Sunday, July 31, 2016

Video on Life, Love and Loss

Life, Love and Loss was published just a little more than 100 days ago. Writing and publishing our story has opened many doors to wonderful conversations and blessings. I have a couple of book readings and signings scheduled, and my church produced a wonderful video to help spread the word about the book. (If you've already read it, you'll see photos from some of the adventures mentioned):

Every single day since its release, I've heard from someone who has read the book. I've received many comments on the sweet love story, the message of hope, and the vulnerability in sharing so deep.

Some readers devoured the story in less than a week, then read it again more slowly a second time. A few book-study groups are reading it together. Some readers are just getting through it as a 90-day devotional, appreciating the questions to ponder each day.

Every day I'm still amazed at what God has orchestrated. God knew that the process of writing, rewriting and rearranging was what I needed to progress through the grief. Examining the story at so many angles and sifting it carefully to re-tell it has been tremendously helpful. The healing continues as I talk with others who have immersed themselves in the pages.

Thank you, God, for more lavish provisions. Thank you for so many friends along the journey.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Special people in our journey

Abiding in Jesus is continually turning the controls over, trusting Him and doing the next thing He impresses on me. It's leaving enough margin to listen, to watch and to be sensitive to the details. It's taming the distractions because they may well be the enemy's best weapon against hearing God's voice in my life.

Since I launched Life, Love and Loss in April, I've still been involved with the book every single day. Each day I get to hear stories of how it has inspired people and even changes in their lives. Thank you, Lord! And, I am still working on getting copies out to thank some special people for their roles in our journey.

Recently, I brought a copy to the wise and wonderful oncologist who treated Ted for the 12 years of his cancer. Since I am not a patient I could not book time on his calendar, so it required stopping by his office on a couple of occasions to find him available.

He came out to meet me and immediately shook my hand, saying he was just mentioning Ted. Seeing him the first time without Ted, I almost cried. He was always there in the lowest points to offer a new solution. He sorted out the mess in 2011 (p. 156), he was the one Ted asked for during the longest night of our lives (p. 204) and he gave me wisdom in a very difficult decision (p. 228).

During a long illness, the doctor and his nurses become like family. After losing Ted, I also felt a sense of loss in no longer being connected to these people, so it brought great satisfaction to my heart to talk with him again and give him the book.

He was animated as usual, and surprised that I had written a book. I thanked him once more for all his wonderful care that had improved Ted's quality of life for many more years. We chatted a while about Ted's fighting spirit and good nature. A handshake and two big hugs later, it had been a great visit!

During that visit, I found that Ted's "favorite nurse" (p. 200) was no longer there, so I did a little detective work and had a friend reach out and ask her to contact me. We met last week so I could give her a book. She had tears in her eyes to think she had touched our lives and that I still thought of her.

"Ted was an inspiration and a fighter. He never complained," she said. I thanked her for her good care on the long days of treatment, along with her patience and cheerfulness creating the positive atmosphere we so appreciated. (We became Facebook friends, connected as family once again!)

God, thank you for these dear people and the role they played in our lives. Thank you for giving me the book that has meant so much to me and is now touching others. We give you all the glory, honor, thanks and praise. Thank you for teaching us to abide in you.