An author friend reached out to me to invite me to speak to a book club at a local library in the Metro Atlanta area. Excited and overjoyed, of course I said yes. It would be my first speaking engagement about my books.
And then…panic set in.
I thought about how I had not replenished my stock of books in some time. I began to think about how introverted I am and the thought of speaking to a group of people unnerves me. I’ve done it before and received great accolades, but this was new. This time, I would be speaking to a group of unknown people about something that means the world to me. Will there be a friendly face in the crowd? Will they be intrigued or want to learn more or purchase my books? Would my book order arrive in time? Would my preparation be sufficient?
Here I was, again, in the midst of tackling too many things. Typically, when this occurs, anxiety takes over. Yet, this time I had a backup plan. Every time fear tried to raise its ugly head, I had to bring it down to remind it that it was no longer my best friend. Tired of the years of disappointment, guilt, and shame that fear added onto me, we needed to go our separate ways. Yet, it wasn’t going down that easily. It tried to assert its authority over me. But I had to remind it I had authority over fear. “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you” (Luke 10:19).
Fear wanted to know who it had been replaced by. I had to introduce it to my new best friend, “Faith.” He didn’t like her too much, but each time he tried to take over, Faith came stepping in faithfully. She would come through a Scripture, or a positive thought, or a word of encouragement from my husband. She reminded me of Philippians 4:13 repeatedly. She let me know I was born to do this. The very thing I had been praying about--growing in my writing career--was beginning to blossom. Instead of me taking others’ emotions on a rollercoaster ride, one page at a time (my tagline), I am preparing to cruise on a voyage.
It was interesting that the opportunity had come for me to speak with this group. Prior to this, I had been planning a multi-author book signing event for me and approximately twenty other authors. I expected that event to be easier because I will not be alone; yet, there have been challenges even with it. Nevertheless, I realize that my Heavenly Father was opening doors for me. Going to this book club discussion allowed me the opportunity to build relationships, not only for this discussion, but possibly for a future signing and anything else I wanted to do in conjunction with them. I also realized He was preparing me for something greater by starting a little smaller. In time, if I follow His way, He will lead me into great things using my gift.
“A man's gift makes room for him and brings him before great men” (Proverbs 18:16).
(Read more of Chelle's story in the next article, "The Birthing of a New Thing.")
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