Seeking Solace: Finding Joy After Loss
Brand New Book!
I’m excited to announce my upcoming book, “Seeking Solace: Finding Joy After Loss” is nearly ready! I didn’t realize until today’s blog post that my title matches Matthew 7:7 (Seek and ye shall find…), which highlights the themes within my book. It’s one of those delightful surprises God often springs on me when I least expect it!
I’m in the final editing phase now. I’m shooting for a March 1 Launch to give myself time for any glitches. Today I’m going to reveal the front cover and share a little bit about the background of my book, how it came to be.
Midst of Grief
My mother passed away on May 6th. Each day the bright sun melted into another day while I stayed trapped in the dark grief filled “night” that follows the death of a loved one.
A Glimmer of an Idea
I went through the motions of talking to my writing coach each month about my writing but without accomplishing anything beyond a few blog posts. The truth was, I didn’t know if I wanted to write anymore. After all, it was a writing event that kept me from being near my mother in her time of need.
My coach suggested I seek out a frequently-asked question from my speaking events and journal about the topic.
After a long pause, I said, “Someone always asks how I can stay positive and upbeat when I’m losing my vision.” I didn’t feel upbeat or positive. “I know the answer,” I said, halfheartedly. “It’s that God brought me through earlier faith battles. I wrote some devotionals about them.”
“That’s where you start,” she said. “Why not compile them into a booklet to encourage others facing similar hurdles?”
Themes and Goal
I followed her advice to seek out what I’d previously written, and add enough to make a booklet. A scan through my devotionals reminded me my biggest faith battles took place while living in the United Arab Emirates. Re-reading them, I found the overall theme of loss with specific types of loss: coping with the loss of my twins and a miscarriage, going through a divorce, and facing my dad’s cancer diagnosis. I decided to include 10 devotionals on each theme so the reader could go through it for a month. My goal seemed reachable. 30 Devotionals. I could do that.
God’s plans were so much deeper than my own. He wasn’t going to let me rest on my laurels, as the saying goes. To be authentic, I had to seek through the Bible and my memories. Then I had to actually rewrite my devotionals to reflect a more in-depth understanding of how God ministered to me in that situation. Limiting my words challenged me in a new way. Sometimes brevity didn’t allow me to include critical information. It took various rewrites to hone my stories into a concise bundle where God’s truths clearly emerged. The result was kind of a hybrid –a little longer devotional that allowed me to share my stories.
Seek and Ye Shall Find
What I didn’t realize back in August was how God would act on my behalf. By seeking to answer that one question, “How can you stay upbeat and positive when you’re losing your vision?” I was allowing God to work in and through me. He reminded me of how he had cared for me in the past. By focusing on Him and not the loss of my mother, I started to tap more into my faith. He shined the candle of truth into my personal darkness to help me move forward. I had to meet deadlines with my writing coach. I also had to leave the house to attend my critique group. I had to cook dinner for my brother. To do that, I had go to the bank to take out money and to shop for groceries. All these tasks caused me to focus on specific goals that forced me to interact with others again. While I still grieved and longed for my mom, the tears that amassed quickly and spilled out so frequently didn’t come as often. I also expanded my original plan of 30 devotionals to 45. I kept uncovering ways that God had ministered to me! The more I saw how God met my needs in the past, the more I believed He was meeting my needs each day.
Like my devotional writing, the cover of my book went through several revisions. In addition, like my devotionals, I had a central idea I worked from. For my book cover, it was the photograph. I took it last year in a snowstorm. I didn’t know why but it felt “right.” I originally thought the photo would symbolize overcoming obstacles. Whenever I asked anyone what my photo communicated to them, they said “joy” or “Joy in the storm.” That was a surprise to me! I was reminded once again how joy is not happiness; it’s something deeper and not dependent on circumstance. JOY! God had ministered to me in the past, helping me to live in the present and reminds me of His promise to be with me in the future when I experience more vision loss.
God has taught me so much through every phase of writing this book! He continues to grow my faith and hone my craft to reach out to others. What we learn in the dark, we share in the light (Matthew 10:27). That is what God has challenged me to do as my book, Seeking Solace: Finding Joy After Loss, comes together.
It’s my prayer this book will minister to others in the same way.
What kinds of loss have impacted you? How has God ministered to you?
You have just read “Seeking Solace: Finding Joy After Loss” by Amy L. Bovaird © January 12, 2018. I’d love to see what you think of my new cover!