Tomorrow is a big day for me. I’m sending a book proposal to InterVarsity Press. I met an IVP representative at the AACC Conference who gave me an editor’s card. After contacting him, he expressed a willingness to review my materials to see if IVP might publish my work. I have been praying for 10 years to finish and publish this book. I have finished it and am hoping this is the chance to finally get this material published.
My book addresses our need to break through our day-to-day Christian lives to experience the deep healing of the Abundant Life. Life on this side of Eden is not what we hoped for. It is not what we were made for. Something is missing. As we abide in Christ, we offer Him our hearts. God, in turn, offers His heart. We point to Him. He points to us. We give Him our pain. He heals and restores us to wholeness. We give our sin. He gives His forgiveness. We give our lives. He gives His Life. We breathe out ourselves and inhale His presence, a fluid motion of abiding. This is the Abundant Life. This is the Art of Breathing.
My passion for writing this comes from ten years of living it. As a professional Christian counselor, I have explored and studied how human beings handle the trauma of everyday living after the Fall. Observing others has also forced me to look into my own life. I have witnessed God transform and heal places in my own heart that I did not know could be healed. But beyond my healing, I have seen God use this material to truly heal others. I believe this book is the fruit of my healing that is not meant for me, but for a hurting, hungry world. Working within the context of a church, I notice the “normal” Christian experience to lack abundance. Everyone claims to want the Life Jesus promised but all the striving and church attendance are not accomplishing it. Head knowledge is not enough. Knowledge alone just makes us tired. I believe, with all of my heart, that God intends for us to experience His fullness now, not just in Heaven. This book comes from an inner drive, almost a compulsion, to reach others with God’s invitation to abide in Him. But this is more than just an invitation. People need to know how to abide in Jesus. I believe, and it is my prayer, this manuscript will teach them just that.
That being said, my audience is the church-attending evangelical who just can’t seem to find the abundance part of the Abundant Life. While many different kinds of people will be able to eavesdrop on my conversation and glean the message for themselves, I am speaking to the woman in my Sunday School class whose marriage is falling apart, who tithes and takes communion, but believes the Bible does not work for her they way it seems to be working for others. She is the Christian who can’t forgive herself for the past and is trying desperately to find the right “formula” to win God’s favor. In her head, of course, she knows this is not the truth. But her heart’s experience won’t allow her to live according to what her head knows. She feels trapped and, therefore, she goes through the motions of church and faith but her heart still feels broken. It is my passionate desire to reach her with the depth of the Gospel and see her life transformed, even if her circumstances never change.
I pray this work will finally see book form. If you feel so led, I would appreciate your prayers as well.