Monday, May 09, 2005
How I Got Here, Part 48
Greetings, BGs, on a new week. Glad to see you back.
I was thrilled to read the comments from Friday. To know that God has used this blog to help others—wow. That is way cool. Thank you, God!
So. Here we are on part 48 of our NES. Can you believe it? I started this tale back on February, and here it is May. Sheesh.
So last week we left off with The Call and its results—a 7-book contract with Zondervan in the works. Because of the size of the contract, it would take months to hammer out details and actually sign the thing.
Meanwhile Palm Sunday weekend rolled around—which, of course, means Mount Hermon Writers Conference. I attended that year for the fourth time in a row. It was amazing for me to think about where I’d come from since the first time I went. Just three years later, and I was writing full time with plenty more stuff comin’. On a personal level, however, I was exhausted. The spiritual warfare battle—both within me and surrounding me—had taken its toll, and I’d had no time to recuperate. One big part of it that had been going on for years (details of which I’ve not covered in this blog) had suddenly lifted, and for that I was almost nauseous with gratitude. But I was totally worn out emotionally. And our 12-year-old daughter, who’d been mysteriously sick for going on two months, missing school all that time, was still sick and facing more tests when I returned from the conference.
So I attended Mt. Hermon still feeling in the thick of spiritual battles flowing around me, and enervated. By that time these battles had been going on for almost four years straight.
I had a good time hanging out with my friends at the conference that year. I needed it. Then a surprising thing happened.
I was chosen Writer of the Year.
Well. I’d sat quite a ways in the back for that evening service when winners are announced, so I had a long walk down the aisle. As I strode down, my first thought was, “Wow, this is way cool. Thank You, God!” I saw it as a special gift He gave me—not necessary, just something extra. He is merciful that way, isn’t He? Then my second thought as I reached the stage was, sheesh, the other writers accepted their awards far too quietly. I mean, come on, let’s rejoice a little. So when Dave Talbott handed me the award, I stretched out my arms like he was some long-lost love, wrapped my arms around him, and gave him a huge, hard smack on the cheek.
Those of you who know Dave will understand how deeply he blushed. He tried to cover it by quipping, “Too bad you can’t show a little more enthusiasm.”
By the way, I want to make sure to note that a second Writer of the Year was chosen that year—Karen O’Connor, author of Help, I’m having a Senior Moment, among many other things. I’m honored to share the award with her.
When I returned from Mount Hermon I had to finish Capture the Wind for Me—and write like mad, since I’d had such a tough time writing in the previous months. Problem was, writing like mad was rather difficult with a child sick every day. I also had to take Amberly for tests at Stanford, one of which involved putting the tube down her throat to check out her stomach. For kids, they use full anesthesia during this procedure. It’s such a hard thing to watch your children go through something scary like that.
The tests were negative. Everything seemed to be fine with her stomach—except that it hurt all the time and she had no energy. And this is kid with high pain tolerance. At least she wasn’t throwing up every day, as she had been for almost a month. At this point the doctors basically gave up on her. At least that’s what it sounded like to me when they started talking about sending her to a clinic so she could learn how to “live with the pain.”
Yeah, right. I knew where this pain was coming from. My prayer warrior friends and I kept praying.
When the medical docs gave up on Amberly, I took her to my chiropractor/kinesiologist. I should have done that in the first place. A few visits to that doc, and Amberly got well very quickly. God had answered our prayers for my daughter through those treatments. I can remember one afternoon seeing her energy come back. In the space of an hour she went from lethargic to her old self—laughing and with lots of energy.
Now, finally, I could concentrate on writing. Amberly went back to school, our son was now in a wonderful program and turning his life around, the oppression on my writing was lifted, and all was quiet in our household for the first time in years. I finished Capture the Wind for Me by the end of June, and Amberly graduated from seventh grade. In July I attended my first CBA conference. Negotiations were continuing for my contract with Zondervan. In short, we had two and a half wonderful crisis-free months.
Then, three days after I returned home from CBA, I stooped down to pull a pan out of a low cabinet, fell down hard on my rear when my legs gave out—and couldn’t get up.
Read Part 49