When I knew God was calling me to write, I took it very seriously. I had been hung up for years on fear of what others thought, and fear of rejection. Writing wasn’t the safest fields to enter with that kind of baggage, but I wanted to be in His will.
It’s been a journey of faith, and as I trusted Him with writing, He healed me from fear and invited me to do things I could never think I could do. I never thought I would write for anyone beyond a small circle of loved ones, much less have an Amazon profile. I certainly never had a vision that I’d be with a publisher, only to follow His leading that would have me leave and branch out with my own media ministry.
What I’ve learned over the years is that every time the Lord asks me to do something out of my comfort zone, He takes care of me. He provides everything I need, including wisdom and discernment to carry out the task. The faster I surrender, the more favor He gives. It’s a radical ride!
Late last year I was plotting out ENGAGED, the last book in my Surrendering Time contemporary romance series. The ideas were coming together and I was excited, already polling readers on what kind of series they would want to read next. Before I could get too excited about their feedback, I felt that nudge I’ve come to known as His. The plan He was asking me to hatch was one I haven’t seen or read anywhere else. It was completely out of the box, way outside of my comfort zone, and in all transparency, kind of crazy.
Finding Freedom Through Surrender-A 30 Day Devotional is exactly what it says, but so much more. I feel most comfortable with fiction, yet this is a non-fiction work. I haven’t created a devotional by myself. I certainly haven’t written anything using the point of view (POV) from the characters in my series, or the surrender themes from ENTRUSTED, ENTANGLED, and ENGAGED.
I felt silly writing it. Yet, as I promised to write what God asked when He asked, I obeyed. The themes came together with a weekly theme filled with six readings per week. The sixth reading was always from my own personal experience. The other five were from the characters of the romance books and their surrender testimony. What set it apart was for readers who know my series, it’s a great visit with the characters as they wait on ENGAGED. If someone hasn’t read ENTRUSTED, ENTANGLED, or ENGAGED, they will become familiar with the series and characters without having any plots spoiled.
When I finished, I was surprised at how encouraging I found the devotional to be. Every day has a Bible verse that matches the reading. The themes are all things we can relate to: surrendering fear, loss, change, regret, and the future. I questioned the sanity of the project, but as always, God knew what He was doing.
I had a choice---to look at it from the perspective that this little side project was taking me away from ENGAGED---or that I was on a God-ordained journey that had purpose, even if I didn’t understand it. ENGAGED is all about surrendering your plans for God’s, so I find it funny I had to do just that with the book. Now that the book is available in eBook form, I have had an easier time getting to my laptop and working on ENGAGED than I have any other time with any other book. The revisions have been minimal, something I’m not used to. I really believe God is taking care of me because I obeyed.
If God is calling you to do something out of the box, don’t be afraid. He never gives us an assignment and walks off, wishing us luck. He stays with us. Goes ahead of us, even. He provides. It really is worth the journey you will take!
The devotionals encourage readers to let go of fear, loss, change, regret, and the future as they surrender the good, the bad, and---maybe one day---the chocolate.
For those that enjoyed ENTRUSTED and ENTANGLED, the devotional will be a visit with beloved characters while waiting for book 3 in the Surrendering Time series, ENGAGED. If the reader is new to Julie Arduini's writing, they will be encouraged to find freedom while learning about the characters from her first contemporary romance series.
Purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Freedom-Through-Surrender-Devotional-ebook/dp/B06XBHM2P3
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