Two days before the conference, I said a prayer to God. I asked Him to clearly confirm if I should spend $250 to buy my author identity number for my book, which is called an ISBN number. Before making this large purchase, I needed to be confident this is the Lord's will.
For 1 1/2 years, I've been writing my memoir, Harvest of Hope: Living Victoriously Through Adversity and preparing for self-publication. While I've felt led to write my true life story and believe God has called me to it, the process hasn't been smooth sailing. Instead, it's been a long journey filled with twists and turns.
In a nutshell, I confront challenges and difficult situations in which I'm forced to decide how to respond. Either I will crumble in despair or I'll step up to the plate and push through each battle. It requires an act of faith to overcome whatever comes my way.
It takes every ounce of me to look to God for the strength to be a victorious woman. To stand firm in my faith and trust that Christ's strength is enough. That no matter how weak or frail I become, God has my back and He will fight my battles for me.
It's easier said than done. There are times when fear grips me and I feel paralyzed to take the next step. Becoming an author is scary. Writing a memoir and publishing it for the whole world to read is even scarier.
It places me in such a vulnerable position. For judgement, criticism, and ridicule. If my story were a fiction, perhaps it wouldn't be so daunting? But my book is about my past and the horrific trials I endured. It's up close, real, and raw.
Before I take a big step to purchase my ISBN number, I most definitely need God to give me the green light. So there I was praying for a sign to help me make this decision when I headed out on Friday to the Peterson Event Center. It was my first evening volunteering at the Women of Faith conference.
I arrived early and decided to stop by Starbucks located inside Peterson Event Center. I figured a little boost of energy would be exactly what I needed to work through the long night. After ordering my grande iced vanilla latte, I strolled over to get a closer look at a sign on the wall advertising a future concert.
When I caught a better glimpse of the upcoming event, a man walked over to check out the same thing. Casually, he started a conversation with me about the Christian concert. One topic led to another and I discovered this was a man of faith.
While we chatted, he mentioned that he works for security at the Peterson Event Center and arrived early. What are the odds that both of us arrived to the same location ahead of time and coincidentally crossed paths? Better yet, what are the odds that I prayed for a sign to confirm if I should buy my ISBN number when God prompted me check out an event sign to connect me to a stranger?
Truth be told, I don't believe in coincidences. Instead, I believe Jesus places strangers together for a divine appointment to fulfill His majestic purpose. In my own circumstance, I believe the Lord used this gentleman to speak powerful words to me. To provide an answer to prayer about whether I should buy my ISBN number.
The message spoken by this Godly man stopped me right in my tracks. It gave me goosebumps! He said, "Faith without works is dead." This comes straight from James 2:17 (NIV), which declares, "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."
What it means is that faith requires action before seeing it come to pass. What these powerful words meant to me is that God calls me to take a leap of faith by purchasing my ISBN number without knowing in advance what the future holds. To not doubt or question, but to simply walk in faith.
We can pray nonstop, but until we're willing to take action (works), our faith is dead. It's only when we take a leap of faith when God proves Himself by showering abundant blessings. When He radically moves behind the scenes on our behalf to answer our deepest, earnest prayers. When our omnipotent Maker is continually faithful to us.
This may not be the sign I was expecting, but I trust my Heavenly Father orchestrated this divine appointment with this stranger to speak truth. In essence, it has prompted me to let go of fear that is holding me back to become the author He has called me to be. To boldly step out of the boat and take a leap of faith.
What is God calling you to do? What is preventing you from taking that leap of faith? I encourage you to pray about it and determine what action you need to make. Trust that once you jump head first, He will be with you every step of the way.
Copyright © 2013 by Dana Arcuri. All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog can be reproduced, copied or distributed without express written permission of the Author.