Saturday, June 29, 2013

WHY I WROTE MY BOOK~The reason behind the book

My first thought upon waking this morning was that I really should tell my readers what led me to write my book, THE MEETING PLACE: Moments with God at Lookout Point.  I want to encourage you to buy a copy, not because it is exceptional nor fancy, not because it would go to my ego or increase sales. NOT FOR ME. FOR YOU! Because this book has something to give, that is real, that will touch you or move you. It is written for those who have suffered.  It leads to a place of comfort. Let me explain.

I hurt. What took me to the Lookout in the first place was the pain in my heart. I found myself there, surrounded by its beauty on Good Friday morning in 2009.  The pain came from a broken heart, something that had happened six months before and continued on and on, causing me a sadness I could not remove.  He had been the best friend I had ever known in the male category. I found in him a kindness and thoughtfulness I had not known before. He made me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. When he looked at me, the term “adored” comes to mind.  I had been divorced for five years, and he was the first one I allowed to come close. The damage I had sustained years earlier had destroyed a part of me, that part that believes in one’s own value and the tender graces that make up a woman of God.   

No, people couldn’t see it, yet it was there.  I had kept myself from dating so I could become well in my person before opening that door, if I ever would. Besides, I was too busy with church, family, and work! I never had done the singles thing, I had no interest in it.  It was my daughter in college who wanted me to get out of my rut, and wanted to see me smile again.  She decided to help me move forward with an on-line dating service which matches personalities and interests. She did this while I was cooking Easter dinner, asking me a myriad of questions as she entered my responses. E-Harmony soon matched me with him. We lived in neighboring towns.  We were friends for many months before becoming closer, not even sharing affectionate gestures until the relationship solidified half a year later.  He wanted to do it right, to establish our friendship and caring first.  Life had hurt him, too. Only in recent years had he turned his life to God and been given a new start and purpose. We experienced a rare connection on many levels.

God knew what I needed in giving me this friendship.  This man helped me. Through his kindness and care I found my inner womanhood I had lost so long before, who had felt so unloved and unwanted. His care was pure, deep, true. Yet, I couldn't go there completely. Even though he treated me well and was good to me in a gentle way, I was the one who ended our relationship. 

A fool or wise? It ended because of our church differences. I didn’t think it could work. I found myself being pulled in two ways, my love and caring for him in one way, and my love and caring for my church and its beliefs in the other way. I had promised myself to God, and I knew God's plan for me had to come first.  Before the breakup I found myself debating our differences in my mind. Some of it was over biblical things like doctrine and theology.  This man was also pursuing God’s direction in His church, it was leading him toward shepherd status. As I thought it through, I believed it was best for him to have a woman by his side who interpreted scripture the same as he did, someone with the same theological positions. I didn't know how deeply it would hurt me, how much I cared, nor how it would be like grief and sorrow in the aftermath.

Later God showed me that when He is in something He makes a way. And that I could find a home in a liturgical church and be at peace. But, I was short-sighted at the time, worrying about losing certain ways of worship found in my church’s approach and delivery. In time, God used this to open my eyes to the central truths about scripture and to see the universal Church in a new light.  He showed me many other things through my intentional reading and times of prayer. I grew from this experience in many ways. It broadened my understanding in rich and amazing ways. I opened a new door and walked through. This would not have happened without my lost friendship. I saw something I had missed out on in my past spiritual teachings and experiences. But that is another story.

What had seemed right at the time, took a turn the other way.  The man who had grown to mean so much to me chose to let my friendship go. What I had done seemed like a form of betrayal.  It was then that I realized that in my honesty I had been misunderstood.  But, the damage was done, the relationship irretrievable, and it was over between us. No longer would this friend be a part of my life nor would we have contact.  Not in a million years had I thought that I would lose this friendship. I hadn’t expected this result.  I had believed we would be friends for life regardless of the status of our relationship.  

