I’m excited to finally announce that my second novel, Finding True North, is set for release in January 2023! As part of this announcement, I’m writing a Bible study series of blog posts connected to this story and to its title. I’m writing this because I think my main character, a teen girl who’s ironically named North at the beginning of the story, is relatable to all of us. As you might guess by the book title, she’s seeking her true north, trying to figure out who she is, what her value is in this world, and what direction to take with her life. Can you relate to that? Either now or in the past?
While I’m not a teenager anymore, I have had many of these “true north” moments. Sometimes I feel like I have many of these in one day, wondering to myself what I’m doing, why, and what is this thing called life is all leading to anyway.
In all these moments, what has continued to ground me, guide me, and reorient me is God’s word. He has been my true north. It’s important to know that doesn’t mean I haven’t made mistakes along the way, or that I have things all figured out (quite the opposite, actually!) But it means that no matter what, God has been with me, and he consistently pulls me closer to him and his will because ultimately he is the one in charge with the good plan for me and for all of us.
Before I launch into this series, it might be helpful, or at least somewhat interesting, to know the origin of the expression “finding your true north.” Scientifically speaking, “true north” is the direction of the North Pole, a fixed, immovable point on the Earth’s globe. This “true north” is different than magnetic north, which is the direction a compass needle points to as it aligns with the Earth’s magnetic field. The magnetic North Pole shifts over time in response to changes in the Earth’s magnetic core. The difference between true north and magnetic north can sometimes be a couple hundred miles because the magnetic field is always changing. However, true north stays constant. It is true, fixed, stable, genuine, the real deal.
So, to find your true north is to discover your true, real, genuine self. I like the way author and business leader, Bill George describes it when he says, “It is derived from your most deeply held beliefs, values, and principles. It is your internal compass, unique to you, representing who you are at your deepest level.”
While finding true north implies that we finally arrive at some point, I’m pretty sure that we are all constantly evolving and changing. Consequently, the journey to find true north never really ends. So this post is an invitation to join me on that journey. I know that when I spend less time looking at my problems and worries and doubts and more time looking to the one who can solve and manage my problems, worries, and doubts, I am a freer and more peaceful person. But I also know that if I don’t work at that, it doesn’t naturally happen. If I don’t pay attention, life and all the distracting voices in my head and in the world can keep me from hearing and noticing the God who deeply loves me and knows full well who I am.
The best way I know of to keep my mind on what God says is first of all knowing what he actually does say. The only way I can do that is through reading and thinking upon his word.
With my first novel, Sticks and Stones, I published a follow-up devotional, God-Weaved: Finding God in Every Story. This blog series is one way I’m continuing that God-Weaved theme with my second novel. It’s my way of shedding light on the idea that God weaves a beautiful and unique story in and through each of us.
I’m titling this series “Alongside: Experiencing Jesus With Us Every Day” because I believe that this is the true key to finding “true north.” When we look for him and spend time with him, we will find him right beside us, guiding us, helping us, centering us, no matter what the world throws our way. Each post will include Bible readings, Bible study strategies, questions to ponder, journal prompts, and prayer, and is intended for both teens and adults.
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I hope this series will bless you. I know it will bless me because whenever I spend time writing about and focusing on him, I feel more like my true self, my true north. I pray the same for you.