Writing a book was never on my to-do list. I’ve always loved putting my thoughts to paper and creating something from the emptiness of space. Making beauty from the void of nothingness brings my heart great joy, and like it is said in the movie Chariots of Fire, I can feel the pleasure of my Father when I use the gifts He’s given me. But a book seemed too hard. It looked like too much work and seemed like a completely self-serving endeavor. I didn’t think I had a story worth telling.
Then my infant son, Wyatt, was paralyzed, and my world changed. The preverbal bubble I lived in was popped. I no longer had the luxury to float through life chasing after comfortable dreams. Life outside the bubble hurt from all sides, and I had to find a way to process the muck I was wading through. I started sharing Wyatt’s story on Facebook as a way to keep family updated on his progress, but before long, I realized I was sharing more than I had ever planned. I was pouring my heart and feelings out, and the more I wrote, the better I felt.
Wyatt’s Facebook page became my therapy, and it became a way for me to connect with others facing similar journeys. I found myself longing for snippets of time to write the story my family was living. Writing gave a purpose to Wyatt’s suffering. I occasionally had someone comment that I should write a book. I was always flattered, but I never took it seriously. I just kept writing and documenting Wyatt’s recovery. I often found myself connecting with other parents of special needs children. When I was able to offer encouragement to a weary mother, I found my own heart renewed, and the tug to write a book began to pull at my heart.
I attended a writer’s conference called Allume and had a chance to meet with publishers. I thought I was on a fact finding mission. My plan was to gather all the information I could and to write a book someday, but the opportunity to write came sooner than I expected. My heart wanted to jump into it, but my head wanted to say no. I started to think about all the reasons writing a book wouldn’t work.
- You’re not a strong enough writer.
- You don’t have a platform.
- You don’t have time to write.
- You don’t know what you’re doing.
- Your story isn’t special.
- You aren’t a good enough person to share your story.
- You don’t have anything to teach.
- It’s too personal.
I could fill a page with the reasons I shouldn’t have written a book, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to press forward. As I prayed over all the reason to not write a book, I discovered a common theme. All my reasons to not write a book were about me. All my reasons were centered around my own pride and fear, and I know that fear is not from the Father. Fear is a tool of the enemy to keep us stuck in current situations. Decisions should never be made out of fear.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)
God didn’t create us to live in a place of fear, but when I looked past the fear, I could still only find one reason to write a book – because someone needs to hear it. That one reason was enough. Somewhere a mama is sitting in a room and a diagnosis is being given to her child, and she can feel her world crumbling. I want that mama to know that a diagnosis doesn’t define her child. I want her to know that she is enough. I want her to know that amazing can be found in the midst of the hard. Most importantly, I want her to know that God hasn’t forgotten her or her child.
The process of writing wasn’t an easy one. My heart ached as I relived moments that I would rather forget. My body reminded me that I was no longer a teenager after staying up all night writing. My house was a mess, and my kids ate cereal for dinner more nights than I care to admit. My entire family sacrificed to allow me to write our story, and every sacrifice has been worth it.
Love Him Anyway will probably never be considered a raging success by the publishing world, but the messages coming into my inbox tell me different. People did need to hear our story, and God is going to use it as He sees fit. I’m so thankful that I get to watch His plans unfold, and I didn’t let fear keep me from obedience. Wyatt’s story will make its way to those who need it most. I am certain of it.
The book is done, but our story is not.
The blog tour has given me a glimpse of how our story is sharing the Gospel, and it’s been amazing for me to see how each person is drawn to different parts of our story. I’m so thankful for everyone who took time to read and share our story through their own blogs.
I’m excited to announce that the winner of the blog giveaway is www.shabbycoatbookclub.wordpress.com.
I’d also like to congratulate Tina from Modesto, CA for winning the Love Him Anyway Blog Tour giveaway from Ambassador international. Tina, you’ll be getting a free signed copy of Love Him Anyway. I hope it blesses your heart.