In 2011, I stumbled across a website by this writer named Katie Ganshert. She was on the verge of having a book published. I thought we had a lot in common, and decided to email her. I was new to the online writing world and was shocked when she actually took time to write me back.
Since then, Katie has been such an amazing example of what a writer and friend should look like. And her latest release, Wishing on Willows (which come out next Tuesday!) is just as beautiful and poignant as her first, Wildflowers from Winter. See the bottom of the post for your chance to win an advanced reader copy!
Katie was kind enough to post today about a theme that plays a large role in Wishing on Willows: fear. Take it away, Katie!
The most prevalent command in the Bible is Fear Not.
I don't know about you, but that wouldn't have been my guess.
I thought it would be something about love or obedience.
It's about fear.
I don't think that's a coincidence.
I don't think God got lazy or forgot to edit out a few redundancies.
I think all of us deal with fear. And I think more often than we care to admit, we let it hold us back from experiencing God's best for our lives.
Just look at the Israelites.
They spent two years in the desert before God told them to turn and take their journey. They wandered through the wilderness and when it finally came time to take hold of the Promised Land, they hesitated.
They were afraid.
What lay ahead of them was scary and unknown and foreign.
The desert was safe, familiar territory. After two years, they knew how to survive.
But man, God wanted so much more for them than survival.
He wants so much more for us than "good enough."
Yet how often do we miss out on God's best because we'd rather play it safe? How often do we miss out on fully experiencing Him because we're afraid to let go of the familiar?
The Israelites said no to God and spent the next forty years wandering in the desert. An entire generation of people missed out on the Promised Land because they let fear rule the day.
A year and a half ago, my husband and I found ourselves in a similar position. God was nudging us toward adoption, but the whole thing felt very daunting and scary. Life was good with our son. We were comfortable. We had a routine. Did we really want to mess that up?
We found ourselves in the same place as those Israelites. The same place as Robin Price in my second novel, Wishing on Willows. Staring at the mountain, afraid to step out of the familiar. Afraid to consider the possibility that perhaps God has a blessing out there for us in those uncharted territories. A blessing that would only be ours if we stepped out in faith.
Thankfully, we read our Bible.
We know fear is not from God.
So we have taken our steps. We're in the middle of an adoption and I won't lie. Quite often, it feels like I'm on shaky ground.
But in the midst of all that is uncertain, one thing IS certain.
We wouldn't trade where we are for the world.
God has been with us every step of the way. Pruning us. Sanctifying us. Drawing us ever closer to Him. Showing us daily, sometimes hourly, to fear not. To let go. To trust Him.
Come what may.
Your Turn: Do you let fear rule the day? Or are you trusting God to take whatever scary steps He's asking you to take?
**Lindsay here again. We are giving away an advanced reader copy of Katie's second novel, Wishing on Willows. The drawing will be random and is only open to U.S. residents. The drawing closes at midnight on Saturday, March 16.
**Those who pre-order Katie's book will receive 7 free devotionals, which includes a snippet from the book and touches on a theme from the story. Just go here to register once you've pre-ordered.
three-year old son, a struggling café, and fading memories are all
Robin Price has left of her late husband. As the proud owner of Willow
Tree Café in small town Peaks, Iowa, she pours her heart into every
muffin she bakes and espresso she pulls, thankful for the sense of
purpose and community the work provides.
when developer Ian McKay shows up in Peaks with plans to build condos
where her café and a vital town ministry are located, she isn’t about to
let go without a fight.
As stubborn as he is handsome, Ian
won’t give up easily. His family’s business depends on his success in
Peaks. But as Ian pushes to seal the deal, he wonders if he has met his
match. Robin’s gracious spirit threatens to undo his resolve, especially
when he discovers the beautiful widow harbors a grief that resonates
with his own.
With polarized opinions forming all over town,
business becomes unavoidably personal and Robin and Ian must decide
whether to cling to the familiar or surrender their plans to the God of