Mark 9: 23
“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked.
“Anything is possible if a person believes.”
It is now a new year and the Christmas season has come and gone but I would like us to take a step back in time to share with you, my Christmas miracle. For those of you who still have your Christmas tree up, this post is your cup of tea. As many of you know I released the second installment to my Forbidden Truth book series on December 25, 2015, Forbidden Truth 2: Life After Death. The book is a gift from myself to Christ, a birthday gift that shares with the world what He has done for me and the lessons I have learned through my intimate walk with Him over the last two years. However this book was not a part of my plan or one of my goals for 2015. Honestly I wrote Forbidden Truth: A Collection of Poems, Reflections and Personal Quotes as a one hitter quitter. It was not in my plans to write another book and especially not so soon but God had other plans in store.
So what does this have to do with a Christmas miracle? I have heard most of my life that Christmas is a magical time of the year. I once heard a preacher say that during Christmas time God loves to deposit miracles into the earth. I just never thought I would be a recipient of one. So as previously stated, December 25, 2015 was the scheduled release date for Forbidden Truth 2: Life After Death. Wouldn’t you want your birthday gift ON your birthday? However it wasn’t an easy journey getting there. On December 20, 2015, I found myself in tears with an unfinished product and five days until the Christmas holiday. Grab some hot chocolate, practice some patience and journey with me on the path to my Christmas Miracle:
January 11, 2015: During church service Pastor Jenkins called worship leader Anthony Brown up on stage to talk about his new music project. Anthony Brown said it was “round 2”. Anthony Brown wrote the work in weeks’ time. God gave him new songs in his dreams. God says to Jennifer in that very service, “Book 2 for Deborah in 2015”.
January 11, 2015: I begin praying for confirmation and clear instruction from God on what He has spoken.
January 25, 2015: God gives me book title, Forbidden Truth: Life After Death. He also gives structure and purpose of book.
Throughout 2015 God begins to give me poems. June –August 2015: Book is written and completed.
September 2015: Read How to Make a Living with Your Writing. Gives me instruction on how to independently publish my books.
September 9, 2015: Contact photographer to begin setting up shoots for book’s photography.
September 9, 2015: Contact graphic designer about possibly formatting and designing book.
September 21, 2015: I decide I want to release book on November 11, 2015, Dylan’s (my baby niece) fifth birthday.
October 4, 2015: Graphic designer agrees to complete project.
October 10, 2015: First indoor shoot to capture images for FT: LAD
October 17, 2015: God reveals book is to be released December 25, 2015
October 18, 2015: Final cemetery shoot to capture final images for FT: LAD
October 21, 2015: Final images selected for book and moved to editing stage. Two week turnaround time given.
October 29, 2015: Begin searching for credible and trustworthy editors to edit manuscript. Contacted over 30 editors via email. God keeps saying “Debra, Debra, Debra.” So I decided to utilize an editor by the name of Debra. I receive NDA, pricing and complete description of services from this editor.
November 2, 2015: Send over non-closure agreement, full manuscript and close out invoice with editor (full payment required up front. I was reluctant but God said use her).
November 9, 2015: Check in with photographer to see when final images will be delivered, so that book can move to final stage of development –formatting and design.
November 10, 2015: Received final edited manuscript from editor.
November 11, 2015: Sent over word document to designer for book cover design and interior formatting to commence. A week and a half turnaround time given. Scheduled to receive first 20 pages of book design on November 16, 2015.
November 17, 2015: Check on book design.
November 18, 2015: Receive first 16 pages of interior design. I am in love with design.
November 18-24, 2015: Constant correspondence with designer, suggested changes and changes implemented.
November 23, 2015: Receive final book images from photographer.
November 24, 2015: Final photo images sent over to designer to plug in to book design.
November 27, 2015: Sends email correspondence to designer inquiring final completion date for book formatting and design.
December 1, 2015: Receive very honest email from designer, stating that the project is taking longer than expected because of underestimation of the amount of pages of book and she was a little side tracked reading some of the book. Given $50 service discount.
(Twenty-four days until Christmas)
December 2-4, 2015: Constant correspondence with designer, suggesting changes and changes implemented.
December 4, 2015: Final files completed and ready for submission to distributor’s approval system.
December 6, 2015: Receive notification from distributor that both cover and interior file have been rejected for a number of reasons.
December 6-7, 2015: Files updated by graphic designer, resubmitted to distributor’s approval system and rejected approximately ten times.
December 8, 2015: Cover design file accepted. Newly updated interior submitted and rejected. I decide to pay the distribution company an additional $150 for the distribution company to correct files.
December 10, 2015: Files corrected and approved. Approval process completed. Physical proof ordered and shipped.
(Fifteen days until Christmas)
December 15, 2015: Receive proof copy of book in mail. I am very excited to receive this proof because I can now approve the files on December 25th for sale. With a simple click book will be available immediately online. Yay!
December 15, 2015: Realize spine of the book reads “Lie After Death”
December 15, 2015: Contact editor Debra, to explain my dilemma and problems I am encountering in my publishing process. She agrees to assist me and is more than willing to help.
December 15, 2015: Sent over cover file to Debra’s company for correction.
December 16, 2015: Cover design corrected twice and completed. Sent over to me.
