“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” Psalm 18:19
In 2004, when I was living in the Middle East, just months after Steve and I were married, God opened a door for me. I was a 27-year-old newlywed, and I was on my ear a bit. Just not sure what was next, where I was headed, who I was becoming. We were returning to the States in a matter of weeks, and God opened the door—a tiny little miraculous crack—for me to become a writer.
Over the next few years, and until Found Art: Discovering Beauty in Foreign Places released in 2009, that door creaked and squeaked open more and more. Little by little. Nothing was blown off the hinges. Nothing was thrown wide open. One miraculous inch at a time.
In the meantime, I’ve been working on a second book. I’ve mentioned it here a time or two. Just working away. Honing ideas. Allowing our conversations to shape things. Revising. Rethinking. Rewriting. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
Well, the door that God is opening in my life has opened a bit further, and I have NEWS. After a long time and a lot of hard work (not to mention the tireless efforts of my amazing agent, Chris), my second book has found a publishing home!
I’m thrilled to be starting a relationship with the staff at Revell and feel very grateful that they believe in me and in this project.
The working title of the book is BREATHING ROOM. It is my personal manifesto on having the courage to be a companion to ourselves.
You know I’ve been writing about this very thing for the last few years—how we can become a friend to ourselves instead of an enemy, how we can create a culture of honor instead of hostility, how we can learn to believe in ourselves again (or maybe for the first time).
I am inspired by the truth of Psalm 18 – “He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me” (NIV). I am experiencing a great work of transformation in my own life. FROM believing all the small-living lies TO allowing Christ to usher me out into the spacious place, the wide open field, the broad place, the expanse (as other translations refer to this place).
I long for the spacious place. I long to live from freedom. I have an inkling of a whisper of a flicker of a hunch that YOU are longing to find and live from this broad place, too. You are longing for some Christ-saturated breathing room.
I believe we can run and run and run in search of that breathing room. We can try to manufacture it, force it, strive for it, manipulate it, and create all kinds of false versions of it. AND IT WILL ALL CRUMBLE IN, leaving us gasping. And most of us, in our moments of struggle and desperation, will turn on ourselves.
But what if we could stop punishing ourselves, stop blaming, stop harassing, stop pinging . . . and ask God for the courage to offer ourselves the broad grace that he’s bathed us in. What then? Is it possible that only after we have found a home within ourselves can we become fully alive and awake in the world?
I believe you and I can live differently—not following the road map of “You have to” and “If you don’t” and “This is the only way.” I believe we can live from the broad place. I believe we can find breathing room.
Please continue with me on this journey!!! And if you know of others who need to hear this message, please invite them along, too!
I will spend the next handful of months writing, writing, writing. And then the book will release next year. Of course, I will keep you posted on all the details as they unfold.
AND, if there are particular conversations or ideas or moments that I’ve written about or talked about in the last few years that have REALLY resonated with you, please let me know so I can be sure those thoughts are included in the book.
I WANT YOU TO KNOW YOU’RE NOT ALONE. That’s why I write. That’s why I will keep writing. And I will trust that as God sees fit, he will continue to open doors in my life inch by magnificent inch.