It may come as shock that I don’t believe God told me to write my first book. Yes, the book is about God. Yes, the book has overtly Christian themes. But, no, God didn’t tell me to write a book. He also didn’t tell me not to.
Tell me what to do!
Like many, I used to wish God would just tell me what to do! Move to Colorado or stay in Arizona. Take the job or don’t take the job. Open my mouth or keep it shut. I knew God’s Word had all the answers, but I’m sure every believer has had moments when they noticed there wasn’t a literal answer to their specific question in scripture.
Then, several years ago, God filled my life with teachings on sonship. A whole host of teachers and preachers who had a heart for this topic began to cross my path. I learned that under the Old Covenant God did tell people exactly what to do. In several instances, priests cast lots—they threw marked stones or sticks—to discern the will of God. Seems like a convenient way to make a decision to me. Just throw the holy rocks and see what comes up.
But God has something so much better for us.
Thinking like God
Romans is probably my favorite book of the Bible, assuming we’re allowed to have one. Paul so beautifully articulates the New Covenant in this book. It’s a perfectly written argument from beginning to end. Romans 8 in particular captures God’s heart to adopt us as sons and daughters.
“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father'” (Romans 8:15)
I have been adopted by my Heavenly Father, my Daddy God. This doesn’t just mean I’m legally part of His family. It means I am His apprentice—He teaches me and trains me by His Spirit. He genuinely wants me to think like Him! I don’t have to throw rocks or beg for answers. By the Holy Spirit, I can make decisions that fully align with my Father’s heart and bring Him glory.
Why I wrote a book
God didn’t give me a mandate to write a novel that revealed His goodness. He didn’t command me to carve out hours every day to write the words He fed to my mind. He didn’t wake me up in the middle of the night and tell me the title of the book. If you’ve experienced any of these things, that’s awesome. But that’s not my story.
In the early days of the 2020 quarantine, I was playing in the backyard with my toddler and husband, Josh. Josh and I were talking about a Joseph Prince devotional we’d read where he used a human analogy to show God’s heart very effectively. That got me thinking about how people sometimes are more open to truth when it’s presented in a story.
I told Josh it would be cool to read a story where believers had a literal new location once they were saved, just like we have a new standing spiritually. We chatted about what that land would look like and how, sadly, a lot of the “saved” people would just live on the border of this new land—just like many believers are content to remain on the borders of God’s goodness here and now.
That was it. That was the beginning. By the end of the day I was typing out notes and starting an outline for my first novel.
The desire of my heart
During this backyard conversation with Josh, something like this was happening in my mind:
Me: Jesus, this could be a book, like a real one. I could actually write this book.
Jesus: Yes, you could.
Me: Is that crazy? I mean, it’s going to take a long time. And if I did all that work, I wouldn’t want it to just sit on my computer. I’d want lots of people to read it.
Jesus: That makes sense.
Me: I always imagined I’d write a book. Like, since I was eight years old.
Jesus: I know. (smiles)
Me: I going to do this. I’m writing a whole book. And I’m going to get it published.
Jesus: Yay! We’ll do it together. This will be so much fun.
Jesus didn’t tell me to write, but He was really excited when I shared this idea. I was already a professional writer, I just hadn’t written a book yet. He knew this was a deep desire of mine, a dream I hadn’t dared to touch in a really long time. We took on the project together. And I truly believe He was just as excited as I was to see this idea come to life.
Supernatural nap time
These days, I rarely ask God to tell me what to do. I remind myself that I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16), that my mind is transformed by His Word and I know His will (Romans 12:2), and His Word is written on my heart (Hebrews 10:16). Then I follow the peace.
However, sometimes I get awesome and beautiful confirmations that Jesus is excited about what I’m doing.
Writing takes time, a lot of time. My husband and I ran our own business and worked from home at that point, so I didn’t worry about making a boss angry if I started using business hours to write a book. But I did have a two-and-a-half-year-old girl who needed lots of joyful attention.
We were really struggling with nap time at that point. She just didn’t want to sleep! Even with every single toy hidden in her closet, she’d get up and roam around her room instead of napping. Around this time, we had to move into our basement for a few days because a contractor was scraping our popcorn ceilings upstairs.
And the craziest thing happened.
My daughter started napping! She slept like a rock in her pack-n-play in the basement. We’re talking three- to four-hour naps! For the next two months, we let her take her nap in the basement and spend the night upstairs in her real bed.
Now, most people probably don’t see a napping toddler as confirmation of God’s will. But it gave me all the time I needed to write. Six weeks of epic naps later, I finished my first draft of my first real book.
Praise Jesus for adoption, inspiration, and sleeping children!