Growing up in the charismatic movement, it is only natural for me at a time like this to give "a praise report." I feel I would burst otherwise, but more importantly, the Lord deserves public thanks and praise.
Some months ago I had to lay aside my book-in-progress "If You Love Me." Kind, generous friends had enabled me to work on it for months through a crowdfunding campaign, but funds had run out and, as my family needs me to bring in an income, I'd gone back to my part-time work as a freelance writer and editor.
An idea occurred to me for a little fundraising event at our parish, but I felt somewhat hesitant. I'm one of those poor souls who find it hard not to worry about what people are going to think of them. People don't always understand why I would need funding.
(Let's put it this way: The entire advance from the publisher was what I make freelancing over several months; I've been working on this book for almost two years.)
Some wonderful friends supported my little book-n-bake sale idea, and it grew from there. They cheerfully agreed to help me, obstacles collapsed, and things quickly fell into place. I was most excited about my husband agreeing to provide the entertainment through the "James Flood Jukebox." These and lots of other little signs convinced me that God was calling us to do this.
The Lord has been trying to teach me to rely on Him and not worry for a lo-o-o-o-ng time now, so I tried to center my prayers for this event around His will. Here is my testimony to His kindness, His power, His bountiful response:
I prayed that the set-up would go smoothly. Logistics, organizing, and time management are among my great weaknesses. Yesterday morning, I looked at my to-do list and told the Lord, "Uh, by the way, this is impossible. Just sayin'." I suggested that maybe He could send me some help, or show me what things I didn't actually need to do, or, you know, intervene miraculously.
He did all three. Help came from many quarters--especially family (thank you, James, Alicia, Alex, & Isabelle) and some items naturally dropped off the list. But I still didn't think there'd be enough time. After an initial snafu, however, setting up was smooth sailing and actually took less time than expected. (This is a very singular event and true miracle in my life!) We got everything ready and looking really nice, not only in time, but with ten minutes to spare!
I prayed that people would come--a lot would be nice, but it was up to Him. I tried not to think in terms of numbers. When my friend who was handling the food asked me, I thought we could count on at least ten people coming in addition to the ten helpers and family members already there. We set up tables with 48 chairs, just in case.
Over 70 people came.
I prayed most of all that people would have a good time. This was my main focus. (There's an ongoing need for fun and edifying church events.)
They raved. Lots of laughter, plenty of smiles, and other sundry signs of enjoyment everywhere.
I also prayed that it would be a blessing to those who came.
A number of people kindly came over to say how touched they were by the excerpts. Others shared how happy they were with the books they got.
I prayed that God's will would be done with the financial outcome. Honestly, I tried not to think about it. Realistically, it didn't seem likely that the proceeds would cover even a full week of work.
The total proceeds were nearly nine times more than that and will fund almost two months of writing!
This is totally a miracle. (One of many along the way.)
My heart is still singing. I am so grateful and so very touched by the outpouring of kindness, generosity, and support received both from friends and even strangers. Even more, I am overwhelmed by the Lord's magnificent display of His love, His faithfulness, and this confirmation that the writing of this book is indeed His will.
Is He asking you to do something out of your comfort zone? Something you're hesitant to try? I hope this story will encourage you to go forward.
He is faithful.