Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Empty Chair

The one thing in my life I couldn’t live without is my team of prayer warriors. If you don’t have a group of friends, even one or two, who pray for you, then this post is for you.
If you do, then you’ll appreciate them even more after reading this.
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Many of you know that for quite some time, I have been trying to have a book published. My current workbook, If Clothes Could Talk, was born out of the need for such a resource to be sold at my speaking engagements since I can’t go home with each person and invade their closets nor can I go shopping with each of them! We self-published because of the requests from my audiences and the Christian publishers didn’t quite understand that need.
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Let me give you some info here. I have several specific groups of women who pray for me and I for them. The first group is my weekly Moms In Touch group at my son’s school. We have been meeting every Wednesday for 2 hours for the past 2 years. They are Patti, Dawn, Dana, Sharon, Tanya, Anne and Susan.
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And then there is the “around the world team” These girls are: Bev from Iowa, Maria from Hawaii, Kim from Ohio, Lucy from China Grove, Mary from Michigan, Heather from Charlotte, and Gabie and Cindy from Miami.
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I then have a few other friends who pray for me and I for them that include Nicki, Yvette, Victoria, Darya, Lisa and some P31 prayer sisters.
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For almost 2 years, most of these women have been praying that my book would get published by a real live publisher. We have been praying that if God trusted me with it, I would do whatever I could to draw women to Him and help them see themselves in a more positive way.
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About 2 weeks ago, I was sitting with my husband having coffee before running out the door to my weekly prayer group at school. Just before I left Dave reminded me to send an e-mail to someone. I told him I’d do it later (cause I didn’t want to be late) and he reminded me “there’s no time like the present.”
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I quickly turned my lap top on,(I was very hurried) and a new e-mail came in.
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It was from Zondervan telling me they were having a meeting that morning at 10am and I should pray and ask the Holy Spirit to be in the room because they were going to decide on my book that day.
I quickly forwarded that e-mail to my “around the world team”, headed out the door, cried on the way there because I was so emotional and went into prayer group and told them.
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Exactly at 10am, the girls laid hands on me and prayed. They specifically prayed at 10am, the time of the meeting.
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When I got home, I read the prayers that came in from my “around the world team” and one of them, Bev, prayed that there would be an empty chair in the room and that would be the Jesus sitting in it, leading the conversation of the meeting.
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At 1:30pm, I received a call from Sandy at Zondervan.
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They were going to publish my book.
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You see, every other publisher that my agent had ever presented to has turned it down. And now, the biggest of them all, had said YES.
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This past weekend as I was speaking in Michigan, Sandy from Zondervan came to meet me and watch the Friday and Saturday events.
Afterwards at dinner she told me that the meeting went so well, it was as if the Holy Spirit was right there in that room. She said they started brainstorming and the ideas just kept flowing. They even came up with a new title for the book. And then I asked what I’d been wanting to ask her:
“By any chance, was there an empty chair at that table?”
She said, “Yes, as a matter of fact there was, we sat around a table with 4 chairs, and there were only 3 of us.”
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What they didn’t see, was Jesus sitting in the other chair!
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Oh girls, the power of prayer…believe that God will perform a miracle for you!
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When I was getting turned down for the last 2 years by all the other publishers, God just had bigger plans for it.
And so,

Good Girls Don’t Have to Dress Bad

will be released Fall 2010 coming to a bookstore near you!
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Never ever underestimate the power of praying friends. Find some today and commit to praying for each other. Watch your life change and see miracles happen. Do you need a miracle in your marriage, for your child, for a job for your health? I promise, you’ll see one, but you must pray without ceasing.
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Love you all and thank YOU for praying for me, cause I know many of you do.
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Shari











19 comments:

Ashley said...

What an AWESOME story!!! I've got goose bumps:)
Congratulations!!!
Prayin' for you, girl!
Ashley

Alyce said...

OH Shari..I've missed "talking" to ya. What wonderful, amazing, awesome news. I had goosebumps as I read that. We are starting a new mentoring program at church..for the older/younger women. I am excited about this and having a new prayer partner.
So happy for you!!
Alyce

Shannon said...

