Do you keep a journal? Have you gone back to read your entries? I sometimes blush at being so caught up in the drama of what’s happening at the moment. I’d like to share some events from my journal that really shook me and made me feel that my life’s purpose was up in the air.
My fear had been building for months – what is the delay in getting the art for Snow Angels done? I felt helpless and betrayed and at the same time I was worried that something bad had happened to my illustrator or to his family.
Here is my journal entry from March 23, 2019
MARCH 23, 2019
OK, so what am I doing wrong here? Last week I sent a stern email and Facebook message demanding a reply to the completion date for Snow Angels art, and I still haven’t heard back. Usually, I send sweet “How’s it going? Please update me,” messages, but not this time. I’m eager to get all of the illustrations done. The six illustrations and book cover he completed for Snow Angels are just as cute as what he did for Angels on Your Pillow. I know this project is a side job for him AND one of many. But it’s so frustrating (heartbreaking) that he was so great to work with on my first book, and now it feels like my second book is unimportant to him. 18 months of waiting is ridiculous! I should have gotten a time frame and a contract in place. I know I have to put it ALL in God’s hands and to believe that the book will be finished on God’s timeline. BUT, is so hard trying “not” to control my own destiny. I am a “make it happen” person with good success and limited patience – God knows best, God knows best!
Ugh, my stomach turns reading that. In hindsight, YES, I was too lax in pinning him down to a schedule. And maybe I should have expected the “break up” letter which, oddly enough brought me some relief.
Check out my journal entry from April 7, 2019
APRIL 7, 2019
When I picked up my mail today there was an envelope from my illustrator. TIME STOOD STILL. I tore the letter open and It said:
Karen, I am sorry for stepping away from this and stringing the project along. It is best for all parties for me to admit that I just can’t do the book right now – Here is a refund of the down payment All the best, B
What should I do? I don’t have an illustrator! I don’t have an illustrator… Looks like I am starting from scratch AGAIN just like when my manuscript vanished from my computer on August 15, 2017! Thoughts are flying through my head… Can I still use the completed illustrations? The art should be mine because I designed the characters and the page layouts. So, the illustrations should be mine, right? Another thing… once I know, I’ll have to figure out how to change the illustrator’s name on the copyright of Snow Angels. Is there a lesson to be learned here? Dear Lord, please tell me what to do and help me do it!
Is writing Angels on Your Pillow books for children really what God wants me to do or am I living in a dream world?
I just cannot claim defeat. After over 12 years I still feel such a strong drive to get these stories out to the world. I cannot turn it off. I don’t want to turn it off! Maybe writing is more of a hobby, but I have positively touched the lives of so many people young and old, and I know that I’m on a mission. Sure, I’d love to be living my dream already of having four Angel Adventure books published, angel related merchandise and successful Angel Hugs Stores in operation. I long to have a career of sharing God’s pure love for each and every one of us. I pray that I can use my good fortune to help others. A voice in my head (or maybe it is from heart) says nobody said this was going to be a cakewalk Karen, CARRY ON – You made it through the August 15th disaster after all. Flashback…
OK, now flipping my journal back to August 15, 2017…
AUGUST 15, 2017
I’m totally freaking out! Yesterday, I opened my laptop to tweak the finished version of Snow Angels and my manuscript disappeared! I can’t find it anywhere. I do not even have a paper version. I know that I hit the print button, but did I wait long enough to make sure the pages were printing? NO! SABOTAGE my laptop and printer are in cahoots and conspiring against me (embarrassing blushing moment). I frantically called Apple Tech support and they had me bring my computer to a specialist who broke the news to me today. “IT’S GONE, SORRY MA’AM. You should have saved it to the cloud. There is nothing anyone can do to retrieve it.” Oh my gosh. Is this a sign? A trial to see if I will give up or a nudge to follow a different path?
After the disappearance of my manuscript, I was disenchanted for about two months, and thought, I cannot restart Snow Angels yet, I am too hurt and angry. I wasn’t giving up, I was taking a break.
Then, on a crisp late fall Sunday morning, I knew it was time. I sat at my desk and prayed to God, “Heavenly Father, show me that it is Your will for me to write angel adventure stories about You and Your pure unconditional love and please help me recreate my manuscript today.”
IT WAS A MIRACLE, and I bet you’ll get goose bumps when you read my journal entry from October 23, 2017
OCTOBER 23, 2017
All I had to recreate my Snow Angels story was a small mock-up version of the book made out of recycled paper with my stick figure drawings to tell the storyline on each page and a few words penciled in. I lit a match and tried to get the wick of a candle to light up, but the wick was melted over, so I dropped the match inside the candle, opened my laptop, picked up the mock-up of my stick figure page layouts and went to work. The paper matchstick burned for several hours while I reconstructed the entire book. The candle wick was never lit! The paper matchstick burned until I was done! This was a sign from God to carry on; goosebumps right?
Back to my latest journal entry May, 2019
MAY 7, 2019
Yay! I connected with an amazing illustrator named Karen Light (www.studiolightillustration.com) over lunch today, and she loves my work! Karen said that she is honored to help get Snow Angels out to the masses (well actually, she said she is honored to get Snow Angels ready for print). Losing my first illustrator and meeting Karen happened for a reason.
In looking back, I guess I kind of forgot that loss and disappointment are part of life. I trust God’s will, and I know that things have a way of working themselves out—His way! I’m feeling very much loved and looked after. I am certain that my faith is even stronger than before. In stressful trying times—knowing that it’s going to be okay brings me peace. I still want God to hurry up and help me finish this project and move on to the next, and I pray for God’s wisdom, grace and patience (especially God’s patience).