I’m just beginning to appreciate the value of “word of mouth”. My husband, Charles, in a casual conversation during a business meeting actually sold the first copy of Shoot the Wounded before it is nationally released! I have no idea how the topic of my book came up amidst discussion of oil acquisitions, land sales, stock options and capital ventures…but somehow Charles mentioned that “his wife had just written a book geared towards teenagers” and this business associate told him he wanted one to give to his daughter at Christmas.
In fact, I have heard numerous people who have “talked up” my book and are already making a list of people they want to give the book to! I must admit, I am extremely humbled by their enthusiasm and particularly the fact that they are “selling” my book, basically sight unseen, but more so since they haven’t even read the book yet!!
As the launch date gets closer and closer…Word Alive Press has informed me that November 24 will likely be the new release date…I admit that now I am getting extremely nervous. I am starting to second-guess myself. What happens if people read the book and think it’s awful?? I don’t take criticism well…just ask my beloved husband. What happens if people walk past me and “tsk tsk” me for writing what they may think is “drivel”!
I have to admit I’m starting to panic just slightly….
On Sunday, David and Jill W. spoke at church during our Missions Month and as I listened to their heartfelt, authentic testimony, I was struck by how the enemy has a way of trying to discourage us especially when we are in kingdom building work. David and Jill have had numerous challenges, and at times they have met with great opposition from the very people they are trying to reach for the gospel in their small community. They have felt such numbing doubt that it made them question at times their ‘call’ to ministry there.
As I listened, I was once again reminded that God’s people always seem to face persecution and personal attacks from the enemy when we are a perceived threat to him. Scripture says we can expect hardships and trials (1Peter 4:12). James said that we should consider it “pure joy” when we are persecuted for Christ’s sake. (James 1: 2-4) Paul tells us to “put on the full armor of God” so that we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes. (Ephesians 6:11) In fact, some very learned scholars have said that if we say we are Christian and are NOT under some kind of spiritual attack, we should be worried. (Meaning we are likely not doing much kingdom building if the enemy is not feeling threatened.)
So I got to thinking about how stressed out and nervous I have been with regards to the release of my book. Shoot the Wounded is a contemporary Christian novel with a clear Christian message running throughout the book. As much as I am excited that Christian youth will read the book, I did not write the book just for them. I wrote the book so that un-churched youth would read it as well and in so doing would draw near to God.
My husband “sold” the first book to a man who does not know the Lord, and he will in turn give the book to his daughter.
I get it!…..the enemy must feel a little threatened….that’s why he’s got a full-court press going on trying to discourage me!
I didn’t think about it much while I was writing the book, or even when I was going through the stages to get it published, but it is much on my mind now. When Shoot the Wounded is released in a few weeks, it will be distributed to Christian bookstores across North America and the U.K. but it will only be “successful” if it gets into the hands of youth who might never enter a Christian bookstore! So, “word of mouth” may go a long way in doing that.
So I am still a little nervous…who wouldn’t be when you realize you are going into “battle”, but God has greatly encouraged me with this scripture today:
1 Peter 3:13-17: “Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”