I never thought I would be very good at writing but always had a desire to write. However, most of my life’s accomplishments always left me feeling that I had bluffed my way through and had people fooled as to what I could do. The imposter’s syndrome is what it is called. So, I didn’t just decide one day I would write a book. This is the way it happened:
Three years ago Jesus spoke to me very clearly, and instructed me to write a book, while I was in deep conversation with Him. It all started one day while I was coaching a client and she and I were praying together. When we were through praying she said that while we were praying she had a vision of me standing in a hallway and there were 4 doors behind me. One was open all the way. One was partially open. The other 2 were closed. It did intrigue me but I just shelved it; until the next time I was sitting in my nook talking to Jesus. This is how our conversation went:
Me: “So, Lord, what are the four doors about? “
Jesus: “One is for the door I opened to you to become a Life coach.”
Me: “And, the others?”
Jesus: “I have called you to write. You already are doing that, thus the partially opened door. However, I have more for you to do to get that door totally opened to you.”
Me: “And what is that, Lord?”
Jesus: “I want you to write a book.”
Me: (Laughing) “Right!! That is funny.” (Does Jesus joke with us?)
Jesus: “I am serious. I want you to write a book.”
Me: (Sobering, and still thinking I was making this up), “What would I call this book?”
Jesus: “Climbing Out of the Box.”
Me: (A bit stunned at the catchy title.) “And what would it be about?”
Jesus: “Your life story.”
Me: (Now, absolutely certain He was issuing a decree to me to write a book) “What would I do with it when it is finished. I have no idea.”
Jesus: “Talk to Wayne Jacobson.” (Author and speaker of books like The Shack, He Loves Me, Authentic Relationships, etc)
Me: “Well, not sure how that would happen, but okay.”
Jesus: “The cover of this book will be a woman climbing out of a box with chains falling off her arms and walking away into freedom from her bondages.”
So, the next day I started writing my memoirs, not having a clue what I would do when it was finished. He assured me He would take me through each step when I got there and provide everything I needed.
It took me about a year to write my story. The revelation and clarity that came to me of my life’s journey was profound. He spoke to me and gave me understanding of why I made the choices I did throughout my life. He assured me He was there with me the whole way and preparing me for this very hour, and that now my story will help so many more who find themselves victims, coming out of sexual abuse, spiritual abuse, or addicted to “ministry”, instead of a freedom in relationship with Him like they have never known before.
I emailed Wayne Jacobson, praying he wouldn’t think I wanted him to publish my book or to use him for such. He is a busy man. Not knowing how to approach him with the Lord telling me to talk to him about my book, I invited him to come to our home and speak to a group of our friends. Unbelievably he graciously accepted the invite and he and Sara show up for a whole week end of wonderful fellowship and listening to his message on the love of God. And then there he was on my door step looking at me.
“I told you Dixie to trust me. Do you think I told you to talk to him and then not make that happen for you”?
I probably acted like a fool when I opened the door as flabbergasted as I was that everything Jesus had said, exactly, was happening. Sometime during the week end of spending time with Wayne and Sara, I told Wayne about my book. I said I didn’t know why I was supposed to talk to him but Father said. All he said is that I should blog the chapters to see who my audience would be and that I should use the skills of people I knew to edit it and give me their opinions. That’s it. I started blogging the chapters and gained an audience. And I became a blogger which developed my writing skills even more. This was becoming an adventure. And wonderful friends gave me sound advice and opinions that I was able to utilize.
“I have prepared the way for you, did you doubt it?”
After I polished it as much as I could and I was done, I thought, well, maybe it was just to put it out there as a blog to reach those who read blogs. Wrong! God had bigger ideas. A new woman moved to town, interestingly enough, who came to my women’s bible study and just happened to be a professional editor. Coincidence? I think not. Wanting to be involved in such an exciting adventure and to hone her skills, she volunteered to do the final edit on my book and prepare it for publishing with me. So, we did. Next I found out a sweet friend in town had a business as a graphic artist. She put together the cover for me as I shared the vision with her. Guess what? The cover is a woman coming out of a box with hand cuffs falling off her arm. And the woman happens to be my sweet daughter Heather, who is part of my story, and who I see walking in freedom from the bondages that sexual abuse brings. Amazing!! I want to emphasize that I really, really, had no idea what this whole endeavor entailed. I learned early on to just take the step when it showed up and not to get ahead of myself or I would have been overwhelmed with the task.
And now it is almost here. The writing, editing, publishing, and connections have all materialized and made it into a real book. Now, I am learning about the marketing of said book. I started to get overwhelmed, but I could see the face of Jesus smiling at me, as if to remind me that since he brought me this far in this faith walk, will he not surely bring me the whole way? I have no doubt now. I will do what he says in the marketing of Climbing Out of the Box, and He will do the rest.
Those of you who would like to write but have no idea how to get started. My encouragement to you is to just begin. Put your foot in the water and watch it part for you! If it is in your heart, then it just might be His plan for you too. We all have things to say and we all have a story that can touch others. Talk to Him about it.
A preview chapter from “Climbing Out of the Box” will be posted next.