The door was shut.  It became clear to me in the months to follow, that my love for him ran deep. I realized that I could judge him, but what good would that do? What he had done for me in being a part of my life though only temporarily, far surpassed anything else, trumped the closed door.  I wanted this friendship to renew.  I wanted his forgiveness most of all. I wrote him and shared my thoughts, tried to explain.  In the next few months, I saw him a couple of times, and I asked his forgiveness. I felt my feelings stir and collide.  And, I understood that my heart was not free.

What do you do with that type of sorrow, the regret?  You can’t ignore it.  You can’t give into it when it feels like a dark shadow following you around making your days sad and lonely. You have to do something or go crazy. I realized I was in a state of grieving. In time I surrendered it all to God and trusted Him to help me. I prayed often and fervently.  And, I turned to my writing to help assuage the hurt.

Because of this sorrow I found myself at the Lookout. I made a commitment to one-hour weekly visits to its overlook during my second visit to Lookout Point in Paradise, California.  These would be one-hour visits.  I would observe, think, pray, and seek God, writing my thoughts throughout the process.  In turn, He would minister to me.  My love of nature with its sense of wonder would propel this forward into a thing of beauty. It soon became the best hour of my week.  I'd sit there or walk by the railing, thinking and praying.  Soon thoughts would begin to form and I'd write them out in long-hand in a spiral notebook.  It was hard to squeeze the time in but I made myself do it.  I asked God to speak to me.  He did. He gave me many wonderful considerations.  In a form of consolation, He spoke to my inner brokenness and need.

 A few months into it I reread my journal entries.  I typed out a few for a friend whose husband was suffering with cancer and sent them off via email.  Later, I decided to compile them into book form, thinking they could help people. My heart’s desire was that the writings would show the way to intimacy with God.  I find God to be very real and extremely caring.  
My first shipment of books arrives, October 11, 2012.
Amazon Link is HERE
Comments received:

I tried to get through your book quickly and learned it is like eating too much of a rich desert. So I slowed down and read a few pages at a time giving myself time to meditate upon your words. Indeed they are rich and deep. I can see many books in your future. You encourage me more than I can say. . . The Reflective Prayer was a "speak to the heart" prayer. What I like about it is it can fit any occasion. . . The depth, tone, and richness of the words moved me deeply.”                                      
                                               L., writer

My Mom picked (your book) up first and it is really ministering to her heart. Every time she puts it down to go to bed she comes to me, crying and saying, this book is so good." She loves how you look at God and I believe it is really encouraging her with this walk in life with Dad (he has Alzheimer’s). It has been hard so thank you for being used by God.”          
                                                C., missionary

I read you book and I was so blessed. It was amazing! I so enjoyed your sincere intimate walk with God and sharing daily struggles and listening to our Father, being faithful to trust him.
Since I have not read an entire book in many years (I read so much at work) this is my testimony of how special your book is. I usually start reading and am asleep in minutes, but I could not stop reading your book. God Bless you for sharing your faith in this beautiful way. . . I will be sharing with my family and friends.”                           
                                                K., insurance agent

I have just started your book.  I am in Awe.  I am already convinced you met God and listened to HIM. You have touched my heart greatly as I read your message and God’s message.  Your writing is amazing.  You capture me with each day.  You bring tears to my eyes as I read your pain. Your truths are God’s Word. I know with all my heart this book came because you have gone through the fire. I will read this book slowly and I will allow God to speak to me.”     
                                                K., hostess

What a wonderful  writer, you are!!!  Your book is not one you can just sit down and read.  The kind I love! in the spiritual, as well as, statistical. I think I've read all of Malcolm Gladwell's books,  The Tipping Point, Outliers, Blink, etc.  That's why I've always been drawn to Christian authors like C. S. Lewis.  You can't just "sit down and read any of his books" . . . Your book is one of great depth and vision; such detail and so personal. . .I had my friend read aloud while I was driving, she said,  ‘what is this, who is this?  I want one!’  so I will get her one and some of my other friends, too. . . You have a wonderful way of seeing God in nature and loving it enough to explain it, giving a sense of vision to the reader.”             
                                                C., real estate agent

Nice review by Dan Barnett of your book in the Chico E-R (newspaper) yesterday! I am reading it and it is blessing me so much.”                                                                                 K., radio personality

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