When I took my test to get my real estate license, I went in pretty confident. I had aced every practice test and felt even a smidge over-prepared. All I had to do was pass with something like 75%. It wasn’t like this grade was going on a report card or anything.
After 3 hours of confusion and sweating, without even a minute to spare to review any answers I was unsure of, I hit submit on the computer. I was stunned at the lack of understanding I had after all I had studied. The questions were all different from the ones on the practice tests and were more like the dreaded story problems that might be on a math test.
I was 100% certain I failed. I wondered, “what am I going to do for a job now?”. I had zero hope that I could ever pass this test.
So, I did the only thing I could think to do: I laid my hands on the computer itself and prayed, “God, please do a miracle and fix my wrong answers so that I at least pass this test. Please, please, please, please…”.
I got up and walked next door where the proctor would immediately tell me my fate. I stood at the door dejected and on the verge of tears.
“Congratulations! You passed.”
I sincerely thought I was going to pass out. I knew I was in the presence of a full-blown miraculous intervention. No doubt in my mind.
That was in 2014 and I have been working as a semi-successful realtor for the past 6 years (remember, I took a little time off in 2015 to work on recovering from Leukemia). So, why is this story on my mind today?
I am getting ready to publish my second book—Soul-selfie: #NoFilter—that will be coming out in October. I am feeling exactly like I did when I took that test. My mom, my mother-in-law and I have been editing, I paid a professional editor and have had smart friends edit my book so I can get it to publication in time for the Christmas rush (now you know what to buy all your friends and family for Christmas 😉). But up until the final deadline, there were still minor edits that needed to be done.
So now, I am resorting (which probably should have been my first resort, rather than my last) to once again laying my hands on the computer and the book itself, praying for a miracle; asking God to “fix my wrong answers so that I at least pass this test.”
I am standing at the door, just as I did in 2014, feeling dejected and on the verge of tears. Only this time the ramifications and results or so much greater. My soul has been poured out in these blogs.
“Please Go! Don’t let bad grammar or misplaced punctuation or poor wording distract readers from the root of it all. Don’t let my mistakes prevent people from hearing the message of hope for their broken places or from knowing that they are not alone in their struggles.”
I don’t think it is a coincidence that yesterday, as I was preparing to hit “send” to my publisher, I came across this Instagram post from Shauna Niequist, one of my favorite authors:
“There is always a point in the editing process where you hate every word you’ve written, you fear you’ll never write a decent sentence again, and you fantasize about throwing the manuscript out the window and getting a job that does not require the use of words of in any way. [sic]
I AM AT THAT POINT. TODAY IS THAT POINT. (Please send snacks).”
First; Amen! I couldn’t agree more. Second; did you see it? The typo? In the middle of a rant about editing she typed, “the use of words of in any way.”
I find that comforting. After all, she is a “real writer” with several published books, a podcast and rubs shoulders with other “real writers”. I have read all of her books myself and even been in a book study where we read her book out loud. And guess what? I don’t remember if there were misplaced modifiers (whatever the heck that means!) or a comma missing or if the word “principal” was used instead of “principle” or the word “heal” was used instead of “heel” (those are actual examples that Grammarly and other humans missed the first time around in my book! ).
What I heard from her was her heart. Her honest, raw, and vulnerable shares about how she copes with life and where she falls short. I felt a kinship because I needed to know that I wasn’t alone in my struggles.
As you know, that is the primary purpose of why I write: to let readers know they are not alone in their brokenness and that there is always hope. My prayer to God will forever be, whether it’s through my writing or through my daily life-example, that He will be my Interpreter. I will ask him to get in between what I say and what I do so that what needs to be communicated is clear and sweet and pure, even though I often lack those characteristics.
God knows my heart and my intentions. I am not perfect. My words and my actions and my writing (Lord, help me!) will never be perfect either. I hope as you read, you look past that and look to the God who sees us as perfect because of what He has done through his Son and what he does in us as we surrender ourselves—our flawed and unedited selves—to Him and His will for us.
Everything for my book has been submitted and is out of my hands now. It’s all in God’s hands, where, now that I say it on paper, I realize it has always been and forever should be.
What a relief.