It’s Not Me. It’s Him.

It’s Not Me. It’s Him.

I’ve been asked how and why I wrote a book. Truly, it’s been simmering within me for over 30 years. I’ve saved my poems, stories, training talks and Bible lessons for such a time as this, so to speak.

The real question might be, “Why did I write this book?”

For about 20 years, I’ve had the sense that I was being prepared for something. The feeling grew stronger in the years since 1999. Have you ever felt like that? I had this sense of anticipation and some apprehension. God doesn’t normally go for small, so I knew I better hang on to my boot straps. I was right.

In the book, I talk about my big ‘ol rock and the circumstances that led to a scar on my forearm. I had behaved badly and had repented, but I hadn’t forgiven myself. I was really trying to hang out with quality folks, just hoping that their goodness would rub off on someone like me; someone who really was trying to clean up her act. I didn’t consider that they might have some pain in their past, too. In my mind, I was inferior because I didn’t have the credentials of having attended a Christian college and marrying a Christian man who wanted to be a preacher, youth minister or an elder. Nope, I married the cute farmer that drove the baby blue pickup. What God did with us, is nothing short of miraculous. I still can’t believe it turned out as well as it did. For real.

Toward the end of the book, I talk about Daddy’s second divorce and his death. That was hard because I sincerely wanted to do the right thing, but my anger just kept bowling me over. Because I’d been forgiven for so much, I wanted to forgive my former stepmother and I wanted to forgive my dad. I knew there wasn’t an option, but it was not done quickly or with great joy.

I kept telling myself, “I’ve forgiven them.” Many days, I’d get this rumbling in my spirit and the memories would come back. I’d say, “Carrie, remember, you’ve forgiven that. Move along. There’s nothing to see here anymore.” Then, I worked on forgetting. It was months before it hit me that I wasn’t obsessing over them anymore.

Then, there was the baby without a wedding story. Putting that story in the book was very important to me because I learned a thousand lessons. (Well, it seemed like a thousand.)
1.) Get off my high horse. I wasn’t perfect, why did I expect my kids to be perfect?
2.) Get off my high horse. I’m not immune to satan’s lies telling me to choose sides and then pick fights and do some name-calling.
3.) Get off my high horse. And quit harshly judging someone who made an error in judgement. (Like I never had done that! Good grief.)
4.) Get off my high horse. And be friend to someone who is being shunned for making an error in judgement. Once the shoe was on the other foot, so to speak, and it was my child who needed some grace and mercy, it became a whole lot easier to offer grace and mercy to others who were hurting.

Do you see the pattern? I am thankful for this wake-up call and the lessons I learned.

So, after the dust settled, I asked myself, “Now what? What do I do with the information and experiences I’ve had?” I decided to make it count. I couldn’t make it go away and I couldn’t make it better, but I could make it count, so I told my stories.

I didn’t pray to sell a million books; I prayed for God to put His word where He wanted it. So far, over 400 have sold. That’s God. It’s always been Him and it will always be Him.

For a while, every night about bedtime, my phone would ding, notifying me of a text message or a fb message from someone who had just finished the book. Those mean so much.

One in particular, leaves me awestruck. It read: One of your books went to my friend, whose 16 year old granddaughter is pregnant. She told me your book helped her so much on how to look at things with the right perspective. After she read your book, they started telling people about the baby and moved their granddaughter in with them so she could get the right care and love needed.

Wow. I didn’t do that. God did.

It’s not me. It’s Him.