2018 has been a year of great highs and lows, favor and pruning, lessons learned and correction heeded.

I dashed into 2018 carrying great hopes and expectations for the Women of Joy Tour and all that God would do in that. While there were many amazing and fruitful aspects of the tour, divine appointments, ministry opportunities, and exposure for authors and messages, there were also challenges and hopes that did not materialize in the way I expected, both on the tour and on the Redemption Press homefront. It was clearly a year of learning painful lessons and experiencing God’s faithfulness to be with me, right by my side through it all.

Over the last four months, the Lord enabled me to walk through a time of humbling as I moved from a place of prominence in traveling and representing Redemption Press and our authors across the nation, teaching workshops and sharing my story, to a place of working in the day to day operations of the business, examining every area for inefficiencies, weaknesses and redundancies and discerning strategies to lower overhead, streamline tasks and implement new systems.

As I spent six-day weeks and many twelve-hour days putting one foot in front of the other and watching God work, I began to sense the Lord saying that Redemption Press would only grow to be as healthy as I was. About the same time, a good friend reminded me that I could very likely benefit from some professional help to unpack all the trauma of my life so that unhealthy patterns could be broken, and the chaos replaced with order. It was a defining moment for me and I’ve seen great change in my life as I have allowed God into those places of wounding and loss. He is truly, always faithful!

As I’ve cut overhead dramatically and am now able to pass on much of the savings to our authors, I’ve also been able to transition to a better business model. It’s still a work in process, but the pruning God did paid off in ways that are already evident.

We’ve instituted a professional royalty accounting software to move to a position of strength in the area of reporting, partnered with a foreign rights team to represent selected authors to over 2000 buyers in 180 countries, and we’re finally launching Redemption Press University on January 1 to fulfill a long time dream of mine to see aspiring and published authors alike learn best practices to navigate their writing journey.

As if that isn’t enough, we close the year preparing for the book release of what I believe will be a life-changing tool in millions of lives. Planned from the Start: A Healing Devotional by Lorraine Varela accompanies the movie “Unplanned” by the producers of “God’s Not Dead” and “I Can Only Imagine” due to release in theatres on March 22, 2019. I am thrilled to have Redemption Press participate in this important message to expose the truth about abortion and at the same time promote healing for all who’ve been wounded in its wake.

As we enter into 2019, I’ve been focused on the word GROWTH and sensing how much God wants to do. There are three scriptures He’s pointed out to me as my anchor for the upcoming year.

Psalm 92:12

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;

1 Corinthians 3:6-7

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

Colossians 1:9b-10

We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,

I am thanking Him in advance for allowing us to flourish and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. I’m asking Him to use every painful moment from 2018 and make it grow, for His glory. That I will live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way, so that my life will bear fruit and I will grow in the knowledge of Him.

I’m praying the same for all our authors, editors, vendors and partners as well.

May He bless you with a greater understanding of His faithfulness as you close out 2018 and step into the New Year!

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