Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Final Chapter

It's written in red because I was proofing galleys
that morning.
God gave me a huge gift this morning. On my way to yoga practice, I was looking at the trees and clouds and thinking, I wonder if Denver will be as beautiful? I don't know that I've ever appreciated the flora of Middle Tennessee, but now that I'm desert-bound, I'm getting sentimental about everything (and, of course, everyone) around me. My thinking got me to thinking: How did I get here, and where am I going?

That's when it happened. God gave me my final chapter. Let me explain.

In the last few years, I've become a lightning rod for women struggling with infertility. Even before I started talking about my own problems, women would confide their stories to me. Almost exactly 1 year ago today, I had 2 friends confess to me the same tragedy within 8 hours of each other: both had miscarriages the previous day, and both were 8 weeks pregnant at the time. Neither knew about the other.

I called David from the quiet of my home office where I was editing part of The Voice Bible translation. I was disturbed. Shaking. Crying. Confused. Overreacting! But David was patient with me and asked me the strangest question: "If you were to write a book about all this, what would you say?" I spent the next 30-45 minutes writing. My pen never left the legal pad; my mind never stopped. This is part of what I created:

What you see is the first outline of my book. Each chapter title is an off-the-cuff comment I heard during my infertility journey. In 45 minutes I knew whom I'd collaborate with, who my audience is, and what the hypothetical book would be. I left my office and crashed on the couch for a 4-hour nap. I was exhausted.

I was awakened from a very deep sleep by a publisher at Thomas Nelson who also goes to my church. He was calling to ask me about a ghost-writing project. During our "small talk" (which is always deep), I told him what had happened to my friends and how upset I was that morning; and he said to me, "We've been looking for someone to write a book on infertility. Would you be interested in doing something like that?" Then I told him about my crazy 45 minutes and the outline sitting on my desk at that moment. He said, "Polish it up, and send it to me by Friday."

That's how I got my book contract. I truly believe God gave this book to me. However, He didn't give me the final chapter that day. It came today on my way to the Y. I had the idea it would be titled, "You Never Know What God Will Do,"  but I didn't know what the content would be. I supposed the expected "happy ending" is me sharing with the world that I too am having a baby. But that won't be happening, and that is really the antithesis of my book (and it's stated subtitle!): finding wholeness when answers don't make sense (or they're stupid). Amanda having a baby isn't a happy ending. Amanda finding wholeness by accepting God's plan is a happy ending!

God's plans for our lives are amazing when we let go of our wants and embrace Him. I find wholeness and peace when I rest in Him (even if that resting occurs in another time zone). His plans are better than mine. They are better than yours too. That's what I hope to articulate in the final chapter. Thank you, God!

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