Have you ever noticed the “But God” stories in Scripture? Things are going in a certain direction . . . Then God intervenes, and everything changes. I’ve been noting these texts for years, and associating my experiences with them.
So this blog isn’t about me so much as it’s about God. About what I’ve seen him do, in circumstances that seemed difficult or even impossible.
Scriptures leap off the page, especially in the Psalms: I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done . . . Tell the world about the Lord’s unforgettable deeds . . . tell of all his wonders . . . tell of his faithfulness . . . tell of the Lord’s greatness . . . tell how glorious he is . . . tell what he did for you . . . tell everyone about God’s power . . . tell about his righteousness, that he alone is just . . .
Tell, tell, tell . . .
Tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders. (Ps 78:4)
I will start by telling a very current “But God” story:
I wrote Karis: All I See Is Grace out of the firm conviction that God himself was asking me to do so. I assumed therefore that publishing it would be easy. Not so, even under the care of one of the best agents in the business.
Publishers liked the book, but that’s not the bottom line any more. Traditional publishers are fighting for survival. So the bottom line now is whether the author can sell books—lots of books, thousands of books, enough to compensate the publisher’s investment. My agent couldn’t convince them I could sell enough books that they should take a chance on All I See Is Grace. I don’t have the markers publishers look for: name recognition, thousands of social media followers, an exuberant extrovert personality, a knack for marketing; a viable plan for selling 5000 books in one year.
After multiple rejections, I knew it was coming. Still, it was a bit of a jolt to receive the email from my agent saying she had done what she could for me and recommending self-publishing. I won’t go into all the reasons this dismayed and disappointed me. I want to jump to the But God part:
- I wanted to entrust the book to a publisher, but God wants me to trust him.
- I wanted to be able to just do what a publisher would instruct me to do, but God knows I wouldn’t be able to handle the kind of external pressure I would be under.
- I wanted the confidence that would come from having a professional editor shape the book, but God has given me excellent editorial counsel and support in other ways.
- I didn’t know how sharing about the book could fit in with the rest of my life, but God has opened a four-month window, August-November, in which I can make Karis: All I See Is Grace a priority–from when it comes out (August, I hope) until Thanksgiving.
- Creating this blog as a necessary step toward “building my platform” felt like enormous pressure. But God is giving me the gift of using it just to share my life with friends. I’m looking forward to that! It’s a delight to honor what he has done through my almost-64 years of living and loving in three countries and four different languages, and with Dave, extending now to fifteen countries on three continents.
I am SOOOO grateful for God’s intervention and guidance on this publishing journey!
What is God doing in your life? I hope that as you read the But God postings to come, they will inspire you to notice and tell your own But God stories, even if it’s just to one other person. If you’re like me, it will be healing and transformative to be more aware of what God’s up to. No matter how you may feel, God is up to something special in your life, and he wants you to see it, remember it, and share it. Just like me, you have no idea how God may make use of that, in his own time and way. Our part is obedience, and (take a deep breath) trust–and hope. And finding joy in him along the way.
My intention is to publish But God stories twice a week, my own on Mondays and potentially one of yours on Thursdays. I welcome your interactions with my stories on the blog. If you wish to send me a But God story of your own, send it by email to email@example.com and be sure to say whether you’re willing for it to appear with your name on this blog. If I need to edit your story, I’ll send it back to you for approval before I post it. None of my regular postings will be longer than one page.
This Thursday, to get us started, I’ll publish one of my own, and look forward to hearing from you!
We will not hide these truths from our children;
we will tell the next generation
about the glorious deeds of the Lord,
about his power and his mighty wonders.
. . .
so the next generation might know them—
even the children not yet born—
and they in turn will teach their own children.
So each generation should set its hope anew on God,
not forgetting his glorious miracles
and obeying his commands.