Greetings, dear friends and readers. It is with great humility, thankfulness, and happiness that I write to you at long last. The past few years have brought many challenges to us all, I am sure. For me, my absence from this world of writing has been fraught with additional heart surgeries, redefining my career as an educator overnight from home with little to no resources initially, and fighting through depression in the wake of the multiple heart procedures I underwent. I never thought that depression would be something I would battle, but I have come to learn that many heart patients have to work their way through this and accept their new ‘normal’ after doctors have worked all the magic they know to do with procedures and medications currently available. To trust that their heart will continue to beat and that there is still much to accomplish, though some days you might have to take two steps back for every step you take forward. Such has been the case for me, and I am finally at peace with navigating my ‘normal’ and accepting what I can physically do now. I have learned that it is quite all right to walk sometimes, instead of run.
Through everything, Will has remained my steadfast supporter and truest friend, helping me navigate the changing landscape in my body and in my career. We have joined our local Y, and both dedicated the time and effort needed to strengthen our bodies as much as we can to be prepared for whatever health challenges come our way. This physical outlet has helped greatly in reclaiming my hope and optimism too, and I cannot thank him enough for working out alongside me and cheering me on as we both grew stronger, both outside and within.
At the beginning of this year, I began re-reading my previous Nephilim stories and what I had written for the start of Book 9 before I had to lay it all down and try to fight my way back to myself. With each chapter I reviewed, I felt my voice returning and a lightness coming back to my soul that hasn’t been there for many, many months. I can finally say, after endless prayers and private pleas to the Lord to help restore my confidence in myself as a writer, that the words are indeed flowing. New chapters are coming, and I feel as though I can breathe once again in a way I haven’t in quite some time. From the depths of utter self-doubt and sadness, hope has welled up in me again and I am giving it all the free rein I can.
I know now that I cannot work all day and write all night as I did before – my body simply won’t allow for that. I am learning a new balance, to incorporate career, exercise, and writing, and it is working. My goal is to finish writing Book 9 by the end of my school system’s summer break, edit during the fall, and have it ready for everyone in time for Christmas.
Will has shared many of your encouraging posts and prayerful messages over the months I’ve been away. Truly, I haven’t felt emotionally strong enough to describe how I couldn’t find my writer’s voice or why the words weren’t coming anymore. Some days, I felt nothing but shame when I would stare at a blinking cursor and not have one word to add to my next sentence. But through faith, unending prayer, and the steadfast devotion of my husband, I am now closer to who I want to be as a person and writer than I have been in several years. I am very thankful to be here yet another day, and to contribute with the gifts and talents that God has blessed me with. I am most glad to be of service, for it is through Him that all things are possible, for me and for us all.
I will post again as I make progress through this summer and into the editing process. Please keep us in your prayers, as so many of you have. And thank you for forgiving me for losing myself a bit as I struggled to accept my new ‘normal.’