Not everyone gets to launch a book during a pandemic, but I do! I guarantee this is a book launch I will never forget.
What does a book launch look like in normal times? My precious small group ladies put together a wonderful coffee and dessert book launch for me. They invited over one hundred friends to celebrate in a few weeks. It promised to be a fun, happy, and delicious time. A book launch is a time to party; to celebrate all the work that went into the book. To mark the completion of months of writing, re-reading and re-wording. To celebrate finding the right publisher, seeing the fun cover, and seeing your name in print for the first time. And then the book is released, and as an author, you hold your breath with great excitement mixed with a nervous hope. Hope that just maybe your book will help someone. A friend who recently published a book told me, “Anne, enjoy the moment, it goes so fast!”
But what does a book launch look like when a pandemic blows in?
It looks rather different than what I expected…
So, as I sit here, I wonder: Did God know that my book would be released at a time when the world was melting down? When nothing looks usual and all is so uncertain? Will the words in my book be lost in a sea of crazy times? Will it ever get a chance to help women let go of baggage? Will it be used by God? Like the little boy who gave up his lunch of 2 small fish and 5 loaves to feed 5000, will God use this meager offering? Will God take this small, insignificant and ordinary offering and somehow multiply it while the world shakes and shudders? Will he use my simple words for his glory during an unprecedented time?
Eight years ago, while living in Paris I wrote, Pack Your Baggage, Honey, We’re Moving to Paris! It was a season in my life when fear of the unknown was a somewhat regular companion, and yet God used that fear-filled adventure to grow me. I had no idea at the time that my words would find their way to print, and I certainly had no idea it would be published during a pandemic. But just maybe, just possibly, my story will strengthen and refresh those who read it during this time of shaking and shuddering. Perhaps my words detailing my fear-filled experience will help guide others to know how to manage the anxiety that may be welling up in them?
Here are some words of reassurance for all of us: Scripture tells us that “we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28) Does that word apply right now, when the world seems to be crumbling before our eyes? Does it apply to a book launch during a pandemic? You bet it does!
And so, it is with great excitement that I am watching and waiting to see what God will do. Am I bummed that my book launch isn’t going to be ordinary? Yes, a little, but my prayer is that this book and the blogging that has been inspired, because of my book’s publication, will be used to bless lives, even if just a few. The good news is, everyone has a lot of time to fill, and reading is a great way to pass the time.
Here is what I know for sure: God is in control, and just like the short prayer I learned as a child, God is good and God is still great. Simple, yet powerful words. Wonderfully, marvelous words! Words of faith. My book is scheduled to be released tomorrow. Will it happen as scheduled? Maybe or maybe not, that is a “God detail” I cannot control. With confidence, I know that none of this has caught God off guard.