I’ve never been big on making New Year’s resolutions. But as I think back to the beginning of 2015, I did have a few plans in mind. The first thing I thought to do was to shut down my YouTube channel. It had been a while since I’d done a video, and I was in a “less is more” mode with respect to social media.
But sometime in January, someone asked if I’d done a video on how I study the Bible. I thought that was kind of odd. “No,” I said. “Haven’t done one.”
“Would you consider doing one?”
“Actually, I doubt it,” I said, “since I’m thinking about shutting down my channel.” Also, I wasn’t sure what tips I’d give in such a video. So, um, no.
A couple of weeks later, another person asked the same question. Okay, Lord, what are you saying? I was soon recording the video, then another on how I memorize books of the Bible, then another . . . My plan for YouTube was superseded by God’s plan.
Also at the start of the year, I had a writing plan. My fiction contract with Thomas Nelson hadn’t been renewed, and a fiction proposal hadn’t gotten picked up by any other publishers. So I’d write a novel and publish it myself. I was excited about this, about being my own publisher, controlling the content and the process.
Then in March, my agent emailed me. He’d seen the YouTube videos I had recently put out. He felt my voice was stronger for writing nonfiction than fiction. Would I consider working on a nonfiction proposal for him to send out?
Uh, no. That was my first thought. True, my heart had always been to write nonfiction. Fiction was the surprise. But I’d just gone through the process of having a proposal reviewed and rejected. No, thank you. I’m good in my fiction self-publishing lane, the one I can control.
But how could I not pray about it? I did, and soon, an idea for a nonfiction book was on my heart, and words to a proposal. I had to write it, and I had to have faith that God was at work. After all, He was the one who had moved me to do the YouTube videos, which moved my agent to email me.
After several months of waiting, I received a contract from Discovery House Publishers, and I’m beyond excited to partner with them as I write a book slated to release in 2017. My writing plan was superseded by God’s plan.
And then there was this blog. I had big plans for blogging regularly, even took an online blog course in the spring so I’d be motivated to step it up. I did blog throughout this year, but nowhere near what I’d envisioned. Instead, in early summer, I was asked to write for Desiring God. I’m giving more time and attention to writing posts—on a different blog. My blog plan was superseded by God’s plan.
And who could have imagined Periscope?
As we close out 2015 and look to 2016, this verse is on my heart:
“The mind of man plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
What a blessing, that our God will lead and direct us in His will—even despite our plans and inclinations to go a different way. What are you planning? Will you allow God to direct, and even re-direct you, if need be?
Something else has been on my heart as we close out the year. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a New Year’s resolution. But I have a resolve to do this one thing. Once you watch the video, I’d love to hear whether you share my resolve.
Wishing you every special blessing as the Lord directs your steps in 2016!
Happy New Year!