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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Guest Blogger ~ Susie Larson

Thoughts on writing the book, Embracing Your Freedom
By Susie Larson

In my travels as a national conference and retreat speaker, I observed that while we, as American women, are literally free, most of us are not totally free. Due to our own insecurities and painful past experiences, we tend to make rules around our hang ups, we allow our fears to limit our adventures, and we live smaller lives than God intended for us.

We tend to struggle with true freedom because it seems less painful to stay captive. We have so many comforts to prop us up, so many things with which to medicate our pain that we never really have to leave our captivity if we don’t want to. It takes courage and grit to embrace the bigger call on our lives.

As I pondered this idea of true freedom, I couldn’t help but wonder why so many of us are willing to stay captive – when we don’t have to – while millions today are held against their will in literal captivity.

Jesus wants us free. That’s why He came. It’s for freedom that Christ has set us free (See Galatians 5:1). The enemy wants us captive because it keeps us from being the radical world-changers God intended us to be.

A couple of years ago I had the idea to write a book that somehow connects our freedom with the freedoms of others. Though I knew this project would challenge and stretch me, I had no idea that I was about to walk into a battlefield.

I can’t begin to describe the opposition I encountered while writing this book. You know that poem, Footprints in the Sand? Well, my poem would be more fitly titled, Heel Gouges in the Sand. God, in His divine way, had to drag me through the process of writing this book because it was so grueling and costly at times.

My faith was stretched and challenged in big ways. I experienced several graphic nightmares; terrible sleepless nights; continual computer issues, harassing thoughts, health battles, and a constant sense that I was awaking a sleeping giant in my midst.

Day after day, hour after hour I pounded out the words in spite of the mental and physical exhaustion and my stirred up fears. But God was with me, cheering me on. And I am so thankful for His grace and patience with me along the way. Now that the book is in the hands of readers, I can truly say, it was all worth it.

Though I really didn’t have a fun moment during the whole writing process, I knew my assignment was an important one and I did my best to complete it. I will say though, when I held the first copy of Embracing Your Freedom in my hands, that familiar lump found it’s way to my throat and my eyes watered up instantly. This book was such a labor of love for me and my publisher did such a phenomenal job with the page and cover design, I was overwhelmed that God allowed me to be a part of this project. And can I say this? The finished product is simply beautiful.

Writing any book is hard work. And though my other books involved certain challenges and lots of discipline, this book took me to task in every way. Amazingly though, now that I am on the other side of this battle, I have a newfound conviction and courage to stand in battle. I am less afraid than I was before.

Isn’t that always the way it goes? We have to live our message – on a much deeper level than we’d like – before we are qualified to share it with a world in need.

My new book, Embracing Your Freedom, calls women to possess gritty faith and to tenaciously contend for their freedom in Christ. God has a big plan for our lives; He wants to use us in mind-boggling ways, but we will miss out on this great adventure if we choose to live small, self-protective lives and if we refuse to take on the giants in our land.



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Susie Larson has spoken to thousands of women locally, nationally, and internationally. She works as an on-call host for talk radio show, Connecting Faith (formerly known as Along the Way), heard on six stations across five states in the upper Midwest. She is the author of six books, many articles, and has contributed to several books. She and her husband serve alongside national recording artist Sara Groves and her husband Troy as co-chairs of the International Justice Mission benefit banquet in Minnesota. IJM, among others things, rescues young girls from the horrific life of human trafficking.

Find Susie online:
Website: www.susielarson.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/deeperlifeinchrist
Blog: http://susielarsonblog.typepad.com/susie_larsons_blog/
Twitter: @SusieLarson

7 comments:

Gina Holmes said...

Susie! Sorry you went through such a tough time writing this. But glad God brought you through. It looks like an amazing book! Enjoyed the very effective trailer too :)

Elizabeth Ludwig said...

Thanks for stopping by Novel Journey, Susie. What an amazing trailer! You certainly have a heart for sharing hope and encouragement with others.

Susie Larson said...

Gina,
I've been thinking about you lately! I still want to get you on the show. I appreciate all you do for those of us who write. :)

And Elizabeth, thank you for your encouragement. I'm so honored to have a guest spot today.

Blessings to you both~

Ron Estrada said...

Sue, I haven't read the book, but based on your comments, I have to say that men aren't so different in this regard. We often get caught in world expectations--college, career, family--and often our childhood dreams are left on the roadside. I think back to when I wanted nothing more than to write, but then I got "responsible." I pray my daughter and my son pursue their passions and not let their futures be dictated by those unwilling to risk their security.

Susie Larson said...

Dear Ron,

You are so right! And what a good dad you are. Since I speak mainly to women at my conferences and retreats, I gear my books toward women. With the release of each of my books, men have let me know that those same truths apply to them. :) Men do read my books but I think they put duct tape on the covers first. :) Truly, though, far too many of us miss the best of what God has for us because of our fears, insecurities, and our love of comfort. May we all rise up and step into our high callings!

Jami @ livelaughlove5 said...

"Though I really didn’t have a fun moment during the whole writing process, I knew my assignment was an important one and I did my best to complete it. I will say though, when I held the first copy of Embracing Your Freedom in my hands, that familiar lump found it’s way to my throat and my eyes watered up instantly. This book was such a labor of love for me and my publisher did such a phenomenal job with the page and cover design, I was overwhelmed that God allowed me to be a part of this project. And can I say this? The finished product is simply beautiful."

Susie - I really connect with what you said here. In our adoption journey, there has been a lot more hard, painful, and stretching moments...not so much "fun" but my life has changed because of this journey. I still long to know how it all will end. It seems we are coming up on a decision making time. In March we will finish our last foster care class and then we will have to decide what to do with that. We are still hoping to adopt the 3 kids from Arkansas and just recently we were made aware of a 6 month old baby girl with severe special needs who needs a family. Lord, where do you want us?

I am trusting that He will make His way clear, at the same time I am fighting fears that have been coming up more lately. I am encouraged to read your words about holding your book in your hands and knowing that His finished product is beautiful. I look forward to the day when I can look into the eyes of the child or children God entrusts to us and say the same thing.

Thanks Susie! I am so blessed to call you my sister in Christ!

Susie Larson said...

Dear Jami,

Your family's journey is an inspiration to all of us. I know He will light the way for you and give you grace for every step. I think it's those in-between-we-don't-know-yet moments that are hardest to take. But that's where trust is formed and faith is strengthened. But then again, you already know that. :) I believe strongly that the Lord is allowing His people to endure prolonged trials right now so we will be trained and strong for a world in need in the coming days.
Bless you, my sister.