My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26
Have you ever felt like Dori in Finding Nemo and had to coach yourself by repeating, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”? I sure have. But God…well, let me tell you what He has done.
Back Story: After years of running back and forth out of town to help my elderly parents through sicknesses, hospitalizations, loneliness and depression, in addition to my own health issues, my sweet dad passed from deteriorating dementia. Eventually Mom had enough of being alone and far away and finally agreed to come live with us. Shortly after we moved her in, my husband underwent triple bypass surgery, with several complications. Hurricane Irma immediately followed, which resulted in a flood in our home and the need to replace all our floors and other repairs (not just any flood – raw sewerage!).
Before long we found out my amazing, healthy, 92-year-old mom had cancer. At her age, there wasn’t much they could do for her except keep her comfortable. Her physician asked me one day, “Have you called Hospice yet?” – a call I had been dreading and putting off.
That night, I drove to a girl’s get-together with a feeling of heaviness. I doubted whether I should even go because I didn’t have the mental or emotional energy. I forced a smile and conversation, both of which took a lot of effort. The rainy drive home felt long and tedious.
The News: Exhausted but needing to wind down, I decided to get on my computer before I withered into bed. I mindlessly scrolled social media for a while and then checked my email. And there it was: a long-awaited response I had pretty much given up on receiving.
“We’d like to offer you a contract.” I started to sob and couldn’t read any further. I had pitched my book to this publisher nearly six months prior. Several tissues later, I began reading again, “We’d like to offer you a contract.” More sobbing. I’m not sure how many times I read that line before I was finally able to finish the email.
By then, I couldn’t help questioning, “But God, now?” I wondered how I would be able to fulfill the responsibilities of such an offer.
But God: I sensed God gently remind me He knew the timing and all I was about to face. As much as it couldn’t have been a worse time, it couldn’t have been a better time. Our merciful and gracious God was giving me joy amidst my pain. I had heard, “Have you called Hospice?” and “We’d like to offer you a contract” both in the same day.
God gave me the strength needed in the days that followed as I prayed and relied on Him. His power was truly experienced in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Whenever I thought I had nothing left, I felt as though God scooped me up and carried me. (Or you might say, I look back and see only one set of footprints.)
The months that followed were not easy, of course. As I struggled to write the final chapters of the book, my mom experienced increased pain and became weaker and unable to get out of bed. She finally joined my dad in Heaven one night shortly after midnight.
Writing this book felt like a long hard labor, and you know how the end of labor is – the hardest part is just before birth. I found it difficult to concentrate and was unable to write much of anything during those last couple of months with my mom. Then I only had a few weeks to finish the last few chapters after she passed and we had her service (and throw Thanksgiving in there somewhere). But God… To say God helped me write this book is an understatement. The book is about prayer, and He sure tried my prayer life as I wrote it. God emptied me of myself so He could fill me with Himself.(click to tweet)
Announcement: This is a long way of making an announcement that I have a book coming out this fall—Pursuing Prayer – Being Effective in a Busy World. However, I could not tell you this without first sharing with you all God has done. To say, “Hey everyone, I have a new book coming out,” would be all about me. But I want you to know it is all about God. From the beginning of writing this book, there has been one obstacle after another. But God… At times, I lacked the mental and physical energy. But God… The enemy tried hard to deter me and prevent this book from being written. But God…
So here I am. I know little of what’s ahead, but I know Who holds my hand and leads me every step of the way.
But you can help, too: How? First, you can share about the book when you see it on social media. And you can comment on those posts to give the posts more life. (Social media’s algorithms are such that comments and shares help a post to show up on people’s news feeds, thereby enabling more people to see it. Even a simple emoji will do.) You can help get this book into people’s hands so their prayer lives can be enriched and lives can be changed. Our world needs more prayer.(click to tweet)
Second, it would bless me if you would sign up to receive my blog and other news about the book. There’s even a free download for you, and there will be other freebies leading up to the book’s release this fall. (Click here for the FREE DOWNLOAD, Ten Prayer Tips for Busy Days.)
My writing and my blogs have always been for you, to support and encourage you in your faith. I hope you’ll allow me to continue to do so by signing up so we can stay in touch. I’ll be blogging from the book in upcoming weeks.
Thank you so much, Friends. God bless you, and to God be the glory!
When have you had to tell yourself to “just keep swimming”? How have you seen the “but God” in your circumstances? Join the conversation in the comments, and let’s pray for one another.
Pursuing PRAYER – Being Effective in a Busy World, will release from New Hope Publishers late fall, 2019.
Pursuing PRAYER can be used as a Bible study or devotional, for groups or individuals.