2011 has definitely been the year of “Yes, I can…only because of You, Lord.” I’ve found myself saying that more this year than any other. “Because of You, Lord…I CAN publish my first book. Because of You, Lord, I CAN write for big-name magazines. Because of You, Lord, I CAN sit through 3 book signings without anxiety attacks ruining the event. Because of You, Lord, I CAN start a women’s magazine!” Wait! Back up~start a what?
The dream to publish a women’s magazine has been simmering just beneath the skin for many years. But come on – who does that? It was the unreachable star glowing far off and distant; beautiful to look at and think about, but definitely unattainable.... right?
I really think God started preparing me for this “venture” a couple of years ago when I started blogging; a wonderful creative outlet for someone like me who punctuates people’s sentences in my head as they speak!
Blogging and connecting with wonderful Christian women through their blogs has brought about the blessing of friendships many times over. I can’t even imagine not “fellowshipping” in this way. Still, the inner turmoil of a real creative outlet remained and my prayers for direction continued.
One day, while pacing back and forth talking to God and shaking my head at the thought, I finally sat down and started researching the idea. Amazing stuff, that internet! I quickly realized my glowing star was within reach and that's when the dream collided with the solution and God lit the fires of reality!
For several days, I sort of walked around in a haze thinking, planning, wondering, praying and allowing the ideas to flow. And all the while, the Lord spoke words of encouragement and "Yes, you can" to my resistance to venture way outside of my barricaded comfort zone.
All I saw were road blocks all pointing to reasons NOT to pursue the idea any further…A magazine? I thought. What kind of craziness is that when I have absolutely NO experience! Who do I think I am for trying to carry out something so huge and painstaking? What makes me think MY magazine would be any good after so many have tried and failed - surely, they'd followed the Lord's leading, as well?? How would my venture be any different? I'm just a wife, mom....and the list of excuses went on....
But one morning, the Lord whispered simply…"Voice.” And in that one word, He showed me the many friendships formed through blogging and how each one spoke and wrote from a different, wonderfully-unique place~the exact element that would provide the perfect variety for a women's magazine. The message was quite clear; I was to help "give voice" to specific blog authors that they may be heard far beyond the small, familiar blogging community. The goal? To bring encouragement, inspiration and a sense of purpose to all women by sharing the Love of God.
I was sure my husband would think I'd lost my mind, so I waited several days before sharing my new dream. Amazing enough, he seemed intrigued with the idea and encouraged me to pursue it! He even helped me settle on a name and before I knew it, Christian Women’s Voice was born!
I've learned that it's our human nature to put the road blocks up between what we're comfortable with and what God has designed us to do. It's always intimidating to jump into the scary unknown, but when we give all those anxieties and inhibitions over to the Lord and rest completely in the "voice" of His direction, He blesses us with peace that far surpasses all understanding.