A Big Announcement Fourteen Years in the Making

It was June of 2003 when I first heard the words.  A whispered statement of fact that was so distinct.  And delivered with Spirit-spoken authority.

you’re going to write a book

I was floored.  My prayer journal pages had been filling to the brim with nuggets and revelations and blow-my-mind-connections.  So full, in fact, that I was going through them at a rate of one every three months!  It was the kind of whispered-truth that I wouldn’t dare to dream of (and thought I was making up).  But it simultaneously made me suck in my breath in that could this really happen? kind of excited anticipation.

I wrote it down.  And shared it with Josh.  And my closest friends.  And prayed for His timing.  I didn’t want to force it – knowing that, if I did, it would blow up in my face.  So I tucked it away in that protective, someday-dream-space that I honestly thought may not really ever happen.

Teach me how to be patient, I prayed, and wait for You to fulfill Your promise to me.

• • •

So, funny story: remember our pregnancy announcement blog post?  The one where I told the story of cashing in my faith check in too-bold-for-me-ink?  There was one small detail I left out. That morning, as I prayed, my prayer was actually two-fold.  Not only did I ask God to do as He had said He would – to perform His promise for our family.  I also added four extra words to that sentence:

and for my teaching

That morning, God had pointed to two separate verses in which He profoundly spoke to me about two separate promises.  The first, I shared publicly last year.  The second, I kept quietly tucked away.  Still waiting for His green light to write. And to teach – not only the things that I’ve been learning, but also how to dig the way I’ve learned to dig.

• • •

We were in Oregon last July when I got the email.  Josh went to high school with a girl who works at the third largest Christian publishing house in the country.  She told their acquisitions editor about our story.  And this blog.  And she, in turn, sent me an email.  Which turned into a phone call.  During that conversation, as we chatted about the kind of writing I wanted to produce, Kathleen told me one simple and profound piece of wisdom that I scribbled onto a hotel-room-pad-of-paper:

start where you want to finish

I was suddenly thrown into a brand new, entirely unknown world of book proposals, writing agents, and contract negotiations.  Of course, I wanted my first writing project to be this incredible, glory-filled story of our wait.  But those words stuck with me, nearly vibrating within my spirit over the next eight months through the first proposal of our story.  And the revised proposal.  And the revision of the revision.  It wasn’t working because the timing wasn’t right.  I didn’t want to end up writing nonfiction books.  I wanted to write Bible studies.  So I started over with a completely new proposal.  And The Wait is going to wait for awhile longer.  In the meantime, I’ll be holing up for the better part of the rest of the year, turning my 40-page How To Study Scripture e-guide into a 250 page, 55,000-word book to be released in the fall of 2018.  (I cannot believe I just wrote those words!)

Two days ago, I dropped the signed contract into the mailbox and Josh came home with a once-in-a-lifetime bottle of champagne.  And last night, once it was sufficiently chilled, we took our little babe to watch the sunset and pop open that bottle.  With my first-fulfilled-promise in one hand, and the second-fulfilled-promise in the other.  And we sat there until long after the sun had set, with our tiny babe sleeping on me.

And I thanked God for His miracle-mercy.  Because 14 years later?  I’m going to write a book.

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  • March 16, 2017 - 11:30 am

    Simi - Yes, yes, this is so awesome! I love how God works and what He has taught me with the words He has given you! I am sooo beyond excited for you sister. I am looking forward to getting that book because He has done amazing things with Treasures of Darkness in my life and I cannot wait to see what He does with your new book.

    By the way, I start working through Search the Scripture this year with some sisters. I am so grateful for the blessing of meeting you and your obedience to Him in all of it. I pray He continues to bless you and use your life for His glory!!! <3 <3 <3ReplyCancel

  • March 16, 2017 - 12:18 pm

    Angelsea Urban - Of COURSE you are! Finally! I have seen your name in print on a book cover forever engrained in my mind. I once said I wanted to be first in line at your book signing! Maybe it can be in NYC?! lol I will camp out if I have to. I can’t wait to read your Holy Spirit dripping book. So much congratulations Jane! XoxoxReplyCancel

  • March 17, 2017 - 4:14 am

    Tasha - I’m so excited about this!!! I want you to know that because of a free 30 day Bible study that you offered a summer ago I found a deep desire to study God’s Word in a way that I never had before. I’m very grateful to God that He gave you this desire for this ministry and I pray that you are blessed and God is glorified through it!
    -Sincerely,
    Tasha (a woman who’s live was changed forever because of your faithfulness to God).ReplyCancel

  • March 17, 2017 - 7:36 am

    Sara - I love that this opportunity has found you, as it sees to find so many bloggers these days. But I really have a heart for reminding people that if they feel called to write books, they do not need to wait for a book proposal from a major publishing house to do so. I myself feel passionate about self-publishing and am excited to do that, while still holding a wish and a promise to be published by a house someday as well. I suppose the same way you created bible studies and e-books before you ever had an offer from a publisher. If someone feels called to write, they should write and not let the idea of needing an offer from a publisher hold them back, because the reality is that in today’s world, they wouldn’t get an offer without self-publishing their writing first, whether that’s on a blog or in e-books. Often, God’s promises aren’t fulfilled until we start actively walking in our calling before it is fulfilled, in faith.ReplyCancel

  • March 23, 2017 - 4:10 am

    Erin - YES. Yes yes!!! Popping champagne in San Diego for you NOW!!!! – Jeff + ErinReplyCancel

  • March 27, 2017 - 2:09 am

    Veronica - Jane!!
    At church yesterday the pastor did a sermon on Psalm 27:14 ‘Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.’ Which spoke to my heart. Then I finally got to sit down and go thru my ‘Jane Johnson’ Mondays and saw this email in there. By the way, i really save all your emails, and send them to people. I can’t wait to see what the Lord does with your teaching, book writing, motherhood ❤ I know I’ve never met you but I adore you ❤ thanks for your emails they speak right to my heart from Him ❤ReplyCancel

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