Well, the book is finally being released tomorrow and I cannot help but take some time to reflect on all that has happened in my life since I first started this project. Writing a book feels like birthing a child (although I’ve never felt the physical pain of childbirth). When you start a book and take it from conception through the developmental stages and finally release it into the world, you experience mixed emotions: excitement over the potential to encourage others through your work, sadness at the loss of a significant part of your life over the last couple years, fear of the criticism you may receive because of it, and a deep sense of longing to “have another one!”

I have learned a great deal through this experience that will serve me well in the future:

1. Write about your passions: Some people can write about anything, but I know that I could not have finished this book had I not been absolutely on fire for its message. As an author, you are obligated to promote yourself in some ways. You have to get people to believe that what you have to say is important. This is so much easier when you believe it yourself!

2. Be passionate about what you write:  I’ve learned that writing a book is a tedious process with many long hours spent staring at a computer screen with no words on it! It is easy to get discouraged. In  those times, you must forcefully refocus your mind on the ultimate goal and be reminded of what got you started writing in the first place. Maintaining your passion can be difficult when you come up against road blocks, but keep pushing forward and don’t give up!

3. Question your motives always: As I wrote, there were many opportunities to make changes. With this in mind, I had to constantly reassess my motives and make sure that they were pure. I spent a lot of time in prayer over this, not necessarily knowing who would read the book. One thought that helped me was considering, “If my children read this someday, how will they be affected by it?’ The verse that says “I have no greater joy than to know that my children walk in truth” was my life verse over the last two years.

4. Be Teachable:  I learned so much from the input and advice of others: long conversations about theology and psychology, testimonies from people who have “been there/done that” with pain, suggestions, criticism, encouragment, and advise from people I know and trust. The fingerprints of many wise people are all over this book. As hard as feedback from others can be, it is essential for a work of which you can be proud. I also found that to be teachable means to experience that which you write. God has allowed me to grow through my own pain and given me some “on the job experience” that I brought to the book. Praise God for it!

5. Let it Go: I felt an odd sense of anxiety as I read through the manuscript one last time before it was sent to the printer. I felt a tremendous weight of responsibility for my readers and did not want to disappoint or fail them. I didn’t want to let it go. Was there more I could have done? More I could have said to drive home the point? Now that the book is out, I have had to “be still” and trust that God is in control. My prayer is that He will get it into the hands of people that need it the most and that ultimately, He will get the glory for it!

Thanks to all of you who have had a part in this book. I could not have done it without you!