Well, it’s release day today for my fourth novel, Whatever Happens Next. Of the whole series, it’s easily my favorite. Not only because it’s my eighth book now, so I’ve learned more and write better. Nor is it the characters, who I absolutely love and were a joy to write. Those are part of why I love this book and am excited to share it with the world.
But the biggest reason? The title prompts me to think and to trust.
Finishing a series is a bittersweet thing. Both author and reader reflect on the books individually and as a unit. We say goodbye to characters we’ve grown to love.
Authors also reflect on our craft. What did we do well? What could we have done better? When should we turn it into a boxed set? And of course—what’s next? Christian authors have the honor and privilege to bring that question to God, trusting Him to guide our steps for the future. What are His plans? What story has He birthed in our hearts? What spiritual truths can we impart to our readers that will inspire, uplift, encourage? We have a lot of praying and trusting to do when it comes to what’s next.
And trust is hard, isn’t it?
In the novel, Air Force TSgt Dyson receives PCS orders that will send him clear across the country just as he’s beginning to care for Jenna. When should he tell her? Can he trust that God’s in control over their relationship the way he trusts God to order the rest of his life? Jenna has a hard time trusting, mostly herself, after a single bad decision left its mark. Change stirs up her life from every direction, forcing her to let go and realize that even if she doesn’t trust herself, she can trust the Lord. Letting go and allowing Him to order her out-of-control life isn’t easy, but it’ll be the most beautiful thing in the world if she can. And wow, does Dyson partner beside her the whole way (well, most of the way, because he’s not perfect and has a lot to figure out himself).
I find in this uncertain season and the utter insanity that has been 2020 so far, a lot of us are asking, “What’s next?” It’s been one thing after another this year, so what awful thing is awaiting us after COVID? Lots of questions. My anxious heart has been encouraged by remembering those three title words in prayer. I will trust the Lord with whatever happens next, because I know He holds me in the palm of His mighty hand.
Deuteronomy 31:8 reminds us, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you, he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Isaiah 41:10 says, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
So in the midst of all the nuttiness and heartache that has been 2020, I hope these words will be a positive reminder to you. Trust Him with whatever happens next—whether it’s a pandemic, a health crisis, an election year, a job change, fiscal worries, or something else. Be blessed, my friends.
And now, to change the subject a little and celebrate together, how about a quick excerpt from the book?
Excerpt ©2020 Jaycee Weaver (formatting may be wonky or contain errors due to copy/paste issues):
I hope you enjoyed that little tidbit from Whatever Happens Next. Today’s the last day it will be available for the 99¢ pre-order price, so I do hope you’ll take a chance and give the book a try! It’s not necessary to read the previous three books in order to enjoy this one, though there will be some characters whose stories will be clearer if you have.