Estimated reading time: 4 minutes:-)
As some of you may know, I got the first physical copies of Far Below Human Eyes in the mail last week.
It was one of the most surreal and incredible moments of my life. I had been dreaming of the moment since I was a little kid. I suppose I thought it would become more real when I held the book in my hands for the first time, but it had a different effect. Instead, it made the reality even more fantastic, pushing me farther into disbelief. How had I come so far? By the grace of God, honestly. By the grace of God.
That next day, I handed out the few books I received to those that supported me the most. The very day she received my book, my incredible teacher and mentor, Mrs. Hollenbeck, started planning a book signing for the next month.
Honestly, I don’t feel ready. I hardly feel qualified. I still hear the voice in the back of my head nagging me every day, telling me I should be watching football games and focusing on my homework and hanging out with friends. I shouldn’t be writing books and hosting book signings yet. At least that’s what the voice in my head whispers sometimes.
It’s overwhelming. I praise God for all the grace he’s given me, all the blessings this last year has held. But what did I do to deserve such blessings? What did I do to deserve all of this?
I don’t mean to ramble or rant. But it is so strange and surreal. I have been called early to use my gifts for God’s glory, and I understand this. But it still doesn’t feel real. Have you ever felt that way before?
1 Timothy 4:12 says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
When I read this verse, I recognize that not many people do look down at me because I am young. If anything, they praise me for writing books at such a young age, praise I often feel I don’t deserve.
But it says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you.” And I think this includes myself.
If you’re like me, it’s far easier to look down at yourself than it is for others to. You are your worst critic. And even when other people think you’ve done something great, often, you don’t fully agree. It’s almost like you don’t believe you can achieve true greatness because you don’t feel designed or ready for something so great.
But Jesus reminds us in John 14:12 that “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”
We are called to greater things. We are called to use our gifts for his glory and to further the kingdom, even if we are young. Old. Weak. Broken. Not enough.
Because Jesus is enough, we can do greater things.
I view myself as a high school student who writes stories for fun. I don’t really view myself as an author, even if I call myself one in front of others. It’s like the title is too big for me; I haven’t grown into it yet. Maybe I have it, but I don’t wear it often. Maybe because it’s uncomfortable. I don’t know.
But here I am. By the grace of God, here I am. Writing stories. Sharing the gift God has blessed me with. Sharing Christ’s story.
I know I’m making mistakes even now. I know I’m not doing the best job I could be doing if I was more qualified. I know I could be better.
But God is in the business of using broken people. And just like he wants to use me for his kingdom, he wants to use you, too. Differently. In your own way. But he wants to use you, too.
As for that book signing next month, it’s turning out to be quite the event! Any and all are welcome, so I’ll include some invitation information below. And even though book signings still feel like a distant fantasy, this one is more real than ever, and it’s going to be AWESOME.
Lutheran High School can be found at 11249 Newlin Gulch Blvd, Parker, CO 80134. The event will be from 4-5pm and the number to RSVP should be 720-496-6699. Refreshments will be served, and I’ll be reading/speaking for a bit, as well as signing copies for sale:-)
This is quite the adventure. I don’t feel qualified, honestly. But I do know that when I fall short, Jesus is enough when I am not. So here’s to stepping into deeper waters and pursuing Christ in the unknown. Here’s to being used in the uncomfortable, the strange, the surreal, and the radical. Here’s to trusting the God that will never forsake me.