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Constant Reminders

At work the other day, I was chatting with a co-worker (who I will call Jill), and somehow we got off task. Before I knew what happened, Jill was telling me how her mother always told her how much money it took to raise her. It wasn’t specifically in dollar amounts, but even as a young girl, Jill was constantly reminded by her mother that they had to pay for so many things to take care of her. To a young child who doesn’t understand the value of money or that it costs to raise a family, being constantly reminded of this fact simply didn’t mean anything. As she got older, Jill realized her mother was actually complaining about the cost of raising a family.

The more we talked, the more off task we became. Then another co-worker chimed in and said that God gives her constant reminders too. These were of a much different sort. Her reminder that morning was a song “Fix my Eyes on Jesus.” Instantly, she was reminded that no matter how bad her day at work was going, she did not have to stress out about it. Instead, all she had to do was fix her eyes on Jesus, and she knew he would help her through the day no matter how stressful the job was.

That sidetrack at work made me think about God and all the constant reminders that we get from him. Sometimes we’re like little children who don’t understand the value of the reminders. Then there are times when that’s all the hope we have left, and if it wasn’t for the Lord’s constant reminders, we would surely faint.

A magnificent sunset over the horizon after a stressful day at work, the calm after a raging storm, holding a tiny newborn for the very first time so close to you that you can feel his or her little heartbeat, an astronaut’s view of this wondrous earth from the vastness of outer space, and simply falling in love – deeply and profoundly in love for the very first time. All of those things are constant reminders that God is ever-present, and this world and everything in it is what he created in the beginning. Knowing he has the hairs on my head numbered simply blows my mind, but that too is a constant reminder that He knows absolutely everything about me.

So as I continue this journey of discovering the storyteller inside me, I am constantly reminded that I write because He called me to do it. I tell people that I’m a nurse by profession, author by passion, and storyteller by the grace of God. I have a purpose for writing and sharing testimonies with others, and it has nothing to do with me. It’s not a job, nor is it my chosen career path. It’s so much more than that. It’s a “calling” that I have answered. As I share my thoughts through this blog, my prayer is that each of you will be inspired and encouraged by the stories that I share. As I seek the Lord for guidance as to what I should write, I earnestly pray that you will be blessed and inspired. As Revelation 12:11 teaches us, we are overcomers by the words of our testimonies.

Living Inside The TestimonyThat’s how I started my first book, Living Inside The Testimony. And that’s how I will end this post, with a gentle reminder for each of you. Remember that we all live inside testimonies meant to be shared with others. I finally realized that God doesn’t have to constantly remind me of that. Thank you for living inside this testimony with me.

Are there reminders from the Lord that you don’t recognize or perhaps ignore? Are there things in your life that you need to share with others to help inspire and encourage them along the way? Does God have to constantly remind you that HE created you for a purpose? Are you fulfilling that purpose?

Why Did I Write the First Book?

Living Inside The Testimony was my first book; however, I didn’t plan to write it. I had never considered myself an author and had no intentions or aspirations to write a book. However, the Lord had other plans for me, and after I submitted “my will” to become the same as HIS will for my life, things divinely changed, and I embraced this new passion. Here’s how it all began.

I had asked Kartriece Ward, a friend who owns Visions Promotional Agency, to make a DVD for me. It was going to be a personal keepsake of all the pictures I had taken of our dream home while it was under construction along with the audio of my testimony about the house that I had previously shared at church.

Kartriece sent me an email telling me this testimony was “meant to be heard by more than our circle of family and friends.” She said my testimony was “a sense of hope and encouragement during such a time as this…It’s an amazing thing what one willing person’s boldness to stand up and proclaim the goodness of God can do in the hearts of His people and the sense of hope it can bring…. It can help form thoughts and seeds of faith…” She felt sure God would lead and guide me through the entire process so those the Lord wanted me to witness to would hear or see me through whatever platforms He used…. I noticed she had typed platforms with a plural, red letter “s” at the end. Hmmmm…. platforms…. I had not thought about it before. I never (never ever) desired or planned to write a book, but now things had suddenly and dramatically changed.

LITT book coverShe sent the email January 9, 2009, and I dreamed about the front cover of the book that very night. What I saw in my dream was the outstretched hands of Jesus with our dream home coming out of his hands as if it was a gift. That dream became the design for the book cover.

I started writing the book the next morning as soon as I woke up with the words “Elvis died.” How weird that my testimony would begin with that simple sentence which seemingly had no relation to my testimony at all, but I soon discovered that my writing experience would not be what one would anticipate for a first time author. I sat at a blank computer screen and simply started typing. A month later, the book was finished. What started out as a personal home video had suddenly become my new obsession—my passion to share my “personal” testimony with the world, by whatever means the Lord would see fit to use it.

In the end, the book really wasn’t about the 3-year faith journey to purchase the land and build the house. That’s only 2 chapters in the book. Instead, it’s a collection of stories where I share the inspiration, faith, hope, humor, romance, and love that I had experienced throughout my lifetime. The stories revolve around my experiences with my family, friends, and other individuals who have contributed, often unknowingly, to the path God had chosen for my life.

As one book reviewer noted: “Living Inside The Testimony is not your everyday read. It’s far from it. It’s a wonderfully amazing story of Ms. Collier’s walk with God. It’s her living testimony, her daily struggles, her daily acceptance that she is walking with her Father. Ms. Collier’s testimony is told with exuberance and love, helping people to understand that there will be trials along the way, but having faith and hope in your heart will help you to overcome any obstacle. Though humorous at times, and a fast paced read, this is not a book that should be taken lightly. It’s anything but that, and will keep your wheels turning and your heart filled.”  Reviewed by Molly E. for Readers’ Favorite

For more information about the book, please visit my website: http://livinginsidethetestimony.com

Watch the 2-minute book trailer here.

Although I thought this would be my one and only book, now I’m on a God-inspired journey to write an inspirational collection of books, the Living Inside The Testimony ® Book Series. Thank you for joining me on this journey!