In January 2012, my publisher released my first book, Crossing Values. I sat, uncertain. Would anyone buy it? Once they bought it, would they read it? If they read it, would they recommend it to others? Or read my second book? What was I thinking releasing a book? Who did I think I was?
The second book, Ryan’s Crossing, released seven-months later, and many of the same thoughts invaded my mind. Seven more months passed before Romancing Melody made its debut, and eight more months before Crossing’s Redemption appeared on bookshelves.
Four books on the market. My fan base was beginning to build, and readers were beginning to clamor for more books. I should be good, right? Nerves steady. Confidence up.
Uh … yeah. No.
When The Warrior’s Bride released eleven months later, I was still a mess. Who did I think I was writing a book like I was some expert on the military lifestyle?
One of the popular principles in Christendom is the faith of a mustard seed. In Luke 17:6, Jesus says, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”
We encourage one another with this, reminding each other to just have a little faith. A little faith moves mountains. But as I was listening to another Bible story the other day, I began to wonder: what does faith as small as a mustard seed look like?
In John 6:1-15, John tells us about the time Jesus fed 5,000 men plus an unknown number of women and children. Jesus asks the disciples where bread could be bought to feed everyone.
Can’t you just see this scene? The disciples standing there dumbfounded, looking at each other, hoping someone would have the right answer. This time, Philip is the one who impulsively speaks out what was, I’m sure, on the minds of many: “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
I was wondering what store would possibly have enough!
But then Andrew speaks up. “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
Did he display doubt? Sure. But, wouldn’t the simple act of bringing the boy forward–of speaking up in the group–be acting upon faith as small as a mustard seed? Who among them seriously thought this boy and his lunch would feed thousands?
Perhaps about the same number of people who are shown the tiny mustard seed and believe that it will produce a great tree up to nine feet tall.
When I released my first book, and second book, and all the rest of them, I struggled. Who did I think I was? Nobody special.
I never expected to hear the personal stories of changed lives.
To me, that book is still just a little story. No big deal. Nothing special in the world of fiction. But God used my little story to change hearts and lives. He changed my mustard seed to a mighty tree.
Just last week a grateful husband pulled me aside to thank me for being transparent in The Warrior’s Bride as I shared about my struggle to forgive someone who had hurt me deeply. His wife had struggled for years, but the book was making a difference. Later that week I got to meet his precious wife who told me she had turned a corner because of my story–my mustard seed hesitantly placed in the Master Gardener’s hands.
Why me? Sometimes I wonder why God does use me, but I’m willing, and in His great wisdom He chooses me. So, why not me?
And why not you? You too can place your mustard seed of faith into His capable hands. And you know what will happen?
A mighty tree.