I woke up one night after dozing until about 2 am and thought, “I give up on sleep. It’s not worth the frustration. God, what do you want me to do with this time?”
So clearly that I could hear the sound of it bounce around my consciousness, I heard, “Write.” I was surprised it didn’t wake my peacefully sleeping husband.
Now, I have always been a writer, and graduated from college with a degree in journalism, so there is usually a notebook and writing utensil next to my bed. I picked them up. “Okay, Lord. What do you want me to write?”
Again, as clear as a bell, God spoke into my heart, “Read my word.”
Pause. “I’m sorry, Lord. Didn’t you say to write. I have a pen and my notebook. You know, the cute one that’s my favorite color and says, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your Heart’ on the cover.”
Amused silence. “Okay, I feel sheepish. I think I understand. Follow the advice on the cover of the notebook and read your word first. What should I read, Lord? Matthew? Okay, I’m reading.”
Suddenly, something lit up in me and sleep was the furthest thing from my mind. As you may know, after the lineage of Christ in Matthew, comes the Christmas story. Did I mention it was July 2?
Christmas in July sounds a bit cheesy, I know, but God was doing something. I went to bed early that night, thinking I would get some good sleep, and ease off some of the excruciating pain I dealt with everyday from childhood scoliosis, and the dilapidated surgical fusions which were daily wearing down on my nerves and muscles. I didn’t know God was going to call out to me in the middle of the night and start me on the next phase of this life he’s given me. But God knew, and after reading the Christmas story in both Matthew and Luke, I finally picked up that notebook and wrote the following:
“One day, a young woman named Mary, and her husband-to-be Joseph, entered the small town of Bethlehem. They didn’t know that on this night, Mary would give birth to their baby in a barn, and lay him on hay in a feedbox for animals. But God knew, and Jesus came.”
I had goosebumps all over, chills running up my spine, and tears streaming down my face. God was moving in me, doing something through me that was beyond my imagining, and truly even, beyond my understanding. I could visualize this moment with Mary and Joseph and feel the holiness, the preciousness of the moment. To this day, more than two years later, I don’t think I fully understand what God is going to do through this “But God Knew…” series of books, but I’m grateful he’s made me part of it.
Since that night, I have obediently kept writing, and by the grace of God, managed to pen a few books. God also drew one of my closest friends, Jennifer Huffman, whose art is featured in this blog, to illustrate them. The first book we are releasing, “But God Knew…and Jesus Called,” is actually our second book together. We’re saving that first Christmas book for later, but I am excited that this message which God shared with me that night is finally getting out in the way he wanted to tell it through us. The message that for all of his loved ones, he has always known what would happen, known the plans we had for ourselves, and had something infinitely better in mind – that message is so precious and such an honor to communicate.
That night, I began to realize that God was shaping me into a new creation. He was taking the best of what was and making it something new and better. I was beginning to see my vocational calling in Christ, and now firmly see that for the foreseeable future, God is going to ask me to read his word and write his heart.
I also hope you recognize your true identity in Christ. To borrow a line from every Veggie Tales movie ever, God made you special, and he loves you very much. He wants you to draw close to him because that is the best thing for you, and when you’re at your best, you can help others get there too. I hope the book series we’ve begun helps you get there. I pray that the social media and blog entries are an encouragement to you. Mostly though, I hope you begin to live everyday knowing that you are known by a God who really sees you and loves you…faults and all. You are known by a God who has plans to prosper you, to give you a hope and future, and it is very bright indeed.
Many blessings – Chele