This week started off with a little taste of what “cancellation” feels like.
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may’ve seen that on Sunday I discovered Expectant wasn’t available on Amazon in print.
I’m not sure how long it was unavailable before a friend brought it to my attention. However, within minutes of finding out I was on the phone trying to get to the bottom of it. After being placed on hold for a while a confused customer service rep told me it was marked “restricted” by the content team.
He informed me there was no other means to reach out to that particular department. All we could do was wait to hear from them.
Amazon is the platform we print through, so if they continued to restrict the book it would create some hurdles; not ones we couldn’t eventually jump, but a major hindrance and good bit of trouble none-the-less.
We asked people to pray and share about it. Then all we could do was wait.
24 hours later, I checked Amazon. It was back up.
Just a sigh of gratitude, some confusion, and lots of unanswered questions.
We’ll probably never know the details behind this odd scenario (our best guess was that it was flagged by someone and put under review). But I can tell you this: the timing was personally significant. God used it to drive home a lesson He’s been teaching me for quite some time, and it was especially poignant after the events of the week prior.
Last Week (And the Events Thereof)
I’m not one to naturally step into the fray on sensitive topics (keep the peace, my flesh says), but both Judah and I have felt it’s time for me to start being more publicly vocal about where we stand. So, on June 1 I put up a post on social media about the Irony of the Rainbow (yes, the timing was purposeful). I’m not ignorant of the kinds of repercussions that can come from speaking truth in the area of sexuality, and to be honest, it came with some trembling. I woke up multiple times the night before, feeling the weight of my words. I prayed for the hearts of those who might read it, petitioning the Lord to help me articulate truth with love and follow through on what I felt He was asking of me.
The post didn’t receive nearly as much pushback as I’d anticipated (although it was shared a number of times), I moved on with some sense of relief, but not without the lingering question if there would be more to come.
On Saturday I had my very first in-person opportunity to speak at a conference about what the Lord has taught me through pregnancy and motherhood. This was a humbling milestone for me. I also had a book table for Expectant, which was such a gift (publishing in the height of the pandemic meant limited opportunities in this regard). The day held many precious, Christ-centered interactions on these topics so close to my heart. I returned home full of joy at the privilege of living for Jesus.
Then, the very next day, the whole Amazon debacle unfolded. The rubber hit the road as I remembered my pondering about the potential aftermath of my words from earlier that week. Another facet of living for Jesus became equally as real to me as the joy I’d experienced just hours before: what it might cost.
Counting the Cost
I mentioned in my last blog post that I’ve always struggled with the fear of man. God has been working on this for quite some time, challenging my willingness to boldly speak the truth regardless of the consequences. But as tensions in our country surrounding good and evil—right and wrong—have increased dramatically in the past months, my urgency to side with God has grown at a similar pace. I know it’s only by His grace that as the animosity toward biblical truth has skyrocketed, so has my desire to be identified as His servant.
But it’s not come without blaring, near-daily reminders of what the expense might be.
Jesus’s words have rung in my mind again and again as I’ve watched the events unfold in our world:
““If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?””Luke 14:26-28
I’ve watched “cancel culture” destroy people’s livelihoods when they dare to speak up for what’s right.
I’ve seen well-known influencers be “held accountable” when they go against the cultural flow.
I’ve witnessed the silencing and ridicule of those who say what’s simply true.
It’s blatantly obvious that the enemy will stop at nothing to keep truth from being proclaimed.
Now, I’m not saying that the restriction on my book was necessarily due to something I said. But it certainly touched a nerve. However coincidental the timing was, I don’t believe it was an accident. God used it to bring me face-to-face with what sort of consequences I could be up against in declaring,
“I’m with Jesus.”
There’s not a single project I’ve undertaken that’s required more of me than writing and publishing Expectant. For five years I labored over it, convinced that the Lord had called me to put this message onto paper. Although it’s fairly small in the grand scheme of things, it cost me a lot; because of that it’s precious to me.
But is it more precious to me than Christ?
Before this week I could say I didn’t think it was. But I’m convinced God allowed that to be tested on purpose. I needed to know that Jesus is my Pearl of Great Price by facing the choice between my book or Him.
Is He really Worthy?
Friend, it makes me want to cry as I consider God’s mercy in allowing the worth of Jesus to be so clearly shown to me through this scenario. This time the test only lasted 24 hours, but it may very well require more—much more—next time. I now have a “stone of remembrance” I can look back on whenever I’m tempted to think that Jesus isn’t worth it.
Because He is worth it.
He’s worthy of my words.
He’s worthy of my actions.
He’s worthy of my allegiance.
He’s worthy of my time.
He’s worthy of my all.
The world, the flesh, and the devil will try to distract us from Him. They’ll try to diminish the joy of living for Him by dangling carrots of temporal pleasure in front of us. They’ll try to get us to buy the lie that Jesus isn’t precious enough to sacrifice our earthly treasures for— that obedience to Him costs too much.
But that’s what it is: a lie.
Jesus gave everything for us. When we were still in rebellion, He died to save us from eternity separated from God (Eph. 2:5). Because of that there’s nothing that’s too much for us to give for Him.
It’s often hard to see this while the sting of the fall still taints our daily reality. But one day, faith will be made perfect, glorious sight.
When we see Jesus, living for Him will be proven eternally worth it.