comes on the heels of my worst doubts.

Finally, after publishing over 90 articles, an agent nibbled. "Have you tested your (non-fiction) book on a group of women?" He asked. I hadn't, but loved the idea. So I invited a group of women to give me brutally honest feedback and suggestions. A month later I had a new book title and fresh confidence. Days later, I nearly swooned when I signed with Les Stobbe, literary agent.

In June of 2010 Les sent my book proposal out to over a dozen publishers, cautioning me to expect several rejections within the first 48 hours. Instead, we received yes after yes, a thrilling time. Unfortunately, each yes eventually turned into no after no.

Finally on December 1st a major publisher asked if my book still needed a home. Elated, my agent shared the news with me, and we held our breath until mid January. Finally, that publisher decided it wasn't a fit for them, but then they did something unusual. They told Les this was more the type of book that Harvest House Publishers would be interested in. Les took the hint, sent my proposal to Harvest House, and around 7 weeks later I received an offer via e-mail, with a contract following 10 days later.

When I initially received word, I raced through the house squealing Oh my gosh. Oh my GOSH! over and over. My kids (21 and 15) didn't know whether to be alarmed or thrilled, since my brain cells apparently evaporated with the shock. Finally I got out the words, I have an offer from a publisher! Our Australian Shepherd went spastic, following my lead as I jumped from room to room.

I fumbled with the phone, calling my husband first, then my sister and a lot of other family members. We laughed, we cried. My brain could barely take it all in. Our celebration dinner that night was a blur, and I barely tasted a bite of the Mexican food, but I didn't care, because I was going to write a book! It felt like it couldn't possibly be real, and yet it felt so completely right.

Then the heavy responsibility of it all hit me. Since my book, tentatively titled The Prayer Spa for a Woman's Soul, is non-fiction, I have a lot of work still ahead of me. That's when I realized Oh my goodness...I've got to write a book! Thank God for the peace of Jesus, and for my hubby, who put together an Excel spread sheet and helped me figure out how many words I need to write each day to make my deadline.

Seven years have passed since I first dared to follow that whisper of a dream. Through every up and down, God has sustained me. And though I'm completely awed, I'm not entirely surprised. Because when He plants the seed and we diligently tend it, the seemingly impossible happens. Our dream blossoms. Beautifully.

{Thank you for celebrating with me!}



39 comments:

Julie Jarnagin said...

Woohoo! I'm celebrating big time. Congrats!

Kelly Combs said...

I am celebrating with you BIG TIME! This is the best thing ever!!! GIRL!!! You did it! WOO HOO HOO!!!!!!!

SO HAPPY FOR YOU!

Cheryl Barker said...

Julie, this is wonderful!! So happy for you! May God give you the words as you finish your book. Congrats, congrats, congrats!!

Melanie said...

Yes!

Mining for Diamonds said...

Congratulations!!!!!! I'm so happy for you!!!!! Wow! What a blessing!

Tracey said...

Wow. This is indeed great news! May God grant you every confidence as you pen His words for women like me :)

Cindy in PA said...

Congratulations! Such wonderful news! I love you included the timeline because so often it "seems" that it doesn't take much time at all and I also love that God was whispering to you all the way. Write away and I can't wait to buy a copy. Blessings!

Deb said...

Congratulations, Julie! Your dream is coming true.

I'm so excited for you. If there's anything that I can do for you, please let me know.

Through Him and in Him, you can do this thing.

Sweet dreams.

Rachel Beran said...

Hip, Hip HOORAY!! Oh Julie, I am sooooo excited! Praie the LORD!! You are an inspiration to me in so many ways. I love how you held on to the dream God put on your heart. You were faithful and He was faithful. What a great message. Can hardly wait to read your book...and share it with my friends.

Rejoicing with you!

Maggie Rodriguez said...

Congratulations Julie! It is inspiring to see that regardless of the length of time that has passed, this dream is being fulfilled. What the Lord speaks in our lives, It WILL come to pass....He performs it! To God be the glory!

