One Saturday ago, I realise Catalyst is just six weeks away. I’m super excited and admitting sheepish hopes to the God who can do anything, like, ‘There are going to be twelve thousand people there. If I could – maybe? – just bump into Ann Voskamp in the ladies’ room? Or like, stand behind her in the lunch queue?’ Then there’s an email from Atlanta asking if I’d like to be the speaker host at Catalyst. For Ann Voskamp. I gasp-gasp-gasp – type yes-yes-yes-please. (And, what is that exactly? But whatever it is, yes-yes-yes-please!)
Because there’s a God who can speak stars and split seas and, if it pleases him, organise cool stuff for a girl from Africa.
On Tuesday I have breakfast with Pam Ferreira and I tell her about my recent who-am-I-kidding crisis because no-one-will-buy-my-book. She says, oh good, because that means you’re nearly done. She says that’s how things roll: there’s a dip before delivery.
And she’s right.
Because on Wednesday I text Murray tentative to say that, um, I think I just finished my book? He gets home and I see the flowers coming through the door before I see him. He’s got rough day written all over his face but he celebrates brave – all hugs and high-fives and he says he’s going to write a book, too, called:
Things to colour in.
I’m bent double laughing thanks for this phlegmatic-melancholic yes to my sanguine-choleric – this man who pauses long enough in the shove and the rush of getting boys and bags in the car on a running-late morning to smile sexy on the driveway and say, ‘You’re looking very Jackie Onassis.’
Because there’s a God who knows how many pixels make up a soul. He knows all the deep-inside bits of us and he knows how to give us people who make it safe enough to dream.
Saturday rolls around again. I’m going to plant out the coral creeper that I’ve been loving on the kitchen window sill all year. I grew it from seed and I’ve watered and watched, watched and hoped. And it’s time for these leaves to climb and blossom free. Or possibly be eaten by a golden retriever, or shredded by hail. Still, there’s hope. And it feels right on this Saturday because I’m lighter – the sky feels bigger – than a week ago. Hemingway said, ‘There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.’ So emo. But so true. Everything this book has cost me is ripped from me now and resting happy on pages. There’s editing and typesetting and marketing to be done which gives me space between what was and what will be and I can give it back to God and breathe easy.
Because there’s a God who doesn’t define us by success or failure – by what does or doesn’t survive in the big out-there.
There’s a God who demands the simple everything of obedience.
Nothing more, nothing less.
. . .