I thought it had died

Jul 27, 2015Find joy today

So some strange/interesting things have happened with this little book about Spiritual Warfare. When I wrote it, wow, so much spiritual warfare swirled around me. My prayer team worked on overload to get me through it. Much of what I wrote about, I learned on the battleground of France where the spiritual warfare was thick and real. So writing it made me revisit some difficult things.

But then the book released, had its day in the sun, then slowly faded into black. The publisher took it out of print, then gave me back the rights. That’s why there are two different covers. If you order the ebook, you’ll experience the new cover. If you order the print book, you’ll get the sword/rose cover because I still have some of those left in a warehouse.

Yet, it’s still technically out of print. I had some moments in the sun with this book, particularly when I skyped in to book clubs who studied the books (or had Bible studies). Those confirmed to me that God was using this book. And even after it went out of print, I’d receive emails about the book, telling me it helped.

A few years ago, I ran into a man in South Africa who actually lives in Rockwall (where I live). He runs a ministry. This led to a nice lunch with him and his son back home and a long conversation about book publishing. I mentioned Beautiful Battle, how it went out of print, and he said he had an editor friend who might be interested. So he sent that email. Years ago.

This January, she emailed me. She “found” that email from a few years ago in some long lost folder, and would I still like to discuss the republishing of the book? Amazing!

I thought of how much a cool publishing story this would become.

Except that she turned it down. It wasn’t charismatic enough, she said.

BUT, she then passed it on to another editor, who loved it and vowed to bring it to pub board.

Except that the book, because it had been previously published, had been rejected.

So this amazing story I wanted to tell about South Africa, a lost email, and two editors ended in what seemed to be a dead end. I got a little depressed. I wondered what God was up to.

The day before I received the final rejection, I received this email:

Dearest Mary,

I am writing to you to tell you how profoundly your book, Beautiful Battle, has changed my life and to thank you for writing it. I find it difficult to express how insanely grateful I am for this treasure. I believe that God provided your book to me as a tool to speak his truths to me in my life at a critical time.

My husband recently left me after 15 years of marriage. Needless to say, I was struggling with all kinds of lies from the enemy. I was deep in the pit of despair…so deep that I thought I couldn’t survive it. I became so focused on the fact that my husband was being deceived by the enemy, that I wasn’t taking appropriate measures to protect myself from the schemes of the enemy. All of a sudden life didn’t make sense; I lost all control (Ha! like I had it in the first place!); I lost all security; I believed I was unlovable and worthless; I believed something was wrong with me, and that all my years of “perfection” had added up to nothing (again…LOL!); that I needed to DO better, BE better, look better…blah, blah. It is embarrassing to even admit I believed those lies!

I have since learned that God is the only one in control; that God is the only place to find security; that my value is from God alone; and that he loves me beyond measure! I also learned that he is better and his ways are better….better than ANYTHING or ANYONE else. I have learned that he loves me so much and only wants the best for me, so I can trust his will for my life…no matter what that may look like in the present.

I wouldn’t trade this difficult time for anything else! I have grown so close to my Savior that I wouldn’t have it any other way. Laying my marriage at the throne of God was one of the best things I could have ever done. I don’t know what the outcome will be, but I am focusing on my walk with God and trusting him for whatever outcome he wills.

Your book is such a blessing. It taught me to see things I hadn’t seen before or offer a deeper perspective of ideas that I already knew. Bottom line…less of me and more of him! Again, I am finding the expression of gratitude difficult to explain in words. I don’t exactly know how you did it. You used scripture that I was familiar with, but somehow your book just resonated with me in my time of need. You taught me how to “own” God’s truths. My walk with God grew in leaps and bounds while doing a study with your book. Chapter 13 and 16 stood out the most to me. I will confess that I haven’t even finished it yet, but I felt compelled to tell you how meaningful your story has been to me.

God has worked a miracle in my life. I am experiencing more peace than I have EVER known! The only way to explain it is that God has his hand in all of this. For ME to have this much inexplicable peace is truly a gift from God, and I believe that he used your book as a tool to speak his truths to me. I have bought several copies and hand them out to other women. I want them to experience the same freedom and peace that I have found in the pages of your book.

Thank you for being obedient and writing Beautiful Battle. Thank you for being vulnerable and transparent. Thank you for this amazing gift! I pray that you are blessed abundantly in your faithfulness.

I knew. I KNEW in that moment that the book would be rejected the next day, but that it didn’t ultimately matter because somehow the book had a life of its own.

True to form, the Lord wanted to double emphasize His hand on the book. Three days later, I stood before a group of teens, sharing about healing from the past, and this woman (a leader) approached me carrying her well-loved copy of Beautiful Battle. She flipped through the pages to show me how much it was underlined. “I am going through this book with a group of about fifteen women,” she told me. She probably had NO idea how much that would encourage me.

So if you’re an author, and you have despaired of your impact, take this little story as a taste of a fine chocolate truffle…you have no idea how much your book has impacted others. Don’t despair. Don’t wring your hands.

And if you’re walking through a season of death, where everything you try seems to mean nothing, and you see no fruit in your work, take heart. God does see. And all those little obediences along the way matter. And sometimes God gives you a sweet glimpse today of the resurrection, and sometimes He gives you grit and perseverance to walk through the silence, but be assured of this: on the other side, you will know your impact.

For those of you who would like to gift this book to people, if you order 10 or more copies from my store, you get a 50% discount. Use BULK50 in the discount box in checkout.

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