Letting Go To Grasp The Better
A while ago one of my best friends in this whole world got offered a book deal.
At the time she was serving overseas, learning a mind-twisting foreign language, attempting to make an impact in a strange culture, and wondering why in the world God had placed her there.
I know she didn’t show the wondering. She’s not that type. She’s kind and dependable and encouraging and never a burden. I’m sure on the outside she was perfect peace, but on the inside I think she was asking, “What in the world is going on!?”
You see none of that had been part of her plan.
And as her friend I had to wonder, why had God placed her there? It was supposed to be a roundabout way to her original goal, but it left her far away from where she wanted to be.
It just didn’t make any sense.
But, I saw her accept that stop in her journey with a grace and faith that was not only impressive but admirable. She took the divergence from where she thought she’d be, and she moved forward, ready for what God was going to do in her and through her.
And then, seemingly out of nowhere, she got offered a book deal.
A book deal. At age 33.
When she told me via Skype, I could see the incredulous disbelief in her face. I was PUMPED, but she was wary. She was a writer, yes, but she was a journalist and a blogger. She didn’t feel like a book writer kind of writer.
But, she also couldn’t deny the hand of God in it all. It was too perfect. She hadn’t pursued this path, and yet, here it was.
So, she embraced the new path, moved back to the states, and wrote a book. It was a beautiful process to observe. Because even though it was probably the hardest thing she had tackled up to that point, there was purpose in it. It was God oriented which meant there was depth and meaning to it. And there would’ve been no way to get there without putting herself and her own desires aside months before.
Grace’s choice (that’s my friend, by the way) was God and what He wanted above all else, and that choice to trust was manifested into our first ever Reaching Her Reads book, I Don’t Wait Anymore. A book about letting go of expectations in exchange for God Himself and His plans.
And what a story it is when expectations are laid aside and traded for something far better.
Sometimes a better story isn’t always the easiest, however. One of the perks of being close to the author is that you get to see the evolution of convictions and ideas and story into final product. “Would it be weird if I used this anecdote?” Or “I rewrote that chapter 17 times.” Or “Do you think it is ok to start writing a book not sure of how it will end?”
But along the way I’ve loved it all because I have identified with it so strongly. It permeates deep into who I was and who I strive to be today. So much so that it makes this non-crier tear up EVERY time I read any part. It feels like my story as much as it does Grace’s.
I think it’s because Grace’s story is my story too.
When I look back at my life, I spent quite a bit of time following a religion instead of being enraptured by my Savior. My faith consisted of a lot of dos/don’ts, going to church, emotional Christianity, and reading super spiritual books. I loved God and wanted to seek Him, but I also placed contingencies on my belief. If God didn’t give me what I wanted or didn’t live up to my expectations, I doubted and retracted to a very safe place of worship songs and feel good verses plucked from my favorite books of the Bible.
It was a very shallow faith I’m sad to say. But, gratefully, God didn’t leave me there. When I realized there had to be more than just this semblance of tasks and emotion, God met me at a point of decision. He offered Himself, and Himself alone. So I chose Him.
And when I chose Him at all costs instead of all those things that were just a shadow of Him, the Lord moved. He opened up His Word to me, and He showed me Himself. And as I pursued Him through His Word, my faith became real and tangible. And as I knew more of Him, I became satisfied with myself, and I let go of my own expectations.
Expectations laid aside and traded for something far better.
So, that is what our Reaching Her Reads book is really about - choosing to let go of what we want in exchange for the true, living, sovereign God. It’s just told through the eyes of Grace Thornton in the most vulnerable, lovely, and poignant way possible.
I Don’t Wait Anymore is important because it’s a good story, but it’s also important because it mirrors for us a choice that we all must make. It’s the starting point for a real, true, genuine faith in and relationship with our Lord. It’s trading the position of the spectator on the sidelines for joining the race towards victory. Towards Him.
And it’s important because that choice must be made FIRST before anything else, even before we approach the Word of God.
At Reaching Her, our goal, our pursuit, and our ever fixed mark is the Word of God. Our deepest desire is for women of all ages, types, stations of life, and personalities to fall deep in love with the Bible. We crave relationships to be built as the Word is opened, studied, as Truths are found, and as Applications are woven into lives.
But, we would be very much in the wrong if we didn’t first desire you to fall deeply and madly in love with God first. If you didn’t make the choice to set yourself aside and choose Him, making Him Lord of all that you are and all that you will be before you jumped into His Word, then all of this Bible study would be for nothing. We study in light of God and the mighty work He did through His Son, Jesus. So, let us not lead you to the Word without leading you to Him who wrote it first.
Because, that, my friends, is the real starting point for us all. It has to be.
So that’s why we’re reading I Don’t Wait Anymore. Not because it’s beautifully written by a beautiful soul. Not because it’s incredibly identifiable and funny and insightful. Not because it will be a great conversation starter and book club winner.
But because it’s about what God can do with the choice to let go of the life we intend and follow Him instead.
Grace’s story. My story. Your story. Let them all ring with the same starting point.
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
Amy Bufkin has loved Jesus for as long as she can remember. Even though she basically lived at her local church growing up, her faith and relationship with The Lord was incredibly shallow until her early twenties. It was then Amy learned how to study her Bible, began to truly commune with God, and her shallow faith began to deepen as she got to know her Lord and Savior. Now her passion is to communicate the same truths that changed her life to young women in as many ways as possible. You can find her on Instagram | Facebook