On how God told me to write a book… and it happened.

Burning Bush MomentHave you ever had a burning bush moment? A moment where heart pounding, feet tingling, you feel the presence of God and sense that what you’re hearing is audible and silent and hidden from the world, but apparent to you? I’ve had one of those moments, and it happened in January, sitting in church, hearing a sermon about Ruth—a message about losing control.

The turning point in Ruth comes when she presents herself all gussied up to Boaz, hoping that he might take her as a wife. But then he turns around and basically says, “wait, I need to take care of a few things.” Ruth is let waiting, wondering, and completely out of control. She has no power to determine what happens next—it’s all in his hands. And behind the scenes, without Ruth’s knowledge, Boaz orchestrates everything necessary to redeem her and her husband’s land. Though she didn’t know it, there were conversations happening outside her earshot that changed her life.

And during that sermon, I felt something stirring in my heart that couldn’t be called anything but crazy. TOTALLY CRAZY. It wasn’t a voice, it wasn’t a literal burning bush. It was this still, quiet thought that entered my heart in the  midst of a song. You need to write a book.

Writing a Book“Sure,” I thought, responding to the thought. “I’ve always wanted to write a book, and I think I will some day.” But my best efforts to kick the “book-writing” can down the road were thwarted. The thought kept pestering, breaking through, and finding its way to the pages of my journal where I was keeping notes. It was as if someone was whispering in my veins, Let go right now and be ready to write a bookLike Ruth, forget control and money and your schedule and find out what’s been happening behind the scenes on your behalf. 

I’ve never left church so confused. At the grocery store afterwards, filling our cart with apples and turkey and sausage and orange juice for the week ahead—I told Patrick what I felt I’d heard that morning. He looked dumbfounded. What would I write about? I didn’t know. Would I quit everything else and just start writing something? I didn’t know. Would it take six years or six days or six months? I had no answers.

A few weeks went by and I tried to forget that I thought that God had called me to write a book. “You are so vain,” I told myself. “You just want to write a book so you can be rich and famous. God doesn’t call people to write books. People write books because they are conceited and want the world to think they’re smart.”

Yikes. I stuffed down these self-deprecating thoughts and insults, and smashed down the burning bush moment with them.

Unbeknownst to me, during this time a publisher was making a call to a non-profit in Michigan. Over one phone call, they asked the founder if he thought he could compile a book. Then, that founder called a friend in Nashville and asked if the friend knew any writers. Then that CEO called me.

It had been two weeks since that heart thumping, God-fearing moment in church. My phone vibrated and flashed an unknown number from Michigan. It was Brad Formsma, the founder of I Like Giving. He introduced himself, then asked me a simple question. “Claire, would you be willing to help me write a book?”

I said yes.

I’m telling you this story because I wonder what’s happening in your life right now. If God is moving in my life, he’s moving in yours. Because he loves me, and he loves you, and he’s up to stuff! Perhaps even really big, mountain-moving stuff. And what if we cram it down and ignore it? And what if we label it coincidence instead of calling? We need to tell each other how God is moving. Because telling stories is a beautiful form of praise. We need to hear each others stories—because it reminds us that he is real and good and love. I need your story to keep me believing.

So, will you tell it?

20 Replies to “On how God told me to write a book… and it happened.”

  1. Hi Claire. I googled God told me to write a book, but i don’t know what to write. I have to say i have already started to write. There is so many thoughts and my brain is pouring out so much i can barely keep up. I have yet to keep up with a writing schedule and honestly do not know if i should have one. Because God has rooted this call so deeply within me all i want to do is write, but i don’t know where to start, so i believe a fast will be in order to hear God clearly.

  2. Hi Claire,
    I feel this same call is on my life. I have been procrastinating for some time. I believe 2019 is the year I will leave my comfort zone and trust God. Thank you for sharing your story!

  3. Thanks Claire for your post. On Jan 3rd, 2018 i asked God what assignments He’s got for me because my theme for this year is Obedience. Just last night I had a dream which requires that I do an assignment. The assignment states that ‘ Write an Essay about your experiences in 2017.’ I’m still processing this information and my mind is racing. That’s how I landed on your page. Never have I thought of writing. I’m lazy with writing actually so when a good friend mentioned journaling to me several times, I brushed it off. I don’t know if it’s a call to write a book now or in the future. Or not to even write professionally but somehow serve a purpose. All I know for now is that I thank God that the assignment was specific: to write about my experiences in 2017 because it was the year I gained perspective, i found God and found my purpose in life. I’m praying and seeking His guidance.

