I am the Lord, your Holy One, Israel’s Creator and King.
I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea.
I called forth the mighty army of Egypt with all its chariots and horses.
I drew them beneath the waves, and they drowned,
their lives snuffed out like a smoldering candlewick.
But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
—Isaiah 43:15–19 (nlt)
As you may already know, last winter—January to March—Peter and I wrote a little book. 20 Things We’d Tell Our Twentysomething Selves. We’ve spent considerable time since then on editing, proofreading, strategizing, seeking endorsements and such. (Hence, my inability to post here as often as I’d like.)
To be perfectly honest, it’s been a bit of a battle. This little book.
Not (usually) a battle between Peter and me. Thankfully, we enjoyed tackling the task together. It’s stretched us and opened our eyes, for sure, and it’s prompted some hard conversations. But we saw God once again use our individual—and very different—strengths in complementary ways. I think we learned to listen to each other on a new level. And I believe we are closer now than we were before this project began. (All glory be to God alone!)
No, the fight for this book has been something other than that. Something more and something multifaceted. It resided sometimes in the physical realm. I had trouble sleeping (even more than usual), and Peter’s been perpetually sick. Then we had random, repeated, major repairs to both of our cars and our house.
The worst of this happened one Tuesday when I came home to find three waterfalls running from our kitchen ceiling and then down to the basement. The toilet in our upstairs bathroom had spontaneously decided to overflow—for seven hours straight. The plumber couldn’t figure out why. Our old wooden kitchen floor was damaged. Some walls still need repair. The carpet and ceiling in the basement are significantly stained. And our insurance company calculated at least $11,000 of work. A couple weeks later a pipe burst, flooding another basement room—three times—before we could locate the source. And we were incredulous at our own “bad luck.”
It’s been an emotional battle as well—and, most significantly, a spiritual one. Sometimes brutal. Peter and I have both wrestled with discouragement and fear and self-doubt. While God has repeatedly confirmed to us His call, the enemy has seemingly gone out of his way to give us grief. But it’s forced us—yet again—into a deep and daily dependence.
Right where we ought to be.
Why do I tell you this? For several reasons really. Because you will undoubtedly experience a similar sort of battle. Perhaps you already have. Perhaps you are even now in the midst of a relentless flight. Because sometimes when God calls us, when He moves us and seeks to use us, sometimes when He is preparing to display His power in profound ways, all we can see with our physical eyes is the opposing army closing in from behind and the waves of the sea stretching out in front. Because sometimes God will turn our biggest struggles and disappointments in life into the greatest demonstrations of His glory and love.
I tell you this, too, because we believe God can do something new—in and through this generation. In fact, we believe He has already begun. And we will be more than honored if He chooses to use us or this book as some small part.
This summer we’ve had the opportunity to use the 20 Things to encourage the college staff at a local camp. Every Wednesday evening we meet with them. We discuss sections of the book and work through some inductive Bible studies we’ve written to compliment each chapter. We’ve been blessed by their eagerness to engage and grow. And it’s been further proof to us that He’s up to all sorts.
Today I want to share the exciting news that our book is now available for preorder on Amazon! You can find it here. This is really happening, folks. Please share and help us get the word out!