I received the edits for my book from my publisher this past weekend and now have less than four weeks to polish up the re-writes.
Consumed and overwhelmed with this next step in the book-writing process, I sat at my kitchen table this morning and opened to page one. Tears began to follow down my cheeks as I followed the words along the page. It was as if I were reading someone else’s sad story. And not as a way to praise myself, just in private honesty I thought–this story is powerful. The story is no longer for me alone. It has reached a new place where it can be shared with others. Now the story has the possibility to fit with someone else’s story of loss and struggle.
One of the early comments my editor gave me was that it seemed I was writing the book for myself and not keeping the “reader” in mind. Although a criticism, this made sense to me. Writing is my most powerful source of therapy. I believe it’s the tool God gave me to work his healing in me.
But, something has changed. While reading some of the new edits this morning, I cried with complete pouring out–realizing the book is no longer mine. It isn’t about me. It’s about what God is doing in me. God is making me new and that is evident in the reworking of my book. It is no longer written as notes to myself. It is becoming a tool that has the potential to help another hurting heart. It is near ready for someone else to read and possibly find comfort.
I couldn’t take it all in. I went to the bathroom to find a Kleenex and found myself curling onto the floor–ending up in an Indian style position. The book is out of me, I heard myself say inside my head. I pictured Shawn mirroring the way I sat with legs crossed, our knees would have been touching if he was really there. With eyes half shut, I envisioned him cupping my face in his hands, sharing with me a knowing smile. The book is out of me, Shawn. It’s a pouring out of everything I am in hope to find the life I’m meant to share. Again, I sensed him knowing.
A friend once told me that when I am ready to help someone else, it is a sign of healing inside me.
I think when I am ready to help someone else, it’s a sign of God’s editing. He is re-working my story just as he promised.