Many people have asked why I decided to write a children’s book. The simple, yet, oh so complicated answer is this: because I believe God told me to. There are a few times in my life I can specifically pinpoint hearing the voice of God. Yes, He speaks to me regularly as I pray, read His Word, and seek His direction in my life. However, I’m talking about those specific times that it’s almost as if you can audibly hear His voice. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I know I must listen … and obey.
For months, my husband and I have been working with our daughter on the spiritual discipline of prayer. Currently she is pretty adamant against voicing her own prayers. Honestly, I’ve really struggled with this as a mom desiring to teach her daughter about God. (I realize she is five, but still, I struggle.) The day she told me she was scared to pray was a pivotal moment in my life. As I processed her fear, I realized this is a very logical thing for a kid to say. I mean, we can't physically see God or audibly hear God. We talk about how big, mighty, and powerful He is, how He created everything, how He sent His Son to die on a cross to save us from our sins. She doesn’t yet understand even in His omnipotence, He desires a personal, intimate relationship with her.
On March 22, 2017, I prayed a simple prayer: God, I don’t know how to help my daughter want to talk to You. I don’t know how to show her any differently how she can pray and not fear. I need your guidance.
After that prayer, I thought, “I wonder if there is a book to help her learn to pray?” After all, there’s a book for everything these days. And then, I heard the voice of God simply say: Becky, you write that book.
For many years, I’ve had a desire to write children’s books. I decided I would not undertake that endeavor until I had something to write about. That March morning, I knew I was supposed to write a book for children on prayer. In a matter of minutes the idea and format were very vivid in my mind. I began writing it on paper.
Over the next few days, I read a few posts by Lysa TerKeurst (Proverbs 31 Ministries) that touched me at my core:
Is God calling you to take a step of obedience today that has your heart feeling a bit shaky and your knees a bit weak? I understand. It can be slightly terrifying to step out in faith. But one thing I’ve learned, and that you can be assured of, is that God has already worked out all the details of what your obedience will accomplish—and it is good. We don’t need to fear what our obedience will cause to happen in our life. We should only fear what our disobedience will cause us to miss.
Today, let's rest in the assurance that if something is meant to be, it isn’t up to us. It’s up to God. We give what we can give. And then wait for Him to give what only He can give.
That step of obedience God has been nudging you to take? The one that sounds crazy to you? The one that’s got your knees knocking and your palms all sweaty? Do it scared. Do it imperfectly. Do it uncertain when you don't feel capable enough. It’s in that gap of all the unknowns where the Spirit has room to move. And God's strength takes over.
It didn’t take long for the book to come together. And then, I had no idea what to do with the manuscript I had written.
I began researching. Hours spent pouring through websites, forums, and blogs. Then I began contacting people I knew and people I did not know. This is something completely out of my nature. At my core, I’m a pretty anxious person, and putting myself out there in this way is something that should have completely terrified me. Yet, I was at peace. Again, I knew God told me to write, so He also took away any fear I might have. In my obedience in the uncertainties, He provided peace.
I needed affirmation from people outside of my family and close friends that this was a book worth pursuing … an unbiased opinion. Through a series of conversations, I landed with a Christian editing service who both affirmed and supported my work.
Over the course of about a month I had many conversations with many people. I gained much wisdom from them. I attended the Blue Ridge Mountain Writer’s Conference in May. (Coincidence that it is held at Ridgecrest Conference Center where my husband works? I think not.) There I had the opportunity to meet editors, agents, and one of my favorite children’s authors, Michelle Medlock Adams. Through it all, God granted me absolute peace.
Since that conference, I have signed with a literary agency who wants to present my book to publishers. I don’t know what the future holds for this book, but I do believe God will use it for His glory in some way.
When asked why this book, I can honestly say, “Anything less than writing this book would be disobedience on my part.” And so, I will wait patiently to see where God takes it. I am coming to realize there is purpose in the waiting, as well.
Henry Blackaby says, “Waiting is sometimes the hardest form of obedience.” As I wait for the next steps to unfold, I am simply obeying the God who grants peace that passes all understanding, even in times when I should, in my human nature, be shaking in my boots. Obedience isn’t always easy, but the rewards of living a life in surrender far outweigh any hardships, anxieties, and uncertainties I may face. An obedient life leads to an abundant life. I choose obedience … anything less would be disobedience.