Today is the day! My book is being delivered to people's homes and Kindle devices all over the world as we speak. Whoa. I wish I was the person who could run around saying "Yay! Celebrate!" all day, but I just can't. That wouldn't feel authentic. Instead, I feel compelled to tell you the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I've always imagined a book launch must be like, the biggest ego high, ever, for an author but that's not my reality. This is hands down, the most humbling day of my life.
Do you remember what it felt like as a kid, when your parents decided it was time to discard the pacifier, or blanket, or stuffed animal - whatever your chosen method of soothing yourself was? They watched from afar, knowing you needed it, allowing you that small comfort, but there came a day when they said "It's time. You are older now. You need to put it down so you can grow." Today is that day for me.
For years, I have struggled deeply with being in the limelight. It is uncomfortable for me (putting it mildly; it almost claimed my life) and I have desired, at so many points, to hide, or at least just keep things at a nice, comfortable, manageable level. Not wanting to rock the boat, not wanting to go anywhere, I've been dragging my proverbial blankie around with me for years. And today God says, "It's time." At church on Sunday the guest pastor was speaking on "dying to ourselves" (a common theme in the Bible) and I sat there silently pleading with tears streaming down my cheeks, "Are you sure? This is the ONE thing that hurts more than anything, and you're saying I really need to lay down, God, and give it to you?" And the answer back was a very clear "Yes, my child. I need you to hand this over to me now."
And so today my soul is laid bare, my comfort zone is obliterated. My blankie is gone. I stand before you, not on an ego high as I once imagined authors felt on launch day. But instead like a child, who is mourning the loss of that blanket, while simultaneously desiring to become a "big kid" and move on to the next step. In some ways I wish it was a no-brainer ego-high day for me, because I think that's a feeling that's easier for people to understand, and this post may come off as the ultimate #humblebrag (it's not). Please let me be clear - I know that my "blankie" can be rooted in sin, just as much as being on an ego high can be, because on both ends of the spectrum you're making it about yourself. Nothing is more motivating to ditch my blankie and run forward, than believing this book's purpose is so far beyond my ability, that it has the potential to help women find freedom in and with their beauty, and to bring light to important topics within the fashion and church worlds. Those things are so much more important than my feelings, which makes it totally worth it. But unfortunately that doesn't make it any easier. It will still be hard, and many times I will fail, and reach for my blanket, and mourn when I realize it's gone.
In this season I'm challenging myself to become like this quote from one of the best books ever written, Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis:
“Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call 'humble' nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.”
And if this seems like some wild adventure that is unique to me because it's a book and maybe you've never published a book before - please know that you are me, too. You know that feeling in your gut when you should do something because it's the right thing, or it will help others, but you worry it would make you look foolish or lay your soul bare in a way that makes you squirm and hold tighter to your blanket. We've ALL felt nervous to step out, even when we know it's right. I've been pushing past the fear for 18 months now, knowing launch day would come and the security blanket would be ripped away, and it would hurt. That's what the repeated, sometimes exciting, sometimes painful process of saying "yes" looks like. Sometimes it starts with the small steps, and then leads to something much bigger. I'm officially blanket-free and crossing over to the scary place today. I promise to report back on what beautiful, delicious gifts I find there, because some of the fruits I'm already tasting are exquisite, and I know there will be more. Please be encouraged to take even the smallest step of faith today!