We’ve all experienced it.
Holding a dream in our heart. Working, doing everything right so it will all work out. Then something out of our control happens and there’s not one single thing we can do about it.
That’s what happened with The Mended Heart. While I wrote this book, I drove to little coffee shops or a local prayer room, and for hours I prayed for the right words to come. I prayed for the women who would one day read it. I carried that book and those women in my heart for nearly two years as it went through the writing, editing, marketing, and finally the birthing process.
A few weeks after the book was released, the publishing house was bought by another.
And just like that, The Mended Heart was launched out of an exciting birthing process into a warehouse.
I learned a long time ago that there’s lots of twists and turns that come with pursuing your call. There are a myriad of things that can happen that derail a dream (or at least it feels that way).
Several weeks ago, a year after The Mended Heart was released, I found out that it had been chosen by Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study for their summer study.
I wept. I twirled in my living room. I danced. I wept again.
Just as much as the sudden loss of my dream was out of my control, so was this. I couldn’t make this happen. I hadn’t even imaged it possible.
But what if, Suzie? What if this hasn’t happened?
To answer that question, I want to share a picture. It’s one of my greatest treasures.
Her name is Claudia. Her words, so deep and private, rocked my world as she shared how God was mending her heart in ways she never thought possible. She sent me a picture of my book sitting on her bed alongside the Bible, sticky notes with words that were speaking to her heart.
If The Mended Heart hadn’t been selected for the OBS and it had only reached Claudia, then it would have been enough.
In fact, way more than enough.
If my “out of my control” moments have taught me anything, it’s that God doesn’t measure what we do by numbers, or success, or “likes” or sales or how many people fill a church or conference, but by weight.
If my motivation is to impact the heart of women who feel broken, then whether it’s one or one million, that matters to God. It weighs something.
If I am focused on success and keep trying to make it happen when it’s clear that it’s out of my control, or try to make it happen in my timing when it’s obvious it’s not, I might have missed the point of why I do what I do.
I’m writing book #8 right now (I can’t wait to share news about that with you later).
Who knows what is on the horizon for those words? I’m going to work hard, work smart, dream big, and then place it like an offering in His hands and watch what He wants to do with it.
And that’s enough. It’s my right now. It’s what I can do with His help.
So happy to hear about your book being chosen for the study. God is always working even if we can’t see what and if anything is happening.
I know derailed dreams can be the fertile ground He uses to grow us, and that the end results can be more amazing in His hands than we could ever expect… but it’s the waiting in the middle that’s the hardest, isn’t it? He’s been teaching me that that’s the time I have to keep eyes on Him. So glad to know that we’re not alone in this 🙂
His timing, His purpose, His results… all for Him! Thanks for this word today Suzanne. So good.
Beautiful post, Suzie. God has full control over everything, and He has the best in mind! What an amazing story about how God brought your book from the warehouse to the forefront! I think it’s already touched many lives, and I look forward to the study in June!
Oh Suzie, what a powerful post! I love this. God’s timing and ways are amazing. Celebrating with you! https://www.micahmaddox.com
Wow, Suzie. I can’t help but think, “If that happened to me, woul I have the courage to go on with my writing?” I’m certain I would have felt like throwing in the towel, but then I remember just last year when a church my husband and I planted closed after 5 years. Through the end of that dream, God created our non-profit community center, where we are able to minister in a different way. We just never know the amazing things He has planned for us:) Thank you for sharing this story. It blessed me today big time!
Suzie, I have started reading The Mended Heart to prepare for the OBS Study and love it! The Lord has an incredible plan to reach many hearts through you, the book, and the study and I can’t wait to see Him at work 🙂 This week I let go of control over an area of my life and the freedom and peace I feel is incredible. I am relaxed knowing that it is out of my control and safely in the hands of the Lord!
Oh my, Suzie, your words make me even more excited about the summer study. I can’t even imagine your disappointment at the turn of events when it was published, but wow did God have an even bigger plan in mind! Thanks for always encouraging us to #livefree and showing daily examples of what that looks like! love you!
It comes with ministry. It just does. Things don’t always work out the way we hope, and even if it hadn’t this picture of Claudia is enough. And Kim, can I tell you what an encourager and amazing friend you are? I appreciate you.
“If my motivation is to impact the heart of women who feel broken, then whether it’s one or one million, that matters to God. It weighs something.”
Thank you for choosing this topic, for writing this post, for being faithful. I will be twirling along with you in June.
So thankful to hear how God is helping you to live in the moment of His provision and blessing. It is so powerful to learn that your words have helped another person. Blessings on your summer project! Thanks for hosting us today!
Michelle, it’s one of my favorite things to do. : )
Congrats on your recent writing accomplishments and upcoming ones. God is doing awesome things with your life and testimony. Keep running your race! Hebrews 12:1
Stacey, I’ve been writing for 15 years now and it’s less about the accomplishment and more about the community I get to be a part of. I’m so glad you joined me today around this table. Thanks for your kind words. I’m so glad to meet you!
Suzie, Your story made my stomach flip. To do all that work with such hope and have the publisher warehouse your book! And then to see God surprise you by putting it into the hands of those who need it. How great and good is our God! Thanks also for offering #livefree Thursday linkup.
I recently picked up The Mended Heart from our women’s ministry desk at church to read for this summer. Thrilled it will be offered as a Bible study this summer with Proverbs 31! Praying God gives you His insight and wisdom as you continue to write for His glory.
