I want to tell you about something amazing that happened to me in the summer of 2016.
And yet, for those of us who call ourselves Christians….. the story I’ll tell you about should probably be routine—NOT amazing. But let me back-up two more years, to build up to my story….. When my wife Laura passed away in 2014, I entered the terrible world of grief.
I soon discovered that I was going to have to find my own way out of grief, and without realizing it, I became focused on that giant task in front of me. In addition to all the small changes—whether tangible or intangible, I always had a major “grief reduction project” going on to provide healing. For instance….. in 2014 to early 2015 I was doing a daily journaling activity to deal with all my thoughts and emotions. In 2015 I wrote “My Grief Journey: Stories and Illustrations“, and found an Editor/Publisher who was able to make it available on Amazon to help others in their grief (comfort one another with the comfort you’ve received 2Cor. 1:4). As I was doing these things, my grief was subsiding.
By the beginning of 2016, I knew there was still one monumental task at home ….. and my personal grief journey couldn’t be completed until I “took-on” that task and saw it through to completion….. You’re wondering, what was that monumental task right? Well, during the years that Laura was confined to bed and her health slowly declined, she wrote devotionals.
I felt that for part of the final “hurdle“ of my personal grief journey, I needed to try to turn her devotionals into a book that could go on to help others….. I had not looked at those devotionals in years….. they were on paper, but they were mostly rough drafts that I would have to put finishing touches on. But I felt it was time. I asked God to give me the strength and ability as I got them out, and started my monumental task!
The reason I stated earlier that this task was “monumental“ was that in a sense these were the last “unheard” words of Laura. It was up to me to go through each and every word, scripture text, and in some cases I would have to finish phrases or descriptions to portray exactly what she was trying to say. I felt like I was handling irreplaceable fine china….. Yet, I was the only one who could do this portion—because I knew her heart!
Winter turned to spring as I continued my word-by-word task until I finally had the completed manuscript! I then called the person who had handled “My Grief Journey“ for the final Edit/Proofread and Publishing only to find out that they no longer do that! So….. I first started asking some pastor friends and some other friends with English teaching backgrounds for recommendations. I either received no recommendations or “proofread only” recommendations. I did internet searches constantly, and I had to be sure it would be someone I could trust to handle scripture as almost half of the book’s content would be scripture.
The weeks went on, no one seemed to have any leads for me. I kept on doing my “key words” search—which now seemed redundant. The hours, weeks and months of work that I’d poured into it, seemed like they were going nowhere. I didn’t understand it….. I wasn’t trying to gain anything from it. I had a page prepared at the beginning of the “book” donating ALL the proceeds to the Homecare and Hospice so that others could be helped….. Why?….. What was God saying? I had spent 9 weeks trying to find someone to complete the book project….. Why?…..
My garden was a mess, with weeds from neglect, so feeling discouraged and defeated on a bright, sunny, hot Saturday morning, without eating anything, I grabbed a gallon jug of water and started weeding my garden. Only, while I was on my hands and knees , I was also talking and crying out to God about not being able to find someone—anyone to edit-proofread and publish Laura’s book. I don’t know how many hours I was out there, I went through the entire gallon of water and I was exhausted, but I now felt that maybe the book project was just for me to learn from because I now had a special peace about it!
After a long hot shower and something to eat, I smiled and thought I’d try a “word search” one more time for an Editor etc….. I’m sure I typed in the same “key words” I had tried many, many times before….. only this time I sat there in amazement, wide eyed—because at the top of the first page was: Christian Editing Services! I started reading what services they offer, they were everything and MORE that I had been looking for all this time! They had a brief information page to fill out to get started, but I waited until Monday morning, sent it in and there were several emails and phone calls back and forth….. (they were all absolutely wonderful people)…..By the end of the week, work on “Laura’s Journey“ was officially underway! It took several weeks for the completed product to be available on Amazon, but it turned out beautiful and was worth the wait!
I still wonder and don’t understand about that “word search”….. But there I go again! I need to just remember that special peace I had after a day of unplanned fasting and prayer and crying out to God….. Because at the end of that day it’s almost as if that special peace from God was saying……….. I Sure Enjoyed That Special Time With You!
Till Next Time…..