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If you’re a LOTR fan, you know when Gandalf shows up, it’s a safe bet that something is going to happen. His presence sets things in motion. He is the inciting incident, and suddenly we’re on the edge of our seats, wondering what’s coming.

A wizard is never early. Nor is he late. He shows up precisely when he means to. 

I love that line. Kind of reminds me of someone I know. Someone who also shows up precisely when He means to. And His timing is always perfect.

Lately there’s been a bit of commotion about the state of publishing and what’s coming next. Bookstores are closing and all I’m hearing is that it’s a tough, tough time to be an author. There is a sky is falling attitude out there that’s not hard to miss. For a newly contracted author, I can tell you, it’s a little frustrating.

Lack of sleep these days gives me plenty of time to think. Last night I lay awake and thought about all the conversations I’ve had this week, thought about some of the things I’ve read and the fear-envoking posts that seem to smack doom and gloom in the face of any hopeful writer, and I thought, oh yeah? Says who?

Do I really believe God called me out of my comfort zone, placed me with a publisher, not just any publisher but my dream publisher only to then slam the door in my face and let the whole house of cards come tumbling down?

Absolutely not. 

And furthermore, even if it does, even if my dreams are suddenly dashed for some unforeseen reason, well? So what? I’ve been through worse. And I’ve survived. If CBA crashes and burns before my first book releases next year, well, I’ll survive that too.

So why aren’t I freaking out right now?

Because I know I’m exactly where I’m meant to be.

Trust me, coming to this realization took a while. A long, long time. You can read about it here. My journey to the place I am today has not been an easy one. And I’ll be damned if I’ll let fear and doubt and uncertainty rip the rug out from under me now.

Because when Gandalf knocked on my door, I answered. And I accepted the challenge.

God placed this calling on my heart. He’s given me the words, the stories, the ability to tell them, and the access to a creative community that surrounds, supports and encourages me every single day. How absolutely amazing is that? Look, here’s the thing. Nobody said it would be easy. Nobody said any of this would be a walk in the park.

But you take that on when you answer the call. When you open that door and step outside, leave the safety of the known in exchange for the unknown, you’ve got to expect the unexpected. I’m challenged to be a better writer every day, each time I sit down and open a manuscript. And it pushes me to be a better person too. Because my words are in many ways a reflection of who I am and how I live. God will shine through them like it or not … because He owns them.

God knocked. I answered. He set me on the path.

Sure, there may be terrifying moments. Sure, I’m probably going to lose my way at some point. I might even want to quit. But I’ll tell you what. That’s not an option. Not anymore.

Because I know I’m exactly where I’m meant to be.

And there is inexplicable peace in that.

Along with the pure, giddy, unadulterated joy that comes in following your dreams …