She leaned in, her torso pressed against the back of her husband. Finding my gaze, she raised her eyebrows and asked,
"Perhaps the question is more do you believe in this book enough to step out of your comfort zone and make sure others read it."
The question rattled me - I could feel the familiar shake of my heart as she shucks off something she doesn't want to think about for longer than a few seconds. I reached for the discomfort though and pushed it deep - I knew I would need to deal with it later.
I see you. I feel you. Where did you come from?
I looked at my friend and smiled, signaling the conversation over.
It took a few days for me to pinpoint the discomfort. What bothered me wasn't the question, but my response. Of course I believe in my novel, so why would I feel all twisty when asked if I believed in it enough to push myself on others?
Because of fear.
I believe in my novel. The tear stains and stretch marks left on my heart prove the worth of these words in my eyes. But what I fear, what makes me shake and causes my heart to hide, are those who either don't really give it the time of day or the ones who will possibly throw the book away unscathed.
And to approach these people with the possibility of reading and finding my power stance to shout from the rooftops about this story of resilience and pain, well it kinda makes me want to hurl.
I believe in my novel, but your unbelief is what causes me pause.
(yes. i do realize how dysfunctional this is for an artist.)
Since the release of Come Alive, I've experienced this deep, unsettling fear of being a no-hit wonder. And this is less about a claim to fame than my worth as a writer. Whenever I experience a disappointment or a setback or I've tried everything in my power to promote the book and still I come up empty, I wonder what the hell I'm doing here.
Then I remember it's not about me.
It's not about my words, or your belief in the book, or how many copies I sell. It's not about whether we can make rent or if I just made a huge mistake quitting my job to pursue writing.
It's about trust.
There's a distant whisper I can hear if I'm quiet enough. It's from One I know well - the One who gave me the story of Stephanie in the first place. He comes close and holds my hand and reminds me of my worth in His eyes and how all He ever wants from me is...me.
Abide in Me, He says.
When I do - when I truly abide and let go and trust - all fear fades away. My belief in Him fuels my belief for this story because without Him my words mean nothing.
I watch the sun peek over the horizon, her rays warming an earth dark with night. I think of Stephanie - her own dark night and clinging to those rays of hope - knowing they scream for attention on her behalf.
Do I believe in my story? Yes.
Do you? I'm not sure. But slowly, I'm letting go of the fear of whether you don't because I know Hope still exists and Rescue is always possible.
And Love? Love always wins.
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