Thursday, January 31, 2013

The first time I wanted to quit

I've had a secret project that Kendra and I have been working on for the last six months or more. It's been off and on, but since Thanksgiving it's really been a focus and time consumer for me.

We're writing a book.

There I said it. I haven't wanted to publicize what I have been up to. I feel I need to share it now though. I'm very excited about it. I never in a million years thought I could possibly author a book. Yet here I am working through chapter after chapter. My fondest memory of English class were the School House Rock videos, after that not much was pleasant. Sure I like to read but I hate to write. Sort of ironic that now my profession as a marketing director involves writing and my hobby as a blogger and now potential author all are anchored in the written word.

We had many people approach us and encourage us to write and honestly I blew them off. I didn't think I was qualified or willing for that matter to pursue that type of project. However a marketing director for a substantial sports and literary agency contacted us after reading our blog and strongly encouraged me that I need to think about getting published.

Wow. This was a different level. No offense to my friends, but moms love ugly babies, why wouldn't you love my writing? So we began exploring, reading, and attending writing conferences trying to learn so much about this strange new literary world.

After starting a project and writing a couple chapters, we sent it to the agency and they showed it around and got back with us that there was real potential,,, but the writing wasn't strong enough.

Big shocker, I know. It really didn't offend me. I was so intimidated by this process and the time it was taking and just not knowing what I didn't know that I was open to answers. They asked us what about a writer to work with you, co-author the book.

Honestly I really didn't mind. It wasn't about me, it was about our story. So if someone else could help me tell this story that might help it get published, and in front of more people, that God might affect their lives, I was willing.

So through the power of the Holy Spirit we found an incredible seasoned Christian author with whom we instantly developed a bond and a trust with. He came up from Florida to visit us and get to know us. Now he is full steam ahead working on our project.

How it works is I give him notes with scriptures, stories, analogies, etc. Then I verbally record my thoughts for about forty five minutes to seventy five minutes. He takes all this and writes a first draft. We then have extensive back and forth. Kendra and I have final say on everything, and we still do a lot of writing and re-writing with him.

The first chapter is focused on godliness. Again, as I sat on the couch knowing that I really needed to verbally explain my notes to Larry, I started to feel very anxious. Ever since we met Larry and really started digging into the project weird things have been happening.

The time I have to work on this is evenings and weekends. Over the last month and a half to two months most nights and weekends I start feeling very "spacey" and weak. I have difficulty being motivated and focusing. I will feel totally alert during the day and then something changes at night. I have really been fighting itchiness as well. Again, it follows the same pattern. Worse at night and on weekends. Almost unbearable. During the day it's much more manageable.

As I talked to Larry, he too had been experiencing physical difficulties as he began working on our project. It wasn't until after I began working on Chapter one that it hit me. I'm under attack from the evil one. We're under attack. He does not want to see this book come to fruition and is working hard to keep both of us from being able to dedicate ourselves to it.

So back to the night I tried to do my first recording. I was anxious and starting to get overwhelmed when one of the verses I wanted to use suddenly was nowhere to be found. I used every internet Bible search and it literally was ripped from every version, translation, and commentary in the Bible. Just the evening before I had found it and now I couldn't find it anywhere.

My steam was rising, I don't do well with things that I know should be one way or something should be some place and it's not. I get angry, irritable, snappy, and worse. That night Kendra was saintly catching many of the bullets of my anger. As I realized I'm supposed to spend the next hour talking about godliness and here I am blowing up over not finding a Bible verse, I kind of lost it.

I wanted to quit. It was so hard. Not just not finding the verse, but the whole thing. I didn't think this would be easy, but I had no idea it would be this hard. All my inadequacies rose to the surface again, my physical symptoms attacked again, and I felt like it was all a huge waste of time.

My angel of a wife kept encouraging me, praying for me, and supporting me. She let me vent, spout off, and I finally came back and apologized.

I knew what I had to do. After praying that the next hour would be spirit led. I knew I just had to start. It would be awkward and clunky. It would be scattered and random. But I just had to start. So I started rambling into the recorder and before too long something special happened.

My mind snapped into clarity and I began getting louder and louder and I talked about godliness into this microphone. I started thinking of more verses that I didn't write down before, more analogies came to mind, and I was getting really excited (not a good problem for someone battling sleep deprivation to get really excited at 10:30 at night).

I was being obedient and God was supplying for me. He was supplying my physical, mental, and spiritual needs. What I wanted to quit, God was supernaturally empowering me to fulfill.

There is a long long ways to go with this book. Even once we write it it may never get published. I'm not concerned about any of that right now. I just want to be obedient and I definitely feel called to finish this project. It's something special and so dear to my heart.

Letters to my Son: What I want to tell him in case I never can

It is a topical discussion of the areas of Colton's life he'll need to learn about to be a godly man. These are the things I planned on teaching him over the next 20 plus years. I pray that someday I get to read this book to him, but if I don't and he's the only one that reads it, it will be worth it.

Please pray for me and Kendra and Larry. We do feel that Satan does not want us to complete this project. There are many things that could side track it or derail it. Pray for our physical and mental ability to spend the time necessary. Pray that the thoughts and leadings of the Holy Spirit are what would become the ink on paper, and not anything that points to Ryan selfishly or out of pride. It's so important to me that this book says what it needs to say, and I don't fully know what that is right now. I do know where God guides He provides. So I'll keep following this Guide and see what He provides me.


Sheryl Gasser said...

I do pray for you Ryan, and now I will add finishing the book and protection from the devil's schemes to my list.

Anonymous said...

I will continue to pray until the day I hold your book in my hands...

Bridget, Hudsonville said...

Ryan and Kendra, We'll add praying for you and your story to be told of your faith journey. Praying for God to bless you with wisdom, clarity and strength...can't wait to get a copy =)

Anonymous said...

Praying for you all!!!!!! God bless you as you walk in obedience. If you want a GREAT resource on prayer of protection, and defending against spiritual warfare - I know one of the best. It's a workbook organized by topic and each section is battle-seasoned, concise, yet thorough treatment of very common issues that every Christian faces. It's called Prayer Portions by Sylvia Gunter, The Father's Business. Let me know if you are interested and I'll send a sample page - it can serve as a quick cheat sheet or a spiritual meal that will last a week! :-)
Jaye Beatty

Ryan said...

Thanks for the encouragement guys! We will keep going after it one page at a time.

We too are very excited. Thanks so much for your prayers.

Francine Busch said...

The Enemy will try anything to discourage, defeat and derail you. Hey, 3 points for a message! Keep going and growing, you two. My prayers are all over you as you press on. Phil. 1:6.

Anonymous said...

I prayed for you and I feel like this book will definitely be published. PRESS ON!!

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