Seven years ago, my world changed forever. And now, some of my most vulnerable moments have been formatted, bound up, put on paper, and are available for anyone to read. That's right, my book, Where Joy Is: Finding Joy in the Midst of Suffering, is finally available now!
I grew up in the country surrounded by trees. The family land encompasses 20+ acres of pine, dogwood, cherry and hickory, cedar, willow, and gum trees that decorate the property and fill the air with soothing and earthy smells. In the spring, everything is blossoming and bright. In the autumn, the ground is carpeted with the dead, brown leaves.
Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I spent a lot of time outside with my family burning those leaves. We would rake up pine cones, dead grass, fallen leaves, and miscellaneous trash and set it all ablaze with one match. Then we would step back as the flames devoured the pile, making sure to keep it contained and preventing it from spreading. We would tend to the fire and watch carefully until all of the trash was completely burned away and only ashes remained.
Sometimes I feel as though that is a picture of my life. Maybe you do, too. Maybe you feel as though God has taken His divine rake and dragged it across the ground of your heart, making a pile of your life before setting it all on fire.
The process is intense. It hurts. If that analogy resonates with you, then my book is for you.
Writing this book has been one, long labor of love; love for Christ and love for others who hurt and ache, and wonder why. The words in this book were not written flippantly, they were written with many tears, and with many more prayers that they might be used to point others to the Source of comfort and joy.
In the pages of my book, I will bring you along as I recount my upbringing, my childhood, and the day my life changed forever. I share snippets of my experience with abuse, betrayal, and divorce, and I share many of my struggles, doubts, and sins in my season of single motherhood. Intermingled with it all, I put a spotlight on the darkness of cracked theology and perfectionism. What I pray will be evident to you as you read, is the hand of God in it all. 🤍
There is a lot to digest in this book, but if you are walking through a season of suffering, I pray that it will be an encouragement to you, and also set fire to your feet as you press forward.