|The women I was honored to share the stage with in Nashville: Iora (Kirsten Haglund’s mother), Kirsten Haglund (Miss America 2008), and my co-author and friend, Dr. Dena Cabrera|
It was windy last week, the kind of windy that reminded me of Oklahoma and the nine children dying and the wind knocked Kasher to his knees and I held him to my chest.
We went to the store, as we usually do, to the Co-Op, to pick up the mail and some milk, and that day, a kite. And it made Aiden smile, to think of flying his kite with Daddy when Daddy got home.
And we lost that kite somewhere between the store and home. It must have fallen from the wagon.
I knelt with Aiden and prayed and we asked God to help us find it and then I put on a show for him while I walked back outside and re-traced our steps but the wind was too strong. It would be halfway in someone’s field right now and I begged God to produce a kite, because we’d prayed for it.
“Please, Lord, show Aiden that he can count on you to answer prayer,” I begged as I turned back towards home.
And then I heard God respond:
“Emily, please show Aiden that you can still count on me even though I sometimes say no.”
And it flat brought me to my knees in the middle of the branch-strewn road, no kite in sight, because I’ve been doubting lately.
I’ve been saying things like, “I’m going to give up,” just because God hasn’t shown up the way I thought he would. I’ve been laying out my fleece too many times and I’ve been putting God to the test.
I go home, bedraggled. I pick up Aiden and hold him on my lap, and I say, “Honey, you know how we prayed for God to help us find our kite?”
“Well, honey, I think God may be saying no this time.”
Aiden looks at me with his round hazel eyes. Eyes that haven’t had to see many No’s. “But I want the kite.”
But I want that bonus. But I want that healing miracle. But I want …
Last week I traveled to Tennessee for the launch of Mom in the Mirror. I spoke alongside my colleague, Dr. Dena Cabrera, at an eating disorders conference. The rule was, speakers weren’t allowed to sell their books until after they’d spoken, and then there would be a chance for a book signing.
We spoke on Saturday, the final day of the conference, at a church. We’d bussed there that morning to hear a concert by Mandisa and it was a full and wonderful day. The spirit was moving, and I felt on fire as I spoke–as I always do, like God’s pleasure is being birthed within me. There’s nothing I enjoy more than speaking to women about their worth.
But following our talk, the audience was not informed that we would be at the back of the chapel to sign books. They were told, instead, to file out to the buses which would take them back to the retreat where we were staying.
It was an accident. It was obviously not intentional, and I hold no hard feelings toward my friends who organized the conference. The Lord was abundantly present that weekend and the event was holy and awesome.
But Dena and I sold only 10 books that day. We sat at the table watching people climb onto the busses, and we tried not to cry. I took Dena’s hands in mine and we prayed.
It was one of the most disappointing professional experiences of my life. We were the only speakers there who were launching a book. We were the only speakers who didn’t get a chance to sell our books.
The only experience I’ve had which has been more discouraging was when I traveled to Missouri for the AACC Conference last year to launch Chasing Silhouettes. It was there that I got to see the book for the first time–and realized that chunks of the book were misprinted, with entire sections missing.
This publishing journey has been humbling, and hard. But I’m not going to give up.
Because when we are doing God’s work, there is an enemy who works even harder to get us to stop.
We don’t know why, Lord, but we know you, and you are good. I have nowhere else to go. You are the only one I can trust my future to.
May this be enough. May You be enough.
I am yours.
Please understand, I highly esteem the team who put together this conference, and I know the enemy was working hard all weekend to discourage them as well. This was by no means meant to paint the conference in a negative light, but rather, to show you that in spite of having two books published, I still suffer from rejection and disappointment, and am learning to praise God in the midst of it all.