December 17, 2015: Sent over interior files to Debra for her company’s designer to correct file. Designer encounters complications and realizes this will not be a simple fix as we all expected. She has to rebuild the entire file.
December 17, 2015: Debra explains to me that the two distributors I am trying to use will cause issues for me down the road. Provides pros and cons for two companies and advises me to use one. I choose the second company I found, so now I have to begin process of building my author page and book page on their website (I have already completed this process on original distributor’s website).
December 17, 2015: I mentally quit completion of this project and become frustrated with God.
(Eight days until Christmas)
December 18, 2015: Begin fasting television for project to be completed and ready for the December 25th release.
December 19, 2015: Receive updated interior files but they contain formatting errors due to new rebuild.
December 20, 2015: Pastor Jenkins preaches “Keys to Experience the Move of God.” He preaches from Mark 9: 14-26. Verse 23, if you can believe all things are possible for he who believes. We just have to believe. Deep down in your heart you have to believe. God speaks that the book is done. Will be released December 25th! It is DONE! So I believe.
December 20, 2015: Reread book from beginning to end and send over formatting corrections to designer.
December 21, 2015: 2:20 pm Final interior files sent over to me. I update the files into my distributor’s website and wait for processing/approval.
(Four days until Christmas)
December 22, 2015: I contact distribution company to find out if there was any way to expedite my approval process because I am trying to meet a December 24th release date . The representative states, “I am sorry ma’am but that is impossible, you just uploaded your files yesterday and it takes 2-4 weeks for the respective companies to build your sales page and have the title available for sale”. I hang up and say “my God can do the impossible.”
December 22-25, 2015: I wait on God.
December 25, 2015: 1:37 pm
I CHECK AMAZON AND THE BOOK IS AVAILABLE ONLINE!
On December 25th I received what was literally told to me to be impossible. It increased my history with God, it added to my track record with God. It showed me, like He always does, He will show up and He will continue to show up. So what did I learn from my Christmas miracle?
God is Able:
Luke 1:37 “ For with God nothing shall be impossible”. I learned that God truly can do all things, we must simply have faith. Even just an ounce of faith pleases God. He will do even what we think is logically impossible. God will defy time constraints. God will override earthly protocols. Whatever it is in our lives that we think is impossible or will not come to pass, God will do it and in a shorter time than we expect because He is able. He can do ALL things.
God has a plan and has planned it to perfection:
I had a plan in mind but God’s plans will always trump mine. I am very ambitious and goal oriented. Everything that I do is calculated and executed with a well advised plan. I like to complete projects I set my mind to and I like to complete them prior to the due date. To ensure when the date of completion arrives, my project is already in order. I was that girl in graduate school who completed papers a month before their due date. No really ask my Howard girls. But with this book God had a plan for its completion date, no matter how far in advance I attempted to get this project done, God set a date of completion and a date of release. No matter how much I cried, screamed or prayed, God had a perfect plan in order. Plans that usually increase our faith and increase our trust in Him.
God orchestrates divine connections:
God sends people in our lives and connects us with people who He plans to use to ensure that we fulfill our destinies. In October 2015, God knew that I would need to use Debra to complete my editing for me. He knew that I needed to build that working relationship with Debra because in December 2015, I would need her to help me get the project completed and released. Throughout life God will connect us to people He desires us to walk with in an intimate way and those who are key to having our destinies realized. Those are the best kind of people to have in your life! God sent.
When God spoke to me in October to use Debra, repeatedly I heard “Debra, Debra”, I obeyed. Debra requires her editing fee up front and it is expensive. I was reluctant to use her because I was giving a lump sum of cash prior to receiving a product, to a woman I had only spoken to via email. It was a risk I took because I trusted God. If I had disobeyed God because of money (it really boiled down to giving up money), I would not have been able to use her again in December. She was a very vital part in getting my book finished. God gives us instructions throughout our lives. It is on us whether or not we obey those instructions but when we do not, we will reap the consequences of disobedience. FYI: The bible is full of instructions for our success in this life. Don’t pick and choose which instructions you want to follow.
We must simply believe:
I had a great deal of anxiety, I prayed fervent prayers and even begin fasting to receive a blessing from God. For God to do what someone told me was the impossible. I prayed daily “God I believe you can do this, please help my unbelief”. Although I prayed, and cried, and fasted, I believe what moved God most was the belief in my heart.
Everything is a learning process:
You need a book published? Trust me, I am your girl lol. This was my first time completing the publishing process independently. With my first book, I used a publishing company. This time I completed the entire process by myself: I outsourced the necessary aspects like the design, got the book copyrighted, obtained the ISBN #, obtained the book’s library of congress number and even located an amazing distributor. I learned in real time how long it takes to get a book from a manuscript to on the market. I learned important do and don’ts of the publishing process. Most importantly I gained a deeper understanding of God, His character and His capabilities. I think the learning curve was my favorite part of this entire process.
So in December 2015, I experienced my first Christmas miracle and I know it won’t be my last. Christmas is my favorite time of the year because the world is filled with so much joy and its evident all around you. It is a time of peace, love, joy and celebration of one of my favorites, Jesus Christ. Maybe next Christmas you too will receive a Christmas Miracle, one must simple believe.
Until next time…
I wish you
Love & Happiness