She walked through the doors of Koorong and approached us. A familiar face. No name leapt to mind, but I knew I knew her. She smiled a shy smile and said she had previously purchased a copy of my book.
“That’s right!” I exclaimed, recognition dawning. “How did you go with the book?”
She told me she had read Surviving Singledom and had enjoyed it. Then she told me a story I could not have anticipated, a story I did not expect to hear.
“I recently went on a mission trip to Cambodia,” she shared. “They asked me to speak on the subject of singledom. So I re-read your book, Steph, and I used parts of it in my speaking.”
“I used it in my speaking.”
My jaw hit the ground. I did not quite know what to say (a rare moment for me). I think I must have stammered something intelligent. “Wow”, I think it was.
You see, I was completely bowled over by her story. Not the part about her reading my book. Not even the part about her re-reading it. Although that was pretty special.
I was flabbergasted that she would use my book as a basis from which to speak. And in Cambodia, no less. On mission, what is more.
I had never expected my book would travel to Cambodia on a mission trip.
But then, you never know how God is going to use your words or where he is going to take them.
You never know how God is going to use your words or where he is going to take them.
This story took me back to when I first published Surviving Singledom. I remember I prayed a simple prayer. “God, this is your message,” I said. “So you take your message wherever it is needed.”
And, apparently, he has.
So my book has now been on a mission trip. It feels slightly odd to say that, because the book has already been on plenty of mission trips, into people’s homes, into churches, into conferences.
I know a mission trip to Cambodia is no more or less important than any other type of mission. But it was a special moment. I am passionate about mission, so the idea of my book going to places I have never been is particularly meaningful for me.
”Take your message wherever it is needed.”
God and I had a brief conversation about it afterwards. “Don’t worry so much about whether you should be doing more with your books,” he whispered to my inner perfectionist. “Just keep writing what you are writing. Keep doing what you know you need to do. I’ll sort out the rest.”
“God,” I answered, “As always, you are completely in charge of this.”
And he is.
Has God ever used you in unexpected ways? Do you have a testimony of your words or actions blessing people you have never met? Share your story – let’s have a countercultural conversation.