Today starts a new journey in life for me. I knew this time would come. I wasn’t sure I was ready for it. This morning as I walked and prayed I reflected on the last 10 years. I have so much to be grateful for. 10 years ago I started working at a Christian Book store little did I know how that would change my life. I worked at a book store and didn’t read. I could but it was a struggle. I’m dyslexic and reading for me had bad memories and feelings attached to it. There was really no reason for me to read because it wasn’t a pleasure; but now give me a good movie and I’m all in.
I was introduced to Christian Fiction by a few of my customers that raved about some authors so much so I had to check it out. One of the first authors that rocked my world was Linda Nichols, Deborah Rainey and Ted Dekker. These authors’ books were thought-provoking and life-changing. It made my struggle to read worth the effort. I saw how the Lord moved in my spirit and life as I read these authors’ books. Some of them made me go back to scripture and look at it with fresh eyes. It encouraged me.
Then my friend asked me to run a book club with a group of friends. I told her I was a non-reader. I only just started to go to a book club to meet friends a few months back. My first book club read was The Sin Eater by Francine Rivers. I was hardly an expert on anything book related. My friend encouraged me to pray about this. She felt I was the one to run it. I went home and prayed. I got a peace about taking the step to run the book club. We started meeting at Borders Book Store. We met for about 6 months when my boss sat me down and said, “Nora, we are making a few changes around here and your name came up. We’d like to talk to you about something.”
I didn’t like the sound of this already. Ok, God, help my emotions as I hear what the “something” is. To my surprise my boss asked me if I would be interested in running a book club in the store. It would be my book club run however the Lord leads. What do I say? WHAT DO I SAY? I thought, “Is this a joke?” Really another person asking me to run a book club? God, this isn’t funny. I told my boss that I would pray about it and get back to him.
I was in a panic. Terrified. Running a book club with a few friends is one thing but in the store I work at was totally another thing. I hurried to the bathroom where I went to pray. I reminded God “reading” and I didn’t get along. Remember how you made me God? This isn’t funny! The Lord told me to cool my jets and said, “Can you love the people I put in your life the way I have loved you?”
|Last Book Club Meeting Oct 2013 w/Jessica Dotta|
I calmed down instantly. This wasn’t about reading, there would be no test. This was about LOVE??? OK, I’m in. I then confessed to my boss that I was a non-reader but this is what the Lord told me to do. He was on board. I asked if I could bring my other book club to the store and he said yes. A few months after that I was asked to help run an on-line book club and did that for 5 years. I was getting used to this NEW chapter of my life.
I ran a book club for 8 years. My last meeting with these special ladies was November of 2013. I cried and cried. It was funny. I never wanted to or ever thought I’d be running book clubs for so long (or ever). I was heart sick at this change but I knew I couldn’t work full time and run two book clubs too.
|Michelle & Cindy-creator of Cupcakes|
JULY 18th was my last day of working at the Christian book store. When I gave my notice two weeks ago I wasn’t sure what the Lord had in store for me. Costco (my favorite store) was opening up close to my house. I filled out an application. I applied to other stores close to my house. I told the Lord I was willing to be willing to do whatever he had for me next. It was scary and EXCITING all at the same time. My oldest son graduated High School and was off to college soon. I needed to be close to home to support my youngest son who will be a junior in high school this year. I knew I had to be there for my family. I also had the only car and could not work 30 to 45 minutes from home. I knew that something would open up close to home.
Two weeks ago today; I gave my notice. A few things started to fell in place that day but nothing was definite. On my last day Friday, July 18th 2014 I still hadn’t a clue as to what direction my life would take. It was a hard day emotionally. Saying Good-bye to special friends. Missing the customers that I’d see each week. Remembering how the Lord grew me and stretched me not only did he give me a LOVE of READING and healed the pain associated with that experience he stretched my faith. I am so grateful he allowed me to work in an environment where I started my day out with co-workers giving a devotional and having a time of prayer. Praying for one another and for our customers’ prayer requests (we had a small box by the front door where people could leave notes for us to pray over). It broke our hearts some mornings to read what people were dealing with. I was humbled to have the change to pray for them.
I was also grateful for the opportunity to pray for people in the store. I’ll never forget the first time the Lord asked me to pray for a total stranger. It was a young woman. I saw her walk in the store and I heard the Lord ask me to pray with her. I told the Lord I didn’t do that sort of thing in public and anyway she wasn’t talking to me. A few minutes later the girl asks me about a magazine and where it was located. I showed her! (Ok, she talked to me but that doesn’t mean I can pray for her Lord!) Then the girl leaves. I thought I was cleared for the call to pray.
A few minutes later the girl walks back in. I watched her walk around and around the store. I don’t know what she was searching for but I went over and asked if I could help. She told me something she was struggling with. I hear the Lord whisper in my ear, “Now is your opportunity to pray with her. She is talking to you!” I smile inside. Grin! Yeah, she was. Ok, I’ll ask her Lord she probably will say no. I ask, “I sense the Lord is asking me if I could pray for you. Would you mind if I pray for you?”
“I wish you would.” I hear her say. Then she takes my hands. OHMYGOSH!! I’m about to pray with a total stranger in public and we are holding hands. Ok, Lord! I’m trusting you’ll give me the words. We close our eyes and I pray. I’m not really sure what came out of my mouth. But when I opened my eyes I saw she was crying. She hugged me and thanked me for praying. She said she knew there was a reason she came in the store. This was it. She needed someone to pray for her.
|Cindy made yummy beautiful cupcakes|
I’ll never forget that first time and the many other times people asked me or accepted prayer or came in the store looking for someone to pray with them. I’ll never forget the months my boss set aside time out of our day. Usually around lunch time to gather anyone who wanted to gather in the front of the store to pray for our country and the leaders, for peace and for revival and for whatever the Lord laid on their hearts. I’m thankful for the faithfulness of my boss to have the courage to do what the Lord asked him to do in the store. It was a special time to pray with our customers. I loved seeing us all united in Christ praying in one accord!
When I got home on Friday night, (July 18th) my husband told me some really good news. I was to be part of The Book Club Network team full time. Things fell into place that day and some more good news on Saturday that sealed the deal.
TODAY is the FIRST DAY of the new direction, my new life. A New Beginning!
I’m excited about the opportunities and the stretching the Lord will be doing in me as He leads! I’m so grateful to be taking these steps with my husband Fred and The Book Club Network Community! More BOOK FUN AHEAD!!
See you There at TBCN and Book Fun Magazine!
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins www.bookfun.org
Finding Hope Through Fiction www.psalm516.blog.spot.com