Window of Opportunity: Wednesday in the Word

Window of OpportunitySometimes God gives us a window of opportunity, and we can choose to take it or let it close. We know God’s plan for us is best, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy or without a certain level of trepidation. Understanding this, our human nature can kick in, discouraging us from living God’s best for our lives.

There are some of these choices so accepted by society that we shove our doubts aside and march forward. My son and daughter-in-law are experiencing one of those life changes right now. They’ve wanted to start a family, and just this week, their first child was born. It’s an exciting time, but even though my children are all adults, I can remember the doubts that hit as soon as that little one came along.

What do I do in this specific situation (first major fever or accident, colicky nights, etc) is joined by what if I do something wrong? What if I mess this child up? I find great peace knowing that if I’m seeking to raise my child the way God would have me to, I can’t mess them up beyond God’s ability to redeem the situation. I’d rather not make the mess in the first place, but God will guide me through even the muck of my own making.

Other opportunities feel like we’re entering brand new territory without a safety net. We don’t know how we will ever navigate this unfamiliar place with all its demands. I’ve had several of those times in the last year and a few that are still racing toward me at speeds I’m uncomfortable with.

My husband and I are pastoring a different church. It was a difficult move in some respects. It was like coming home in others. What causes a moment of trepidation? Each church comes complete with their own expectations for a pastor’s wife. I am who I am. Would that be acceptable? I’m still finding my footing on that one.

I joined my friend, Linda Goldfarb, in hosting a faith-based podcast this year. Staying Real About Faith and Family is a weekly podcast. That means this introvert has to extrovert every week. I believe we are doing what God would have us do in the podcast, but that doesn’t mean putting my socially awkward self out there for everyone to hear each week is comfortable. Teaching and speaking are one thing. Those create a defined box for me to work inside. I love taking those opportunities and wish I had more. But a podcast is more like a conversation. It can go anywhere. And I have to be along for the ride.

Even in my writing, God has asked me to move from my comfort zone, if only for a moment. This week, Window of Opportunity, released. It’s my first full-length novel released without a launch party/book signing. I couldn’t plan one due to my daughter-in-law’s due date. Other issues kept me from putting my usual launch team in place, though a few joined me for a quick one week launch team (big thanks to them!). Even release day had its hiccups. Between the new baby and a medical issue I had to help a family member deal with, I couldn’t post like I’d planned.

And release events weren’t the only deviation from my typical publishing path. The book itself was an exercise in taking the less traveled path. I’m a Contemporary Christian Romance author. I’m not a student of history. (I like the stories, but class was always off-putting. Memorize names and dates and places. Those aren’t stories, and I don’t find them interesting.) So, when God used a group of writing friends to open a window to writing a historical Christian romance, I had a choice.

Like Peter, I could step out of the boat onto unknown waves. Like Isaiah, I could say, “‘Here am I. Send me!”. Or I could say no.

Choosing to open this window of opportunity wide, I embraced it. I learned a lot crafting Evangeline and Brendan’s story. Facts about life in the 1920s, the people and events that make up my local history of the time, and page upon page of 1920s lingo all went into the story. As a writer, I learned how much research goes into a historical novel to give it the feel of the time. I learned that I can stretch beyond what comes naturally to me. And I learned when I listen to God’s prompting, He can grow me as a Christian, a person, and an author, all through the story He gifts me with.

Maybe next time a window of opportunity opens I won’t be so hesitant to say, “Here am I. Send me!”

A little more about Window of Opportunity:

Window of Opportunity CoverFaith and duty drive Evangeline Moore to protect her father’s pristine image as a judge in Harrisburg, Illinois. Her resolve’s biggest test? Dot, her childhood friend. With Evangeline beside her, Dot’s desire for the Roaring Twenties’ glitz and glamor leads the pair into questionable situations.

Born into a Chicago mob family, Brendan Dunne understands duty, but faith puts him at odds with his father’s demands. Even when his brother James’s propensity for trouble lands them in Harrisburg, the truth is undeniable. To their father, the lines he won’t cross mean Brendan will never measure up.

When circumstances push Brendan and Evangeline together, unexpected events create opportunity to break free of family expectations. Will they be brave enough to forge their own path before the window closes on their chance to change?

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