I would love to tell you a romanticized story about how deep in the wells of my soul there was a story. I had never intended to write this book. Even when I was writing it, I didn’t realize that was what I was doing. Several years ago, I was given an opportunity to write a college course on Women’s Ministry for Christian Leaders Institute. I spent several months researching, crafting the course content, and recording the lectures.
I had a very specific audience that I was writing to, and I build the course content around their needs or at least my perception of their needs. About a year after the course was live, students sent me feedback. Utilizing their feedback, I made some adjustments to the original content and ended up putting it in a book format. I put together a book proposal and sent it to a Christian academic publisher. It was rejected.
I pushed the idea behind me. Even when I sent it to the publishing house, I didn’t see it as a “book” yet. Maybe a guide. I didn’t see myself as an author. After that single rejection, I filed it away, and years passed.
Fast forward in time, and in a nutshell there was a lot of affirmation and confirmation in my life that this was the year (2018) that I was going to publish a book. My husband even confidently suggested that if a publisher didn’t want it, we would just publish it ourselves. I had several other people speak into my life about this being the time to write a book. Those encouraging me had no idea that I had a completed manuscript just filed away among papers.
With some additional encouragement, I stepped out in faith and registered for the She Speaks Conference. Not only would I have the opportunity to take amazing workshops, meet other writers/speakers/leaders, but I would also have an opportunity to pitch my book to publishers. Over the next several months I would pull out that old manuscript and breath new life into it.
I went through through the pages and selected a couple of chapters that were my absolute favorites. I read through them with new eyes, I’ve learned a lot over the last few years. I began crafting new ideas. I expanded my perspective in some areas, others I became laser focused. My original content was a look at modern Women’s Ministry, and guide to how we could do a better job. The new vision was an apologist’s look at Women’s Ministry, creating a Biblical defense. Tracking through time on how we have gone off course, and then providing the direction on how to get back to a Gospel centered ministry.
As I worked my way through re-writing the chapters with this new vision in mind, the words flowed effortlessly. I don’t want to undermine anyone who has gone through and arduous process of writing a book or novel. This is a book that took several months of researching the apologetics concepts, and then the rest flowed from twenty years serving in ministry leadership. It sat in a semi-complete state for several years, and now I can see that it is exactly what needed to happen. There were some additional experiences I needed to work through during that time, experiences that added value to the book.
What seems like an “overnight success” was after decades of preparation. Yes, I admit for me, things did move faster than the norm. I had a contract signed within one month of the pitch, and that is not an industry standard. However, I also believe with one hundred percent certainty that had less to do with me and more about God’s agenda. Several times during the preparation process I had other women telling me that I was prepared for such a time as this. God works in the time frame that suits His purposes.
So, how did I get all of these words to a page?