I’m so excited to share with you today, some inside information. Ooh, the intrigue.
My friend, Julie Steck, has written a very real, and very heart-inspiring story about her own journey through unpacking some tough issues in her life and letting God work through her. We have known her and her husband for years as they have volunteered to come serve with our mission, Lighthouse for Christ. I’m so proud of her for following her dream of writing and encouraging others who are on this journey called life.
- Where did you find the courage to share such a vulnerable book? Are you afraid you’ve shared too much?
I’m smiling as I write out the answer to this question because I recently watched The Wizard of Oz with my kids. I thought about the launching of this book as the lion asked the “wizard” for courage. The wizard didn’t really give him courage. He may have encouraged him a little, but the journey to Oz is how and where the lion found his courage. Facing the Great and Terrible Oz almost sent him running back home, but he stood there, knees shaking, tears streaming, and asked for courage.
That’s about how I feel. I’ve struggled with fear for so long, but through the process of writing this book and now publishing it, I’m finding the courage to do what I feel God has called me to do. My original version actually wasn’t this vulnerable. My editor continually said, “This is specific, yet vague. Can you give us any more details?” So I don’t think the story would hold the same power if I shared any less.
Some may say I have shared too much. And yes I can be afraid of the criticism I may get for my vulnerability, but I know that I am not alone in this struggle. We are all tempted and this book uncovers how the enemy seeks to destroy us through those temptations. I pray this book spurs others on to talk about and deal with similar struggles.
In the end, it’s not really about me and what I’ve done or not done. It’s about the power of God that can set us free from those things that seek to ensnare us and make us ineffective and unproductive Christians.
2. In taking your sins from the shadows to the light, what has been the greatest benefit? Were there obstacles that you had to overcome in the process?
Honestly, this process has been like meeting Jesus for the first time. I asked Jesus to come into my heart with my mom at age three. I told her I wanted “her Jesus to come into my heart,” a decision I’m glad I made, and one I never really strayed from. However, I don’t remember the day of my conversion, and I don’t remember what I was like before He saved me. I also never knew what He saved me from. How do I have an “old self” when I became a Christian at three years old?
So the greatest benefit for me during this year that I talk about in my book, has been rediscovering true Grace. Undeserved Grace. I was used to thinking I deserved God’s favor because I followed all the rules.
God did what I couldn’t do. He set me free from my fears and the shame of my past, and gave me grace and mercy that I don’t deserve. I have never experienced joy like I did at that realization. Jesus took take my place on that cross. All my sins, shame, and old self were nailed there with Him and because He conquered death, they have no hold on me anymore. I am a new creation. When that became personal to me, I felt a new kind of joy that I’ve never felt before!
Biggest obstacles? My mind. At one point, I felt released from the struggles I share about in the book. But my mind does not have compartments. I continually think about things, and roll them over and over in my head. That’s how this book was written. But eventually, I had to stop. There were no more lessons on this topic. Yes, I need to continually take my thoughts captive, but eventually, I have to shut the door, and say I’m not thinking about this anymore. That’s probably been the hardest thing.
3. How did you balance writing and taking care of your home and family?
Not very well. I never wrote this book because I had time to write. I wrote it because the words came so fast and strong, I had to. I felt I would burst open if I didn’t write it all down.
I’ve never been good at balancing things well, for I am an all or nothing kind of person. When I was writing, I was ALL there. During the editing phase of this process, my grandfather was taken to the hospital by ambulance and life for me changed in one-hundred different ways. I took my laptop with me when I stayed with him overnight at the hospital.
Other days, I stayed up late, pounding on the keyboard in the living room while the rest of the house was quiet. On the nights I couldn’t stay up late, I woke up early and carved a little more on this story.
It was an all-consuming process, but I tried to take it in chunks. I worked on it for several weeks, and then handed it back to my editor. When she had it, I could stop thinking about it for a couple weeks and pay some attention to my family again.
One time my husband said, “OK, you are DONE working on this for awhile. I need you back here!”
As a result, I felt like this book was squeezed out of me. None of it was done in my own strength.
4. Do you have plans for other books in the future?
Yes I do! I have several actually. God has worked so powerfully in my life, I want to tell all His stories and hopefully in the process encourage others to a more intimate walk with Him. But more on those later, when I have more specific details.
Julie’s book, No More Secrets is available for pre-order on Amazon NOW and will be launching May 2!
Pre-order your copy HERE