We are mid-way through Advent, and though I know I’ve already given you plenty to read in my devotional The Wondrous Gift, I wanted to take a moment and share my heart with you about this year’s book.
First, I fell short of my sales/distribution goal for this year’s book by over 150 books. My goal was 500 this year, and as of today, only 330 have been sold/handed out/or distributed for sale. I was disappointed, I admit. This year’s cause (the HALO Group) is a great one, and I guess I over-estimated the support that the community would have for the work that these folks are doing. Fewer books sold equals a smaller check to HALO, but whatever the final donation, I know they will put it to good use.
But there is something greater going on with the book this year that I never could have anticipated, and that is the powerful way that God has answered all of my prayers for this book to touch the hearts of everyone who needs its message.
Not a day has gone by since the first day of Advent this year that someone hasn’t reached out to me with a word of how the book has ministered to them. And let me just say, it has been the most humbling experience of my life- so much so that I don’t really even know what to say, other than just stand in awe of how the Lord chose to work through these words He gave me.
If you’ve read the first few pages of the book, you know that it almost didn’t happen this year. But the Lord so deeply impressed upon me that not to write it would be an act of disobedience. As He and I were “in discussions” about this, I said with raw frustration: “I have no illustrations, no ‘real-world’ material to tie this thing together.” And He whispered to my heart that He had already given me all the material I needed- He had given me my own life experiences that I needed to share.
I don’t like to share about myself- especially in a published work. It’s difficult to be as open as I was this year. It’s mostly difficult to imagine that anyone would care. But what I have read and heard from so many of you is that my experiences are not exclusive to myself- we all have had difficulties and challenges and places we so desperately need to experience God working.
So, even though I fell short of my goal of 500 books, I feel that the greater importance is in the hearts that are being touched.
Thank you for sharing your stories with me as you’re observing the season of Advent this year. My heart is very deeply touched and I am so grateful the Lord has reached into those tender places in your hearts and ministered to you over the past weeks.