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.’
12 responses to “A Warm Hello”
So glad to hear from you. I was worried. Continuing sending healing energy, hugs and prayers. I love your writing and was praying for you. Peace and Blessings.
Hang in there. Remember the little children’s sing, “He’s still working on me, to make me what I ought a be. It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars, the earth and sun and Jupiter and Mars. How loving and patient He must be. He’s still working on me!”
As long as you draw a breath, He will continue to hold you close and use you for His glory.
Thank you for the update. Prayers continue. Take care of yourself and your family. God Bless
You and Will are in our thoughts and prayers. God is good ALL of the time. He will always be there!
Chris and Donna Gunn
I am so very happy to hear from you. I reread (again) the series a couple of months ago and you have been on my heart ever since. God is the great healer! You sound like you have found peace where you are now and I can’t wait for your next book. God bless you and Will.
I’m glad to hear that you have come through to the other side, so to speak! I’m glad you are able to write and finish your book. I will pray that you continue to feel good and get familiar with your new normal and learn to like it!
To God be the Glory,
Those two words, used several times in the Bible to denote that God is in control, has brought me immense comfort and peace. There have been times throughout my life that have been so dark and seemingly inescapable that taking my own life seemed to be the only answer. But God…
When I was so lost in that darkness I didn’t know what to pray for. All I could do was pray that He continue to help me rely on Him. The world is getting worse and hope, at times, seems lost. But God… He knows the end of the story and it does have a happy ending. May the Lord be with you and bless you and your family.
I’m so glad you are feeling much better and able to continue to write. I have also re-read the series recently and I am so looking forward to reading book 9 and you’re able to have it ready for us by Christmas.
Continue to take care of yourself and love to you and your family.
I am beyond excited to hear you are getting stronger each day Natalie. I have also reread the entire series thus far 7 times in last few years to keep everything about my amazing book friends fresh in my mind. This way going forward I won’t feel as lost. Keep getting stronger Natalie as I will continue to keep you in my prayers.
So glad to hear you are better. Praying that God will restore you completely. Listen to your Bo day and know that you need to put yourself first. Whereas, I am looking forward to Book 9, even more for your health to improve. Best wishes!
I am so pleased to read this update Natalie and so look forward to you finishing book 9 whenever that may be. Praise God that you have found peace and a life balance to help as you write again. I found these books so moving and special.
I continue to pray for you to get stronger and to have God help you find the words again. Natalie you’ve become one of my top five inspirational authors. I hope you know how much you are valued by all of us.