Wow, your words brought tears to my eyes – when you declared that even if the book had only reached the heart of one woman, and been able to minister to her heart, that it would have been enough. That is true surrender, sweet friend. Absolutely beautiful to see you trusting Him like that! So exciting that your book has been chosen for the study. God is blessing your faith, and using your testimony here as a shining example of faith.
Blessings and hugs,
Loved your vulnerability Suzie! Gosh, we all want to own the “controls” in life but in reality we own none of them. God does. I for one am glad, because the controls are much safer in His hands than in mine!
If we say that everything we are, everything we have, belongs to Him — that’s when our “out of control” moments test whether we believe that or not. It’s easier to say that than to live it, but there’s such a blessing waiting when we do.
Thanks for this. Good words for my heart this morning.
Thanks again, Suzie for your hospitality! And you’re right, none of it is under our control – it’s all in HIs hands and in His plan. It’s our responsibility to be faithful, and whether our efforts are blessed, or whether we see very little fruit, it is all up to Him. We may see no fruit in our lifetime, but the important thing is to be faithful. Just like Jim Elliot. “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Appreciate your ministry!
You put to words what races in many of our heads, Suzie. I know it has in mine. But this part was a cause of pause: “I’m going to work hard, work smart, dream big, and then place it like an offering in His hands and watch what He wants to do with it.” Place it like an offering….yes! That’s what I desire to do. Thank you for posting “real” in such thoughtful, hopeful way.
I love seeing dreams come true…congrats on this book…it sounds wonderful! Thank you for reminding me that God doesn’t measure success by numbers but by weight!
Thank you for sharing this story Suzie- so encouraging and a great reminder of His Sovereign and Loving lead and care.
You speak such truth. It isn’t in our control…He is the conductor. And if we touch just one person along the way…than that is enough. So happy though that his plans mean that the book you wrote will be shared with so many hearts that need mending. Dancing with you!
Have I mentioned how much I love coming around this table? Just last night Richard and I had friends over. They just dropped by and brought BBQ. We sat and chatted and ended our night with prayer together. I LOVE this!
When they left Richard said, “Suz, I think the most anointed place in our home is our kitchen table. It’s where you have Bible study on Wednesdays. It’s where our family gathers. It’s where we sit and talk with friends.”
Today, this is my kitchen table. We are sitting around it, talking about how that when things are out of our control, God still reigns. I love your stories. I love your comments.
I love #livefreeThursday.
Suzie, what a lovely testament to the fact that God is present in the stillness.
So much of what you wrote resonates with my spirit today.
Thank you for your vulnerability.
~ And, I love the pretty picture too.
Best to you, ((hug))
Praise the Lord for His goodness and perfect timings! I’m going to be twirling with joy in my heart with you. You’ve been such a blessing and pouring out your heart, and prayers for women. I’m so grateful the Lord led me to your blog today, Suzie (through a link that a Compel member had at the bottom of their blog post). Last Thurs or Fri when I found out your book was the next OBS bible study, I was so excited! I prayed for God’s will if I join, and He confirmed it this week (Yay!:)) and I just ordered the book on Proverbs31 website this morning. ***Your post really helped me as I have been encouraging my husband to post a Youtube or vimeo lyric video of some of his songs so that more people in the world have access to the healing music. Yet he says sharing it with just the homeless people we serve are the people he feels we are supposed to focus on. I tend to dream bigger, but it helps me to know how much sharing our story or music with even one person matters. I needed to hear this. Thank you.
“If I am focused on success and keep trying to make it happen when it’s clear that it’s out of my control…” This spoke to me in a whole different way but equally powerful. Our family is on a journey of healing…and yet it’s impossible to impose healing on someone else. Those are words that make sense in our heads, not always in our hearts. God has been tenderly teaching us humility, grace and patience as we come along side someone who’s personal healing is out of our control. Thanks for sharing Suzie. 🙂
Best Wishes with your book. Thank you for your post today. Every time I write, I pray I did my best to serve God’s purposes, thank Him for the opportunity and let Him do the rest. It is a weekly reminder to trust God and His timing.
Suzie, I am so excited The Mended Heart will be the next P31 OBS! I pray that God will use your book and your heart for women to reach hurting broken women everywhere.
Thank you for sharing your journey with us! #livefree
Thank you, Jana. Thank you for praying with me and with us as a team. Thank you for helping reach women who just want total freedom in every area of their heart and life.
I am late I reading this post. It has been a strange week, not at all as I had planned. I just have to share that your book helped me forgive my sister just in time. It also has helped me in forgiving others. It was a blessing from the beginning! I don’t always follow the Bible studies because I don’t always have time or access, but I will get your book back out and look forward to the Bible study. I will pray with you that others will also find peace as they walk through the process of forgiveness. There are others I still need to forgive, unburden myself from carrying their stuff, so I know God will use it to help me as well. Congratulations! You are a blessing!!!
Thank you for sharing this today! I purchased my copy of the book and I am looking forward to the OBS. Thank you for hosting this link up, too! I have enjoyed visiting many of the pages listed.
Hello Suzie. Thanks for your words here. I wasn’t able to read your post until this morning although I had it sitting in an open browser all weekend. And — no surprise — it was timing to a tee. God’s perfectly on time tip! Love and needed to read this: If my motivation is to impact the heart of women who feel broken, then whether it’s one or one million, that matters to God. It weighs something. THANKS!!!