SOOOOO happy for you on this! I love to hear of answers from God, in the midst of many let downs. Cannot wait for the book to be published, as I say to my daughter quite often...modest is hottest!

Shannon in MN

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

I'm in tears reading this....wow. I LOVE the Jesus in the chair part!! So amazing. I love to pray for you and I'm so excited about this book!! Love you girl!!! Mwoah! =)

Pajama Mama said...

Oh Shari! This brought tears to my eyes! Congratulations!

Wendy Blight said...

Shari,

I love this story. It is so funny that on my blog I talked about girlfriends and prayer, Rachel talked about prayer and praying out loud, and you share a real life story of both at work in your midst in a powerful and mighty way. God is GOOD!!!

I am thrilled for what God is doing. Now we will have to share you with the rest of the world!!! We can say we knew you when.

Love you, friend,

Wendy

Bridget said...

Oh Praise God! I am so happy for you Shari. Love the new title.
Keep posting...miss reading from you.
Bridget

Renee Swope said...

Girlfriend, I am SOOOOOOO excited. And I am so glad you listened to Dave that day and turned on your computer. He's so smart!!!

What a powerful story and how sweet of God to make Himself so personally present for you all throughout this process. You have been so faithful to His call, walking and waiting, struggling and surrendering, serving and seeking. I love you girl and I am so excited I just can't stand it!!!

This good girl won't be dressing bad no more...thanks to you!

Hugs,
Renee

Lysa TerKeurst said...

Oh sweet sister... you know how happy I am for you. I just had to pop over here and share a little yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee one more time.

I love the empty chair thing--- that is so cool!

B His Girl said...

Jesus was sitting in on your behalf. How cool! What a friend indeed He IS. This is wonderful. We pray for a crumb and He is baking a custom cake for us. Lord forgive us when we hang our head in defeat. Things are being worked out for our GOOD all the time. I was looking in my closet with my color swatches in hand. The clothing items I get compliments on are exactly the colors of the swatches I got from you Shari. Did I tell you thank you for making it easy to know what colors look good with my skin coloring? From now on I am going to keep my swatches in my glove compartment. You never know when a shopping opportunity might come about. And now to hear there is a future opportunity to know more about fashion through you. Count me in on buying a copy of that book. Barbara in Gulf Breeze

Racquel Simone said...

Shari,
I know you posted this a while ago, but I am just now seeing this, and would like to say congratulations!!! I was moved to tears when reading this and I appreciate your testimony of an intuitive husband, loving sisters and friends, and your faith and perserverance!

~Racquel~

Melanie said...

Yay! Congratulations. I'll be looking for your book!
Melanie@Bella~Mella

Vern ~ Inspired said...

Ok - so I am two weeks late but I have got to comment!!

PRAISE HIM!!
I am so excited for you!!

This book will be great to recommend when I do my Fashioned By God message...Can't wait to get my hands on it!

Hugs!!

Lynn Cowell said...

Shari,
I love knowing the whole story now! God is amazing and His plans are WAY bigger than our's! Thank you for testimony. It has encouraged me today to keep believing!
Lynn

Bonita said...

Shari,

It's the middle of the night and I just happened by and lookie what I found! I'm so happy for you!

I so appreciate you sharing your story. It spoke to me on so many levels- submitting to my husband, finding women to pray with me, and never, ever giving up on the dream of having books published.

I recently started a blog for writers and I'm going to share a link to this wonderful testimony there.

Congrats and thanks for sharing!

Bee said...

I came here by way of Bonita's blog and I'm so glad I did. It's amazing that I'm still amazed at the power of prayer and the faithfulness of God. Congratulations.

Sarah Mae said...

How exciting for you! As soon it's out, I'd better get a copy to review for my blog! ;) Way to go! :)

Sue J. said...

I'm here via Bonita's blog, as well.

So, you now have one book published, and God has just blessed you with an amazing story of prayer and faithfulness that sparks another story. Just awesome! He is so good!!

I look forward to seeing this on the shelves, as I think I have a potential customer in my home....

Nice meeting you, Shari

Warren Baldwin said...

I linked over from Bonita's site. This is an amazing story. Congratulations and God bless!