Saturday, February 21, 2015
How Do I End My Memoir?
12:21 am est
I received this question in my email today from a reader and it's a great question
to consider, so I share it here for those who may find my advice helpful.
Hi, I am emailing you to ask for your help, please,
as I have a huge respect for you and your work.
I am an artist who is trying
to write a memoir, but struggling with the ending.
My story is obviously true,
based on my losing my dad in the summer. He took his own life.
event was like a film. It didn't seem real, the build up, the actual event, and the aftermath.
I feel I also need to share this event as self-therapy more than anything as I am still struggling
to come to terms with what happened.
I know how to start my memoir,
the middle, but it's just the end - how do I finish it? What's the point to it?
I finish it on the one-year anniversary, for example, when I will return to where it happened and finish up my feelings, and
how I haven't ended it all myself, which was going through my mind when I stood at the spot where it happened last June?
I really don't know, I am so stuck on how to end it and not make it a pointless book, but I just
don't know how.
I appreciate it. You are probably very busy yourself,
but just a moment of your time and a reply would be so hugely appreciated. I can't even begin to tell you how much.
Thank you very much and I look
forward to hearing from you.
ending is the redemption — if you haven’t figured out how God used this event in your life to teach you more about
your heavenly Father, then I would stop and spend some time in prayer. Here are some questions to ponder:
1. What have I learned about God’s sufficiency?
2. Am I closer to God because of
this painful experience?
3. How has this impacted my life for the future?
4. How can I help others who might
be faced with a similar situation?
5. Have I let go of my anger, my unforgiveness, my sin, my false expectations
of my father, and given my heavenly Father first place in my life?
6. Do I love God more, enough to let go
and move on with my life?
Think about these things. A memoir must first be
written to you — to work out your own salvation, and then you can help others work out theirs — for God’s
glory and your healing.
I will add here, writing a memoir can be one of the most gut-wrenching
undertakings you ever do and should be bathed in prayer. God can teach you much about grace and joy, even if you never publish
your memoir. To read my award-winning piece on how to write a memoir in twelve easy steps, click here.
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Do We Make God Too Small?
1:43 am est
Two days before my 30th birthday my ex-husband left me for another woman. The house was cold and
empty and I thought I would never be happy again. I didn’t want to live anymore and seriously considered ending my life.
However, life keeps moving forward just as God’s kingdom advances unceasingly. I now have two beautiful internationally
adopted daughters, I work at home providing broadcast captioning for television, and I just published my seventh book as an
Never give up on your dreams—commit your ways to God and He will give you
so much more. If anything, I believe we make God too small. We try to create Him in our image and then when
our puny dreams aren’t answered, we’re disappointed. Maybe we ask with the wrong motives at times, but more often
than not, God wants to give us something better.
I recently returned
from a mission trip to Nepal with my younger daughter, Joy. We delivered a hundred pounds of books to orphans. God renewed
my spirit on the trip, giving me a more positive attitude toward life and hope that no matter how wicked the world seems,
His kingdom is moving forward. The gates of Hell will not prevail.
God put writing on my heart at a very young age—but
without great grace, we can’t have great redemption. God surely had a lot of grace He needed to pour into me. I was
a wounded spirit.
The hard things in life God used to make me teachable. Only when I came to the end of
myself did I realize God really is everything He claims to be—and much more. I am thankful for those dark, fearful,
waters almost thirty years ago. Without them, God couldn’t give me the books He wants me to write today.
I am working
on the third book in the Seventh Dimension Series – The Castle, where a young
Jewish boy is confronted with a mystery hidden from his people for two thousand years.
The process of writing puts me
in the seventh dimension – where God reveals Himself to me in ways I don’t understand. The mystery of God keeps
me from making God too small. If we don’t have hope that God can give us our ultimate dreams, then we have made God
a stingy God. My hope, satisfaction, and supreme joy are wrapped up in my Lord and Savior. If ever I start to doubt God’s
grace, I’m the one who has moved, not God.
I returned to college at the ripe old age of fifty-six and received
my Master of Arts in Creative Writing. In the last three years, I have won almost a dozen awards for my writing. My prayer
now is to be able to write full time and make a living from my books. In the meantime, I’m thankful for all the opportunities
we have to get our books into the hands of readers.