Should I adopt?
Should I move?
Should I write that book?
Should I change jobs?
Should I start my own business?
When people ask me if they should write a blog or a book (or do anything big with their life) – I want to crawl under my pillow and hide. I used to love the conversations. But now I find it difficult – because the answer is quite complicated. And I almost feel responsible for the outcome. Because the beautiful exchange of leaving your comfort zone and following God is never easy, but it’s always worth it. It often involves pain and sacrifice.
When you write a book or follow any big dream – it isn’t all roses. Publishers say no, you risk rejection, you have bad days, you don’t get a contract, you question your worth, you compare – there’s a lot of junk that comes with it.
However there SO MUCH beauty that comes with sharing your story. So much beauty! Hearts are stirred – your very own life changes the most and that is worth it all. I can’t (and shouldn’t) give any of my friends or any of you the answers on which way to turn. It HAS to come from God – because only He will be worth the hard times. Only He will give you the assignment or calling that will hold you up during the uncertainty. Only He can move the mountains and make things possible for a project that He breathed into existence. There are so many things we “should do” if we look side to side at our neighbors or friends. Or, if we take one scroll through social media. But what is God asking you to do? And sometimes the answer is to stay right where you are. Sometimes, it’s to jump out of the ordinary and into something new. Only He can make that clear for each of us.
As I was worrying and thinking about this very issue – how to let go of this pressure and continue to point myself – and each of you back to Him.. my sweet friend Megan sent me the perfect story. Her story. It’s a beautiful exchange.
A Beautiful Exchange
by Megan Nilsen
If you crack open the cover of my book, you’ll see Courtney DeFeo’s name front and center — under “endorsements” and “acknowledgements.” While we live miles apart (although we’re just a TAD closer now that she’s moved to the Lone Star State), her presence in my life has been invaluable!
We first met “randomly” when I plopped myself down in the seat next to her at the She Speaks conference because, let’s face it, Courtney and her friends looked so darn cool. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they were, in fact, super cool — and all the things that make for insta- friends.
Courtney landed a book deal at that conference. I did not. No matter though, Courtney was the first to march herself up to my hotel room, hand me a box of kleenex and tell me that even though rejections bites, it does not necessarily determine our calling nor define who we are.
She told me I was a writer and, gosh darn it, I needed to get over myself and keep on writing. (I’m sure she was much more tactful than that, but those were the words I needed to hear.)
And so I got over myself (mostly). And kept writing.
The “powers-that-be” told me “no,” but God (through Courtney and in various other ways) told me “yes.”
Yes to writing. Yes to telling the story that burned so passionately in my heart. Yes to stepping out of my comfort zone with the anticipation God would have more in store. I just couldn’t see it all yet.
That moment epitomizes this idea of a “beautiful exchange.”
Anytime we lower the volume of our own self-centered, internal dialogue and create space for God to speak — we open ourselves up to receive something that may be altogether better and more beautiful.”
These moments are available everywhere, all the time. In the little and the big and the exciting and the mundane. There is always opportunity (at least for me!) to exchange my self-focused and often misdirected thoughts and plans for God’s gracious, hand-crafted ones.
And most of the time it’s not rocket science, but it does require a posture of humility. I’ll be back next week on Courtney’s blog to give you another story about how this idea of “beautiful exchange” plays out day-to-day in my world as a mom.
To hear more about how this idea changed my entire world – I’d love to invite you to read my new book, A Beautiful Exchange. And, hey writers! Do not let a big and hurtful NO, be a NO from telling your story in some way.
About Beautiful Exchange:
Have you ever wanted to follow God’s call “no matter what,” but the unknowns seemed scary and the risks felt great? (Join the club!) Many of us find it difficult to really live out our faith as we sit in the tension between worldly comfort and risky obedience. Perched in the delicate balance of this place, we have two choices: 1. Pull back from the invitation to whole-heartedly follow God, retreating to the coziness of our comfort zone. 2. Bravely say “yes” because we hope and believe God has something more in store.
In A Beautiful Exchange, Megan unpacks the story of how she responded to God’s call to venture outside her comfort zone only to realize He was about to rearrange everything she thought she knew about life and love. When the journey brought her to the end of herself, she wondered if life would ever return to normal. Thankfully, God exchanged her short-sighted plan for a new, more beautiful “normal” – one drafted by His own hand. Join Megan in her adventure of discovery as she digs deeper into what it means to experience the Kingdom of God and live into your true identity. She proposes God’s highest calling is the same for each of us regardless of our unique places in the world. Find a comfy spot and settle in for a compelling read, but don’t get too comfortable… Following her journey just might lead you to discover one of your own!
More from Megan’s Blog
Buy book on Amazon here.
I’d love to give away TWO copies today of A Beautiful Exchange!
Just simply say hello below OR
you can share how God is nudging you to step out.
We will be praying for you all on this list. You’ll never want to go back to normal.
ENTER by Sunday end of day.
PS. Hey Megan. You’re a writer. A dang good one. And now you’re an author. Congrats my girl. Can’t wait to toast you in person this Sunday. Another beautiful exchange. – Courtney