Last week, within my annual “One Word for the New Year” post, I tucked in a very important mention of why my 2015 holds so much promise. It has to do with a book that is coming; one that will contain, somewhere on its cover, my byline.
There’s so much to share about this incredible project, but I don’t know how else to do so except by, like peeling an onion, layer by layer.
And so I’ve decided to go about it by carving out some space on Peace Garden Writer this month, in these remaining weeks proceeding the launch, post by post so as as not to overwhelm anyone — myself included.
I can really blame my mother-in-law. She’s known about this journey from the start, but it’s come in bits and pieces. Recently, she was trying to grasp it all and asked me, by email, if I could write a detailed account of how this all came to be. Could I remind her of the journey? What was it that started the whole thing again? It’s been almost three years in the making, so a lot of the details have gotten lost in the shuffle of life.
So let me start slowly, at the beginning, to help answer the question: How was it that I ended up being part of a book project that, as it turns out, was picked up and is being published by a major religious publisher?
Let’s see, how did it begin? How did this little strip come to be?
I remember getting an email from a friend of mine — someone who is prominent in the world of Catholic communicators. She said she’d been tapped by a prominent Catholic radio host, who’d been approached by someone connected with a very influential pro-life organization with a connection to a story that begged to be shared.
The friend who came to me said that when the project was proposed to her, she thought immediately of me as a prospective writer. We’ve known each other for years and in that time, she’d become very aware of both my potential and passion. She knew I was very busy, in transition in fact in my career, but she had to follow up on what she felt was a Holy Spirit sort of prompting.
When I take a step back, it is rather incredible to me how it all came to be, and how I ultimately was connected with a Catholic mother in Texas who has since become a very precious friend. This friend, Ramona, experienced a profound conversion around Easter in 2011, and, after much prayer, was considering sharing her story in the hopes it might benefit others, especially through relaying how deeply God had touched her life.
These things tend to tug and burn on our hearts. God prompts us, and we are obliged to respond in some way.
So Ramona responded, and through a series of interesting events, I was tapped. Let me just say this: the line from Fargo to Texas has been well-worn these past three years. Not only have I spent time with Ramona in person on three different occasions, but I’ve met her family and stayed up until the wee hours of the morning with her pondering the important things in life.
When I agreed to help write a book, I didn’t know all that that would come to mean, but in the process I’ve gained a very precious friend. And not just one friend, but several, because one of the people who played a role in Ramona’s conversion, and consequently wrote the foreword for the book, has become a friend as well.
So when did I enter in? It was in the spring of 2012 — a year after Ramona’s conversion — when the email first popped into my inbox. Within a short amount of time, I was involved in a three-way conference call, and it didn’t take long from there for things to unfold.
In the end, we are convinced that the Holy Spirit had something to do with the merging, and that, for us personally, the collaboration has been about more than just a book all along.
Don’t get me wrong. This story alone would have been worth setting aside what seemed like hundreds of Saturdays (thanks to my dear hubby) in order to arrive at the finish line. But the relationships that have formed as a result have convinced me all the more of God’s love for me. Ramona is a gem and we have complemented each other quite well along this road and learned so much in our spiritual and familial travels together.
I can’t wait to share more, but I must not rush things. The layers cannot be stripped away in haste or some of the flavor will be lost. But I will share more a week from today. In the meantime, there’s a little more here.
I promise you that the layers will not be bitter like an onion; not even close. Unless you’re talking about a sweet onion — maybe then, yes.
Q4U: What news have you had to peel like an onion, one layer at a time?