If you have a nightmare of what might happen to your partner or your child, it happened to Wilma. Not once, but twice.
Recently, Wilma’s friends encouraged her to write a book. “You have something to say,” they said. She wasn’t interested. She was afraid of going back to those horrible, painful times.
In her Bible study group with four other women, they were reading a book about how to pray and how to hear God. On a Saturday morning the thought popped into her head, “God, what do you want me to do now?” This was unusual and startling to her. Sunday morning the thought returned. She was puzzled. That morning, in church, her friends approached her again about writing a book. This time, she listened.
Unlike Wilma, Jeremiah was a young boy with not a whole lot of life under his belt when he got the call from God that he would be given “something to say.” Like Wilma, he was not interested. He just wanted to be a kid. He did not want to be on a mission for God. But God has a way of being persistent, of not taking “no” for an answer. God says, “No worries, Jer, I will give you the words.” And then God adds, “And by the way, don’t be afraid.”
Very interesting, because Jeremiah never said he was afraid. But God knew that fear was the real reason for Jeremiah’s resistance. God’s solution was to give him a promise: “I am with you to deliver you.” (Jeremiah 1:8)
Jeremiah did indeed grow up to be a prophet, and at one point he gave God’s words to the Israelites who were in captivity in Babylon, assuring them that “surely I know the plans I have for you: plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. When you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me if you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
Fear of the unknown (and probably the known as well) was Jeremiah’s reason to question God’s call. Fear of visiting the painful past kept Wilma from wanting to write her story. And now, this is what Wilma is saying, “I don’t know if I have anything to say that is different from other people who have had hard times. I gave a talk in church one morning, and I asked everyone who had experienced a tragedy or difficult loss to stand. I think 90% of those present stood. Many, many people know about hard times.”
Wilma is writing her book, and she’s calling it “A Very Fortunate Woman.” Whether or not we are each writing a book, we ARE writing the story of our lives. Every day we are called to replace fear with a YES to God’s call. And God promises us a future with hope.