  4. For Years Literally YEARS I ask God what He wants me to do and I get ONE WORD….
    WRITE . I ask over and over again WHAT do You Want me to write…… the answer is ALWAYS THE SAME…….WRITE…..just Write.
    He keeps giving me time off from work by injuries over and over again and I am getting tired of MY STIFF NECK!!!!
    That is why I found this site and read your story.!!
    I have been more convinced by your story than anything to write !! Thank You !!!

  5. I know in my heart God has called me
    to write a book on a subject that needs to be
    exposed in the body of Christ. I struggled
    with this but He’s even given
    me dreams about it to confirm what
    He’s told me in prayer. I am a writer
    even though I’ve never actually written a book (yet)!
    This is my calling. I know it.
    I have been an avid reader since early
    childhood. Reading is one of my
    favorite things to do. I love God and have been
    a Christian for many years.
    Like someone else said, God loves writing so
    much that He wrote a book for us, called the Bible.
    In Habakkuk He said to WRITE THE
    VISION DOWN….something about writing things down that
    opens doors and gets us closer to our goals. Thank you
    Claire Gibson. You are truly
    an encouragement to me and many others.

  6. Hi Claire,
    I have just spent time researching and praying if this recurrent impulse to write is from God and what I am called to, I found your story so encouraging. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Very nice article! I can relate very well… He has called me similarly, to write, but differently… I would love to share it with you, if you are willing to listen! I am a fellow christian brother, and I hope that you would respond to me! my email is dariennulick@yahoo.com, or u can find me on Facebook, Darien Nulick – just send a message telling me whom u r and Ill accept it. Thankyou, and hope to hear from you soon!

  8. Hello mrs gibson. Im Delicia from south carolina. As a pursuing writer for many years, i now have that tingling feeling….it’s my time. I..i mean I thought about connecting many worldly writers/ authors but I became feared mostly because now im on a spiritual journey. I was once a Ruth, believing in man perse, while i patiently waited, results…nothing but money. God led me to this site…i asked him to help me write his/our book. This is the destination he led me. Im a true believer in Christ. I will Not deny Him. Stay bless. DCW…..Faithworks803@gmail.com

  9. I a burning bush moment in August, I was sitting in my room and I was struggling to hear Gods voice.
    I sat on my bed and said, “Okay God, speak to me!” And he did. It was an hour before he said anything.
    He gave me loads of scriptures, loads of instructions, loads of reference verses on who he is. Weeks went by before I started writing but I’ve written the first chapter of my book already.
    It’s going to take a while because I keep putting it off and I know I shouldn’t. This is God’s calling on my life and I need to protect it. The devil is out to steel, kill and destroy. He will steel our vision so our path is blurred, he will kill our dreams so we don’t know who to turn to and he will destroy our hearts. We need to get in closer to God and to do that we need to read, pray, worship and fulfill our calling.
    Don’t let thoughts take away what is Gods calling on your life. For the battle is not against flesh but powers and principalities: the battle takes place every day in your mind.
    Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
    If God has called you to write, then write. Don’t put it off. It could bless thousands of people.

  10. Claire I’m just reading your post , I am right now in the place were I feel that God called me to do the same he even gave me scripture Jeremiah 30:1, Why haven’t I done it yet, I have started it, but thoughts come into my mind that what if I’m wrong what if no one wants to read it. I shared it with my husband, and he really doesnt see it the way I do, and said that I might sell a few books, but I’m not even worried about that I just want to know that God wants me to do this!

  11. Sheesh, so good. And so timely.

    I often ponder the simple sentence in Revelation 19:10, “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” I have heard it used it in varying contexts with varying degrees of interpretation and have no idea it means exactly. But I do know that whenever I hear a testimony of Jesus doing something awesome like this, I feel that burning, and this verse always comes to mind.

    In this case, I’m just really encouraged by His faithfulness in your life as you respond faithfully to Him. And that testimony is, at the very least, prophecy that He will always be faithful in my life, too.

    Thanks for sharing.

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