In order to be an author, you need to have a website and a social media platform. Article after article all said the same thing. I sighed with frustration. Technology has never been my friend, nor do I have much interest in social media. It just reminds me of being on a school playground just on a bigger scale. Pick me, pick me! Like me, like me! Unfortunately, it was obvious that there was no other way but to comply with societies' way of doing things. Grudgingly I worked on the website and was quite surprised and pleased with myself for the outcome! Social media on the other hand, I just couldn’t get there. I needed to hire my daughter who enjoys learning all the ins and outs of it. Quite pleased with the problem solved, I moved onto other things.
With the release of my first book, Redemption of Adi, only weeks away, we weren’t quite where we needed to be in the launch of it. I shrugged, not concerned. We could continue to work through the problems and be ready when book two, Revenge of Rasha, releases, so I reasoned. (eye roll) As I scrolled through my email, I noticed a marketer had reached out to me to advertise my coaching. I was curious especially with the timing of the book release. Maybe God was bringing him to me? When I mentioned the book, he looked surprised and became excited to look at my website since he also offered help in that area. When we met next, he nicely said the words that would change everything. “You don’t have any SEO’s so you’ll never be discoverable on Google.”
“Whaaaa?” If I had a sledge hammer nearby, I probably would have used it on my computer. Why does this always happen to me? I vented to myself. Everything came to a halt. All blogging and posting stopped as my daughter, Abbi, and I worked feverishly to learn everything we could about SEO’s. Clear as mud. Key words, key phrases, know your whole life and put it all on the website! Jk, that’s what it felt like. Before we knew it, I had big white post- it papers hanging all over the house. Mission statements, vision statements, why statements, target audience, and key Bible verses were scribbled and drawn out. I pulled
back, puzzled. How did we get from having an author website and marketing a book to this? And what was this? I was stressed and confused. I’m a life coach. I should know how to get from one target to another, but the problem was I didn’t understand the ultimate destination. Exasperated and not willing to put anymore time into something that seemed to be going nowhere, I told Abbi to take a week to pray. We were both to ask God to show us what this all meant.
As I was praying and asking God to show me what His plan was, I was hit with a full picture which I’m not going to say quite yet. My eyes bugged with amazement, disbelief, and excitement. This was a far cry from what I was working on. I couldn’t wait to hear what my daughter’s experience was. When she came over, I excitedly asked her, “Well, what did God say to you?”
She shrugged and looked confused, “He only gave me a word- unchained.”
I felt a little deflated. Unchained? That’s it? God I needed more! My heart lamented. I needed details, timelines, and plans not a word! Yet, there was a familiarity about the word, but why? Then it dawned on me and I felt chilled. God was speaking. I ran upstairs and found a bag that someone had made me seven years ago. On the bag was a logo that my husband created for a business idea that I had been thinking about before Trail Youth (our nonprofit) launched. The logo was of a broken chain! Grabbing my computer I googled myself to see if an old Linked In profile was still there. Sure enough, on the front page only a few spots down, there it still was - Kristen Zuray Executive Director of the Adi Project. For seven years, that profile never disappeared. It used to annoy me so much since the Adi Project didn’t exist and the profile for Trail Youth, Executive Director, did and rarely showed up!
If by chance you miss the first few attempts of God speaking, He confirms his words in other ways just to make sure it sinks in. One Sunday, a woman came to me for prayer. As I listened to her story, I noticed a tattoo on her arm. Asking her what it was, she replied, “It’s a broken chain. You know, unchained!” My face blanched. Like really? Who says unchained? Okay, God, I’m listening!
I met with Steve again to discuss more about the website. He was very insistent about having a wordpress website. I wasn’t going for it. Too much work had already been put into the WIX site. As I was googling Adi Project to see what would come up, I was once again put into a state of shock. There was a WORDPRESS Adi Project website that I forgot about creating years ago! Now, I felt convinced that God was creating something different than I had planned.
After months of struggling with SEO’s, I have to laugh. All the papers scattered over the house wasn’t for my webpage, it was for another completely different website! Which brings us full circle to now asking the question, “What goes on the author website?” Sigh.
What’s the Adi Project, you may ask. Very good question! I’ll tell you when I find out! In the meantime, I’m learning to live life loosely. That doesn’t mean irresponsibly. It just means allowing God to direct, lead, muddy the waters, and paint a beautiful picture. I don’t know exactly where this will go, but I invite you to come on the journey with me. It’ll be an adventure for sure! Are you ready for it?
What are you hanging tightly onto? What would happen if you lived life loosely, let go and let God take control? Share your thoughts in the comments below!