Monday, August 15, 2016
The Unexpected Miracle
First off, this book has been in the works for years. I wrote it a few years back, but God didn't give me peace about self-publishing it. So, instead, I sent it out to traditional publishers and waited and waited and waited. One by one, they rejected the book or just never responded at all, despite my follow-up emails. I was growing despondent, but still, the Lord wouldn't give me peace about self-publishing.
A few months ago, I received an invitation to join a particular writing class that would teach me how to gain more readers, make more money and ultimately, get my message into the hands of more people. I've seen courses like this before, but there was something different about this one, and I felt strongly pulled toward it. The problem was that it was very expensive, and no matter how much I wanted it, I simply couldn't afford it.
Out of the blue, I received a VERY generous donation that was enough to pay for the course and then some. Unfortunately, the time for enrollment of the class had passed. I had missed it by one day. But then, I received an email saying that there had been some technical difficulties with the signup form on the last day of enrollment, and several people tried to sign up but couldn't. To make it fair, the company had corrected the technical issues and extended the registration one more day. I prayed about it, felt the Lord urging me forward, and enrolled in the class.
As I prayed about which book the Lord would have me to work on throughout this course, I finally felt like I had the green light to self-publish this new book. I can't tell you how excited I was! As I went through the course, step by step, I followed each direction exactly. I reworked the material, the title, the description, and even my author bio. I had an awesome cover created. The more I worked and learned, the more excited I became. The Lord opened door after door, and I felt I was finally going to get my big break. I was certain this was the book that was finally going to have people taking me seriously as an author. In other words, I had a lot of hopes and dreams riding on this book launch.
And then everything fell apart! Due to technical issues, Amazon couldn't get the book cover (the awesome one that I had spent money on and was really excited about) to show up on my book page on their site. This is one of the absolute worst things that could happen to a book because people do judge a book by its cover. No cover; no purchase. Because of this glitch, only 5 of the 30+ promotions I set up (which took days) went through because the "listing was incomplete." In other words, when they gathered information from Amazon and saw that there was no book cover, they decided it was not in their best interest to feature my book. I don't blame them! My 3-day launch came and went, and still Amazon couldn't correct the problem. And despite the fact that I was giving the book away for free during those three days, I still had fewer than 500 downloads. (I know that may sound like a lot, but a typical launch day promotion averages at least that many downloads per day. You do the math.)
Obviously, the entire ordeal left me feeling stressed, overwhelmed and honestly confused. I felt I was in the Lord's will. I was sure I had the green light throughout the whole process. And not only that, but from my perspective, the entire affair made God look bad, and I told Him so. "Don't you see how bad this makes you look, God? The idea behind this book is that you still do the impossible, but you can't even get my book cover to show up. What does that say about You? How are people going to take me -- or you, for that matter -- seriously when a simple concept like a book cover seems beyond your grasp. I don't get it, Lord. The way I see it, this reflects worse on You than it does on me."
Please understand that I was not trying to be disrespectful. I was speaking the truth from my broken heart. This was no different than the speech Moses gave to God when He wanted to destroy the people and start over again. "Don't do it, God. It will make you look bad."
But God allowed the entire launch to go by and still didn't correct the problem. Some miracle, huh? Actually, it was, and that's what I wanted to get to this morning. I know this post has been a little long, but bear with me. God did work a miracle through this trial. I just had to open my eyes to see it because it wasn't the miracle I was looking for.
Perhaps, you are also waiting for a miracle, and it seems like your pleas to God are falling on deaf ears. Don't despair, my friend. God has a miracle for you too though it may not be the one you're expecting. But when it does happen, you'll have no choice but to examine the situation, smile, and say, "Yep, that was God!"
By the way, now that the free promotion is over, the book cover is showing up on Amazon. Seriously?
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. - Isaiah 55:8-11