The Story Behind the Story Part 5
Here we go! After a long but awesome few weeks of adjusting to our new addition to the family, here is the final post in my blog series.
Part Five - My Personal Journey
By the end, I enjoyed every second of my first writing venture, except perhaps the grueling task of understanding the publishing world. Even that was a quite insightful journey. I learned a lot along the way from the moment I wrote the first line on my smartphone to when I finished reading and editing the manuscripts for the millionth time. Funny enough, I actually did enjoy the rewriting and editing process too. It was almost like reading a book and suddenly you don't like something that happens or even the way something is written and then you say, "Oh yeah! I can change that!"
In the end of it all, I think what caught me the most off guard was the depth of my own personal journey and growth that I encountered throughout the process. The backgrounds of my characters were quite different than my own as a child. In fact, other than seeing a little bit first hand of the struggles our combat veterans face when returning home through husband's time in the military, I really had no personal connection with any of my character's stories or experiences. I have learned a lot about childhood trauma and neglect through my work and also through training when we began the adoption process, so that gave me a good handle on creating their stories and reactions to events that happened in their pasts. Other than that, it really was left to my imagination with a little bit of additional research on certain behaviors, medications, mental diagnoses, etc.
What truly got me was not a connection or understanding with any particular story or person in my work. It was the personal wake up call I encountered when searching scripture. As I sought ways to help each one of my fictional characters cope with their pasts and traumas, I suddenly found personal healing myself. I couldn't explain it at first. For years I had dealt with anxiety, depression, and my own self image. I never even knew or understood why. I figured maybe I had inherited it genetically since anxiety disorders and depression run in the family. Perhaps it was from the childhood bone disorder I was diagnosed with that affected me till I was eighteen. Regardless of what it was, I suddenly found myself embarking upon my own quest for answers and personal freedom. I realized more than ever before the level of strength and power we have in Christ if we merely reach out and embrace it. Our new life as sons and daughters of God doesn't end at salvation. It merely begins.
Ultimately, it all came down to this.. You can never delve into God's word and not learn something new. I found that the passages I was studying regarding anxiety, depression, encouragement, temptation, trials, and even forgiveness were exactly what I needed in my own life. Then it dawned on me once again that we as human beings, no matter our life circumstances, share so much in common. No matter the cause, we all deal with anxiety, depression, stress, temptation, forgiveness, etc. I realized that the verses and even the story I was writing was relevant to my own life not because I shared similarities with my characters but because I struggle with the same things they do. Not only was it a revelation to me but also eye opening as I realized all the more the importance of uplifting one another and reaching out to others in their time of need. It just emphasized the theme behind my story all the more. The answer to life's problems can't be found in medication, medical diagnosis or alternative forms of treatment alone. We weren't created to walk this world alone, and we are to reach out and love one another just as Christ loved us, unconditionally. We can only find true healing when we find strength in Christ and support from one another.
By the time book three was complete, I found a renewed sense of healing in my life. I felt ready to face the world with a whole new outlook. I think my new attitude could be summed up by one statement, to live in faith and not fear. This statement is thrown out there so often I think we don't even take the time to think of it's true meaning. It doesn't mean we suddenly just say goodbye to fear and find a renewed, unwavering faith that makes us fearless. It means we have the courage to accept that fear is real, face our fears, and have the faith to know that God will see us through and never give us more than we can handle. When we find that strength in Him rather than ourselves, then we find true peace.
I hope this short blog series gave a bit of insight into the inspiration and process behind writing The New Waiver. Two months to go until release date! I'll have more to come soon.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." 1 Corinthians 10:13