As I sit on my bed and type this, I wonder why it took so long, five years to be exact, for this book to be in your hands. During that whole period, I’ve scribbled short ideas, jotted down quotes that I felt would be great for certain chapters, and I wrote a thick book outline. I even started working on another book, made it to the three quarter way mark, before I realized it was the wrong book. I wanted it. I wanted to write a book so badly, and I knew I was supposed to, but my life wasn’t shaping up as quickly as I wanted for my mind to justify the need to. I wanted to have some semblance of a put-together life with a generous sprinkle of success to boot. Then, then, I would write my book.
This book would still be living as a long and quite elaborate outline if it wasn’t for my best friend calling me chicken mid-July of 2018. It was a particularly hard day and her text felt like a hard blow to my gut. But my God, she was right. I was afraid I wouldn’t fit into my calling with a less than life than I pictured my author self living. But at a certain point, you have to decide to start living your story and stop waiting to live the one you think you deserve before you can do the thing (whatever the thing means to you).
That’s what Chosen Not Cheated is all about. I think those words sum up this beautiful broken life we’re called to live. I once had a dream in 2015 where the Holy Spirit (superimposed as Kris Vallotton) showed up when I had given up (again) on the dreams God put in my heart. He looked me right in the eyes and said, “You’ve gone through some things that have robbed you of the sweetness of God.” Something about the way he said it had me sobbing. And his words made sense to me mid-weep in the dream as God touched me and eased the pain I didn’t know I was carrying that had made itself at home in my heart.
Perhaps like me, you know quite well what it’s like to live a life that has bereft you of some sweetness. It’s a lot like when you’re down with a flu. You get a runny nose, teary eyes, your body aches and the sense of taste that’s the first to go is sweetness or savouriness. A chilly kick you can feel, even though the flavour is flat, but a juicy mango ends up tasting like a soggy blanket. Our pain, disappointments, hope deferred and unanswered prayers can make our hearts sick. We feel unsure of ourselves, our story, and we wonder why our lives look like a train off the tracks.
Life may have chewed you up, spat you out, and broken you with ageless ease so much that you jut out of frame. You may have given up and resigned yourself to believe there’s nothing more to life than what you’re currently going through. And if someone tried to encourage you by telling you that you’re chosen right in the middle of a difficult season, you probably wouldn’t give them the time of day. No? Just me then? Seriously.
But like Jason Upton says, even though we often want Jesus to be an epidural to ease the pain of childbirth, He’s often the midwife. This is just as true in life. Sometimes you need to go through to get through. And that doesn’t dim the light on you being chosen.
This book has been a fierce fight asking me to believe every word God spoke over my life even when the vision board of my life didn’t stack up quite right in real life. It was wind to my sails in seasons where I felt cheated and questioned God’s presence in my life.
And that’s what I want it to do for you too. To cause you to see, to count and to name every shimmer of Chosen in your life even when you’re deep in the mess of cheated.
I wish God calling us Chosen, that Him claiming us, would mean that we’d never get to wear scars. But I know better now. We are marked for a purpose, claimed for His glory, and loved beyond measure.
You are Chosen. Not cheated. Oh, so Chosen, by a Mighty God. May your eyes ever be turned Godward to see His Hand over your life in every season and wind of change. May you find courage to slay the dragons of fear and doubt that seek to hinder your progress. And may you speak in faith to every wall standing before you so your words can change them into doors.
Because you’ve been Chosen honey. It’s time to leap.
If you’d like a copy of Chosen Not Cheated, you can get it here on Amazon. If you live in Kenya, send KES 1,300/- to Lipa na MPESA number 388686 and await a WhatsApp message for further details.