At Thursday night’s Christmas party with Tri-State Women, I shared how they had changed my life in a single year.
A year ago, I went to their Christmas party, when Cheryl Mochau, a visitor, spoke about her book He Knew I Would Tell. She had recently published it to share stories of God moments in her life and those of others. Because I had been to a Living Hell to Living Well retreat earlier that fall, hosted by TSW’s founder Kimberly Delcoco, where I had set a goal of writing a book within 5 years, I was intrigued.
So Cheryl and I made an appointment for a 1:1 over coffee, just before a January meeting of Tri-State Women. Cheryl shared that she felt called to write a book and prayed to ask how to fit time to write it. She woke up early and realized God was giving her the time.
Always ready with a wisecrack, I told her that when God was ready for me to write a book, he would wake me up early to do it. I told her when it happened, I would write “Good morning” on her Facebook wall, and she would know what it meant.
Cheryl told me, “Don’t joke like that. God will take you seriously.”
The next morning, I woke up at 3 a.m. I realized it was time and started writing, getting up early and writing daily for a month. At the end of that month, my book He Uses It for Good was written. It took a lot of the rest of the year to work through the publication process.
But in that full circle of life, this year, it was my book I was talking about at Tri-State Women. After I told how my book began, Kim added insights I have to share.
It wasn’t just what happened to me that changed my life this year. It was my listening to God and saying yes when called. It was about Cheryl and me – and the other women like us – who encouraged one another and worked to inspire each other. In the process, that made an impact on our own lives, the lives of our friends, then our community, and beyond.
What I never expected after finishing my book was the tremendous relief born of sharing a story I had held inside for a lifetime, waiting for the time to be right to tell it. As I wrote the story, I prayed at each step for God to close doors and stop me if the time were wrong or if I should stay silent. Every single time, He pushed me forward.
And I said yes.
With that yes, my whole world is a little brighter – sort of like seeing the colors in the land of Oz after spending a lifetime in Kansas. I can open the door in the morning, hear birds chirping, and get so excited I call my family to the door so they too can hear their music.
Now I see that I had to tell my own story before I could write those of others. This was not an end but was a beginning – future books will include a cookbook, a children’s story book which I hope my husband will illustrate, and a book of meditations inspired by great hymns that sustained me for a lifetime.
Once I said yes to God, whole worlds of possibilities presented themselves.
And I learned that when you surround yourself with kind, compassionate friends who encourage you to aim higher and try new adventures, great things happen.
Thanks, Tri-State Women, most especially Kim and Cheryl.