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My Journey through the Cross is my first published book, and basically my fifth child. The process began with the raising of our first two, then three, then four children, and homeschooling them while building a house on a lot that God gave us through my grandmother. During that time, the Lord began drawing me closer and closer to Himself. As He drew me closer, all the while He taught me in rapid succession a multitude of lessons, each of which I believed to be the last. After each lesson He would always say, “Write that down.”
Occasionally, I would respond to Him in confusion, “But I don’t understand!” And He would always say, “You don’t have to understand, just write it down,” meaning, “You’ll understand it later; just record it for now.”
Anyway, during that time I frequently found myself scribbling down lessons on receipts at stop lights…on scraps of paper at meetings…on napkins at restaurants or bulletins at church, where ever I happened to be at the time. Over many years I collected bunches of these scraps and secretly stored them away paperclipped in my car console, my desk drawer, the kitchen drawer, my wallet, and many other places. And during our move back home to Atlanta from New England, some of the bunches I had forgotten about because they had been inadvertently misplaced.
Then in 2001, I was working at my desk and the Lord specifically instructed me to get up and go collect all of those forgotten notes.
“Oh! I wondered what all those notes were for,” I thought to myself. So I retrieved the notes from all over the place. I was relieved that He showed me where all the misplaced ones lay hiding. Anyway, I collected a whole shoebox full of scraps which I piled on my desk.
While I stared at the shoebox sitting in front of me, He instructed me to expound on each scrap, as much as I thought appropriate to make the point of the lesson He had taught me. Then I was to lay them out in an order that made sense to me as I remembered the sequence and importance of the lessons in my journey. This personalized head-to-toe, inside-out project sent directly from above was the most exciting and intimate challenge I had ever faced in my life. And looking back on it, with a supernatural God teaching me, how could I anticipate anything less?
The title, My Journey Through the Cross, was understood between us since the actual passage through the cross was the entire focus of the journey. One of His goals was for me to experience fully both sides of the cross: the front side, full of shadows and the back side, full of glory. The highlights of the journey emerged when I struggled or fought with Him especially during the deepest passage through the inside of the cross which was, of course, the most painful part. But those times involved breakthroughs which were absolutely essential to completing the passage. No pain, no gain.
After two years of expounding on one scrap at a time during every spare moment, even in the middle of the night, I finally got to a stopping place. At that point, He inspired me to illustrate the path He had taken me down, thus, the cover and illustrations inside. I worked on those for maybe six months or so, again, in my spare time while homeschooling, building a house and trying to stay sane amidst the process with four kids and a mechanical engineer husband.
Once I had compiled the manuscript and illustrations in notebook form, He instructed me to send it out to several people around Atlanta and the U.S. for reasons only He knows. That was a challenge for me because the manuscript was still in very rough draft form, stream of consciousness-like. Once I had cleaned it up a bit though, I shared it with different people and asked for their honest feedback. Then the manuscript copies sat in the basement for almost eight years until I found a self-publisher who brought the project to fruition in 2011.
During the writing of this book, the lessons He taught me and the changes He fashioned in me were so specific and so profound that I can honestly say that I am not at all the same person that I was in 1993 as I was in 2004, and even more different today as the lessons He taught me have been so deeply internalized and practiced. I stand amazed at the handiwork of God. And so today wherever people are in their journeys, I love to encourage them with the gentle and personalized grace and truth that God has shared with me in my journey.
Wherever you are in your journey toward home, I would very much enjoy your personal feedback on the book, any help it has provided you and any questions you may have for me. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can converse and I will share feedback with others on this blog.
I pray Holy Spirit insight and growth and in all your reading endeavors. Blessings!
Order my book here