Lisa Bevere
Lisa Bevere (Courtesy)

To tell how my journey toward adamant began, I will rewind time by more than a decade.

It started with a rough phone call with the freelance editor the publisher had hired to work with me on one of my books. The two of us had gone back and forth over both the book's content and tone. Sadly, I could no longer recognize my voice in the chapters she had edited. Due to a lack of confidence, I had allowed her to push me back all the way to the wall. I realized I could not push back any further and be obedient to what I had been told to write.

I knew this book was a message and a mandate that God had entrusted to me, and ultimately, I would be the one to answer for how it was stewarded. For books are far more than collections of words on pages. They carry within them the cadence or tone and posture of the author. I believe how you read or hear a book is just as important as what you read. If the right thing is said in the wrong manner, an idea can be lost on the reader.

For whatever reason, this editor had changed my tone to one of anger and my posture to that of an authoritarian. This was not the stance I wanted to adopt. When it comes to most topics, I am a fellow student of the Scriptures who wants to create communities of conversation. I prefer to speak as a sister, a mother, and now in this season a grandmother, even though my dearest hope is that you will allow me the greatest honor and for the duration of the pages call me friend.

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My editor did not agree with this approach. She was a strong and talented woman with very definite opinions. I had hinted repeatedly, but I wasn't being heard. On this call, all hinting was over. John overheard the conversation as I put a fine point on my position and went over her edits word by word and sentence by sentence.

I hung up and breathed a heavy sigh. I was utterly exhausted after the interchange. I was working on the book in the dining room across from John's office.

"Rough phone call?" John suggested.

"Yes," I admitted.

"Is it going to work out?" he asked.

"I don't know," I answered truthfully.

John knew I had caved quite a bit in my former discussions with her.

"Well, this time you sounded ... adamant." John volunteered the word as a vote of confidence.

I nodded.

Then suddenly it was as though his word choice ignited something dormant deep within me.

I stood up and affirmed his words. "I am adamant!"

And then to bring this declaration closer, I walked myself into John's office and repeated it. "I am adamant!"

John nodded his agreement. "Okay, then get back to work."

Life came into me.

I returned to my computer and reviewed the chapters I had already given up ground on and reworked them, and I recovered my voice in the book. I felt the fire of God's vision for the book quicken. As I worked, it was as though the words flew out of my fingertips.

Later that afternoon, my assistant came by with a package.

"You received an unusual gift," she said as she placed it on the table. She stood aside and watched for my reaction as I opened it.

It was a black rectangular box decorated with gold scrollwork details on the corners. As I opened it, an ornamental clear globe swung into view from the interior of the lid. The inside of the box was lined with gold velvet, and within its confines was a single piece of paper. Correction, "paper" is an understatement. It was a sheet of parchment with an opalescent finish. The lettering was the sort of font you'd use for a wedding invitation or a certificate of merit. It was dated December 12, 2005, and the word "diamond" appeared in the banner that hovered above the salutation, "My Adamant, My Dearest Lisa, My Adamant."

I shivered. The fact that I had been asserting the same designation over myself a few hours earlier was not lost on me. Arrested, I sat down with the profound awareness that what I held was no ordinary letter. I caught my breath, released it, and read further.

In my hand was a poem that declared the strength of God's love over my life. Each sentence was woven with the words "I am." On this single page, the word "adamant" appeared five times. The words were intimate enough for me to feel seen by my Father. There was no name at the end of the page. I turned it over. Nothing.

"Who is it from?" I asked.

"We don't know," my assistant answered. "It came in a plainly wrapped package without a return address."

I was humbled that someone had listened to God and taken the time to write down these words for me, someone who didn't know I'd been questioning myself and struggling to write a book. God bless them. I took the gift as a sign and a confirmation that I was to stay the course with the direction of the manuscript, that I was to write without fear and tell my sisters that God has created you to be answers in a world fraught with problems.

I never learned who sent the package. Even so, I kept the box and its letter on top of the hutch over my desk. It was a memento of a turning point. The words marked the moment when I decided to be adamant, invincible and immovable about what God spoke to me and how He spoke it. In the future, I would stay in my authority and not compromise.

This article is an excerpt from Lisa Bevere, Adamant, Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. 2018. Used by permission. You can purchase the book here.

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