During the publishing process of publishing my book, Masquerade , I had a small group of close friends with whom I shared. They were people I considered my “inner circle”, and trusted them to advise, though none had ever published a book before.
As the time drew close to the actual release date, one of them talked to me about her desire to have a “release party” to celebrate the milestone. I felt sort of awkward about it, since I didn’t really want the attention. That was the reason I’d published under a pen name, after all. When I told her I felt uncomfortable with the accolades, she suggested that we get together for a prayer session, to pray that God would use the book to touch lives the way He intended. This was much more palatable to me. I had never intended the book to be about me or anything I’d done, but about how God rescued me from darkness so that others might also be rescued from darkness. Praying that He would put the book in the hands of the people who needed it was a much more fitting response to His call to write the book in the first place.
A few weeks ago, my dear friend, Jim, passed away. In my post, God’s timing, I described the exchange of information between Jim, his wife, and myself regarding the book. I felt the need to share with Jim what had happened in my life after the book was published, but I also felt strongly that I should start with the book itself. I sent it to them in January, and, because of Jim’s poor eyesight, his wife read it to him.
If you remember, Jim passed just days after finishing the book, before I had a chance to tell him the rest of the story. When I saw Jim’s wife at the funeral, we remarked on the irony of the timing and said we trust God for whatever His timing is.
Yesterday afternoon, I received this email from Jim’s wife:
I could hardly wait to get home from church today and tell you what happened.
This week one of the women who came by with food stayed and visited
with me. We got to talking, and she told me that her daughter, about
whom we had been praying, had been clean now for 6 months. In the
process of our talk, she told about her own drug abuse. She grew up
in an abusive family of users and became a user herself. It was all
she knew; everyone around her used drugs. As an adult she came to
know the Lord, and has been a Christian for a few years now. She
opened up and told me about her former life of drug abuse, of
depression, thoughts of suicide, cuttings, etc. She had not told
people about this, and even then as she was telling me, she admitted
to be currently suffering from severe depression, and not long ago for
about a week had been institutionalized for admitting to having
suicidal thoughts. However, with all that going on, her life away
from home was a “masquerade.” I had no clue this was going on or had
gone on in her life.
Because I had read your book, I had some insight into what she was
dealing with–a world in which I was a total stranger. I would have
been completely unprepared to deal with what she was telling me. But
because of God’s grace and having read your book, I had more
understanding and insight into her situation/condition. I was able to
not be shocked. AND I was able to council her and let her know that
these thoughts that she was experiencing were Satanic attacks. We
talked about that, and about how to understand it and recognize it for
what it is, and with the Lord’s help, ways to counter it. I loaned
her your book. I think it will be helpful for her.
THEN this morning at church, she rushed to me and said that when she
got into her car after she left me, there was such a burden
lifted—such a release! Knowing that she was NOT going crazy, that she
was being attacked, that God was with her and with his help she could
withstand the attacks. Suddenly she felt JOY. As she told me this
morning, I rejoiced with her, but I also warned her that Satan will
not give up, but now she knows and can recognize what is going on, and
has knowledge and tools to defeat the thoughts. Again, if I had not
read your book, I would have just been dumbfounded and not known what
to say. But also, it was in God’s timing. I don’t think that God
would have given her that freedom to open up to me if I had not been
somewhat prepared to understand her, give her some comfort, and give
her some Godly advice.
Wow! I wanted you to know that already your book has been so
revealing about the robbing of joy, and even life threatening thoughts
that even Christians go through and to understand why these thoughts
come. And it gave me, who doesn’t precisely live in that particular
world, some tools to help someone who does—and there are so many
others out there about which most of us are completely unaware.
Thank you! You might have thought the book was for Jim to read, but
it seems it was for me.
The publisher of the book offered a marketing package for the book, one I could not begin to afford. I’m sure they thought I was crazy when I said that I would prefer to simply trust God to put it in the hands of whoever needs it. I didn’t write it to get rich, I didn’t publish it to make a name for myself. I wrote it as catharsis for what I was going through and I published it in obedience to God, who asked if I was willing to share my story.
Willing to share my story so that others might see what He’s done? And is capable of doing for them? Absolutely.
To God be the glory!
Be blessed today, my friends!