Has anyone ever said to you, “You should make one” or “You really should do it”? Come on, be honest. Most likely you have heard those words.And I bet “No. I’m not one to do that” was your answer.Off-and-on for years I kept hearing, “You should write a book about what happened.”Each time my response was sweet and simple. “No, I can’t write a book,” and left it at that. As years went by, I then used the excuse, “No. I can’t write. Plus, it happened so long ago.”
But something happened that changed my way of thinking. It started after I found that Encephalitis website sixteen years ago. (1*)About nine years later I got connected with a certain woman from that website who said she had noticed from my writing that I am a Christian, thus felt comfortable telling me her illness is what God used to show her need for Him. Well, of course I couldn’t help but want to chat regularly with her, telling her more about how God carried me though my illness. We then swapped e-mails and gabbed back and forth a few times each day.
“Hey, Michelle, I have an idea,” I typed after a few weeks went by.“I can’t really share in one writing how I met my husband, so instead I’ll share a little bit each day.” But that meant I needed to tell her about my unplanned pregnancy first, and so I began.
Imagine writing something short and sweet once a day. Not much detail but just enough to share a point or two of what happened. Then a bit more of your story the next day, then the next. That’s what I was doing. Each day I shared the next very simplified detail of what I went through that I couldn’t leave out. I found myself enjoying typing out what God did for me just as much as when I’d face to face tell my story.
Here, read my journal from September 2008
…We’ve been e-mailing back and forth at least once a day. I’m now putting together a story to show her how God carried me from when I got pregnant and what followed. I love doing this.
After receiving each one, she would e-mail me back saying she loved what I was sharing. Now, keep in mind, they were short and simple. I think liking my writing classes in high school is why I enjoyed putting together a couple new paragraphs every day.
About six or seven days into it, she replied back with, “Marianne, would you mind if I copied those you’ve done so far and give them to a few friends of mine? They could really use your story.”
You should have seen my face as I read that.
Really? Wow, that’s kinda neat.“I guess you can, if you think it’ll help.” After she explained a bit about their ordeals, I wanted to write even more. Hmm. I think I’ll put a little more effort into it now.
A few days later, seeing how I was enjoying explaining my story, thinking of good ways to share what God had been doing with me back then, I sort of looked up and thought, Okay, God, are You trying to tell me something?
Two weeks later I wrote:
I’m still e-mailing my story every day and God’s allowing me to feel very useful, and now I’m actually beginning to think all these chapters could go toward a real book. We’ll see. It makes me now want to read what I wrote in my older journal. Should be interesting.
And it’s there I took off in praying, writing, praying and writing.
So, time for a toast.
To my dear friend Michelle, who was the inspiration behind my book.
But, more importantly, I end by thanking God for using Michelle as His final tool in getting me to write God and My Pillow.