Karen said...

Yay!!!! I'm so hap-hap-happy for you!PTL. Can't wait to hold a copy in my hot little hands.

Oh, Julie, that is just wonderful. I can just see you and doggie, celebrating. :)

wendiwrites said...

My heart is full, Julie! There is not much I like better than to see God opening doors for people who believe and trust in Him. I love to see Him work! I celebrate with you, and pray that your success will encourage others of us who would dare to dream.

Betsy Markman said...

Congratulations! God will see this project through!

FZielinski61 said...

Congratulations, Julie and thank you for the inspiration on what can happen when you actually act on His whisper and gentle nudging to write!

Terri Tiffany said...

Oh Julie!!!!!! Harvest House books are wonderful! I am SOOOOOOOOO happy for you over here!!!!!!!

Kim said...

Awesome news and a great big congrats to you! Your words and dream are an encouragement to us "newbies." Thank you!

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

Praise God Julie! =-D

Kathy Collard Miller said...

I'm so happy for you. Rejoice and enjoy!

KelliGirl said...

Julie,
Wow! I am sooooo excited and happy for you! I cannot wait to read your book! You have taken take the brokenness of your life and allowed the Lord to make it into a masterpiece. I can't wait to see how this process unfolds and how God uses you through it all to take you deeper...and to bless others.

Blessings and prayers!!!!
Kelli

Bonita said...

Best news ever, Julie! And what a great publisher to have! I'm so glad you held onto your dream because now many women will hold on to hope through your book. Way to go!

Paula Wiseman said...

Congratulations! Blessings and peace going forward!

Sonya Lee Thompson said...

Congratulations, Julie! Thank you for sharing this story with us. As writers we are all encouraged because of your journey! I can't wait to hold a signed copy of your inspiring book in my hands! Celebrating with you!

Kathy said...

Julie,

It has been a thrill to hear about your journey. Many congratulations. I will be anxious to buy a copy of the finished book.
Proof that when God intends something it will come to be.

Kissed by the Creator said...

WAHOOO this is so cool! Someday I hope to be sharing my news with you! How exciting. God's timing is perfect, but it is hard to remember in the midst. So delighted for you. May God grant you the grace and mercy you need to wrap this up, shop it and get to work on his next orders :) Love it!

pinkdaisyjane said...

Happy dance!! Can't wait to read it!!!

Billy Coffey said...

Congratulations, Julie!! So happy for you.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Cannot wait to read your book!!!

So excited for you!
~ Wendy

Keli Gwyn said...

Congratulations, Julie! Enjoy the thrill. I wish you well on the writing.

Lisa said...

I am excited to read your book!!! I am happy for you Julie!!!

Jill Kemerer said...

Congratulations!!! Sooo happy for you!!!

Bonnie R. Paulson said...

Congrats!

Bridget said...

This is so awesome Julie! Thank you for sharing the story...I do love a good God story.

Praying that you write with confidence-knowing that God paved the way.

Kristen said...

Julie, congratulations!!! So happy that your years of hard work have paid off! It is a real encouragement as well! Best wishes in your writing, and I can't wait to read your book!


kristennicolejohnson.blogspot.com

Diane said...

Squealing in delight for you too! hugs and best wishes!!! :O)

Caroline said...

Praise, praise! Congratulations, Julie! I'm praying for your writing. I look forward to reading your book! I love your powerful writing voice.

Thank you for sharing this exciting news with us!

Josey Bozzo said...

yeah!!!!! Julie!!!! So happy for you. Reading your post was like looking into a dream of the future for me. I see so much of myself in what you write. I have all of those same feelings about that "whisper of a dream"
If only I could have faith and believe that it came from Him.
Josey

Preslaysa said...

Congratulations!! I can't wait to read the book.

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

Julie ~

I celebrate YOU and
I celebrate with YOU.

Praying as you write.

Fondly,
Glenda

esss said...

Congratulations..Glad to read the book.
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