From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Kim Chesney Negri; author of “Remember What I Told You.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!
Many mornings, after praying with my husband and youngest son as they headed out the door, my thoughts would often turn to my older children. Their colleges were only about an hour away, but to my “mother’s heart” that seemed far. Often, after praying for them and their day, I would text a scripture that I hoped would bring encouragement. When they face conflict, feel overwhelmed or have major decisions to make, WILL they think to pray first or search scripture for guidance? I knew my prayers would be a covering, but it was now time for them to establish themselves.
I hadn’t always made the best decisions during my own college years and wanted to spare them the heart ache. Yes, lessons learned the hard way usually stick, I simply wanted them to experience the fullness of life that Jesus died for them to enjoy.
Through the years, I had often started to journal. However, the busyness of motherhood usually distracted me. Now, I started to record situations our family had placed in God’s hands along with the ways He had answered and met our needs. Did my children REALLY know I was praying behind the scenes and quoting scriptures over the circumstances? This journal, I intended, would serve as a “legacy” of our family’s faith.
As I wrote, a statistic came to mind from my years as a youth leader: After graduation, the majority of children who have been raised in church cease their attendance and association with God. When I thought about the despair in today’s headlines (drug abuse, financial fluctuation, terrorism), I wanted to help our next generation rely on God’s GOOD news. How many high school graduates have NEVER even attended church or read the Bible?
My motivation intensified. My “audience” expanded.
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
My college major was English with a writing option. However, discouragement with classes and desire to have a “real job” lead me to quit before I earned my degree. Years later, I met my husband while leading a youth group. After we married and had our first child, I was blessed to fulfill the one desire of my heart, to be a wife and a mother.
What began as a concern for my children expanded to culminate life experiences and complete a personal desire from my own youth. Since my devotional has been published, many people have asked me, “Did you ever think you’d write a book?” Yes, I thought about it. But, NO, I never really thought it would become reality.
The “bigger picture” unfolded as I journaled. Though interrupted many times before, I picked up where I left off. As I wrote, I believe God reminded me of past situations. Likewise, after I said, “OK, God, I’m going to DO this”, He brought to mind additional scriptures which prompted me to add another section to my book.
When people tell me that my book is inspirational and that they see it as a quick reference of God’s Word for circumstances they face, I think “Mission Accomplished”.
What mission have you yet to fulfill? Often, the hardest part is simply to start! You may not have the full picture, it will develop as you write and pray. Put your thoughts on paper. Re-read them. Pray over them. God will guide you and perfect the good work He has begun in you.
– WBP –
WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation and length.