When life becomes hard, the road ahead uncertain or steep, it’s tempting to pull back and begin searching for an easy, perhaps “guaranteed” route. But no matter where our steps lead, our heart will be most fulfilled when they are aligned with those of our Savior. He truly does have our best in mind, always, and no matter what we face today, we can trust that God’s plans are best.
When We Question God’s Leading in Our Lives
By Jarm Del Boccio
Have you ever followed a course of action you thought God had approved, only to experience opposition? Did you question His voice? As an author, my desire is to bring God glory, yet I have questioned many closed doors along the way. But with God’s guidance, I’ve persevered.
An Old Testament account, written centuries ago, became a source of inspiration for me. Nehemiah, the Persian king’s trusted servant was on a mission from God: to leave the king’s faithful service and rebuild the broken-down walls of Jerusalem to protect the Jewish inhabitants.
What did he do first? He prayed for guidance.
“Let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, to hear the prayer of Your servant that I now pray before You day and night for the people of Israel your servants . . .” (Nehemiah 1:6a, ESV).
Miraculously the king gave Nehemiah permission to go and build, granting him safe passage and a supply of timber for the task ahead.
Did everything go smoothly? No. He faced enemies along the way. Immediately, foreign rulers gave resistance to the plan. But Nehemiah had his priorities straight. He prayed again and carried on, even with opposition. In the end, Nehemiah accomplished his task.
So, what does this have to do with a lowly debut author?
I was convinced the Lord was leading me into the secular publishing market where I had made many wonderful friends and connections. But after submitting my middle-grade historical novel to agents and editors, there was silence. The publishing world is changing, and what I had to offer wasn’t on their wishlist. My desire was a godly one—to be a Christian influence in the mainstream market. So why wasn’t God listening to my prayers?
Nonetheless, I persevered. And the answer came.
Last spring, through a #FaithPitch event, a MG Biblical fiction I hadn’t considered for submission was requested by Ambassador International. To make a circuitous journey short, I signed a contract for The Heart Changer, which debuts April 26th. As I made connections with my book’s soulmates and their adults—home educators, Christian grandparents, teachers and librarians–I realized there was a great need to bring back traditional stories from a biblical world view. My debut novel was filling that need.
My confusion and disappointment disappeared as I saw the purpose of God’s re-direction. The Heart Changer, based on an Old Testament account, would encourage my young readers to persevere under trial — the times when God’s ear seemed shut to their prayers. Maybe in the future, the Lord will re-direct me to secular publishing. I’m waiting with open hands and heart. I’ve grown to love all my kid-lit friends there. But for now, I will rest in God’s present plan for me.
What is God calling you to do? Do you feel opposition? Do you question His leading? Be a Nehemiah. Pray first. Listen to God’s voice, and trust Him for direction, even though there are no open doors at the moment. If all seems clear, and you’ve received wise spiritual counsel, move ahead. Pick up your tools and continue on in His great work, but most importantly remember, regardless of the outcome, so long as you’re obedient to Him, you can count your efforts successful.
Let’s talk about this! What is one thing you can do today to focus on God and His will with diligence and perseverance?
Get to know Jarm!
Jarm (‘J’ pronounced as a ‘Y’) Del Boccio finds her inspiration in everyday life, but in particular, when she travels the globe, observing the quirky things that happen along the way. Focusing on lives of characters from the past, Jarm is devoted to breathing new life into the pages of history.
Jarm taught elementary and high school students, and served seven years as school librarian. Grateful for the opportunity, she was a missionary teacher in an isolated area of Papua New Guinea. She is part of SCBWI and American Christian Fiction Writers, and has published articles in “The Old Schoolhouse” magazine.
Jarm is content with the journey God has placed her on, and lives with her husband, adult daughter and son (when he lands at home) in a tree-lined suburb of Chicago.
“Making History Come Alive: Illuminating the Past. Making Sense of the Present. Offering Hope for the Future.”
Visit her online at her website, connect with her on Facebook, and follow her on Instagram.
Check out her debut novel, The Heart Changer:
Can an Israelite captive, wrenched from all she loves, serve the very man who destroyed her village?
Miriam is asked to do the impossible: serve the wife of Naaman, commander of the Syrian army. Clinging to treasured memories of home and faith, Miriam faces captivity with bitterness. Little does she know the Heart Changer is preparing her for a greater mission — far beyond what she could imagine.
Buy it HERE.
Thanks so much for hosting me, Jennifer. It’s a blessing to contribute to your blog!