As I look back on this year, I’m amazed at how much has happened. I’ve become a published author! I’ve had two books come out, and contributed to two more! I’ve had two book launches! I’ve learnt Koine Greek and Ancient Hebrew! I’ve written and preached my first sermon; survived my second lock-down; and learnt many powerful personal lessons about identity and trust.
On one hand it feels incredible that so much could be squished into twelve months – on the other hand, I’ve certainly felt the workload. Yet it’s been a labour of joy, a real delight, and quite possibly the best year in a while.
So, without further ado, if you missed some of the ‘happenings’ this year, here’s your chance to catch up!
Thomas Clarkson: The Giant with One Idea (children’s biography)
Two Sisters & a Brain Tumour (memoir)
‘Saved by a Rat’ published in The Labyrinth and other stories (anthology)
‘The Moment of Diagnosis – where do you turn?’ – Chronic Joy
Thomas Clarkson: A Man Willing to Change – Australian Presbyterian
Surviving as a Christian When your World has been Turned Upside-down – Australian Presbyterian
The Gift of Trust in Chronic Illness (series) – Called to Watch
‘Session 14: Encouraging Our Watchers’, published in Broken & Mended: Leadership Guide (A guide for leading your own chronic illness and support group) by David Heflin
Recorded multiple audio blogs for Chronic Joy
Two book launches (one in-person, one on-line)!
Researched + drafted a new manuscript
A final reflection
While this was a very prolific year in terms of being published, it was also a year where I really felt my character and my faith develop, which is even more exciting. While we’re always learning and growing, so often it doesn’t really feel like it. This year for me was interspersed with several ‘ah ha!’ moments, where the pieces connected, and I was able to look back at some dark periods, and affirm that they truly did bring forth golden fruit (it just took a while!). I’m very grateful for that.
I’m also grateful for God’s providing strength. I certainly haven’t felt strong or capable, and the second lock-down in particular I found very hard, but God has shown himself time and time again to be Enough, in a very real way. I say this not only because he carried me through learning Greek and Hebrew on top of writing and publishing (something which felt very impossible), but because he has been helping me accept my weaknesses, my limitation and my flaws along the way. It’s really nice to have success, but I think it’s even more important to learn to accept failure. During this outwardly successful year God has taught me a lot about failure and expectations, and while it’s been very hard, I trust that it will be worth it.
That said, I am SO EXCITED that two stories so close to my heart have made it out in book-form into people’s hands!! It’s incredibly wonderful, and every time I get feedback or a review, I get excited all over again. God is using my words to touch people – and for a writer, there’s simply nothing more fulfilling.
So go out, my friends into the New Year, doing what God has called you to do, in his strength and in his timing! May your holidays be marked by moments of wonder and worship; rest and rejoicing.
Lastly, please consider purchasing Two Sisters or Thomas Clarkson as a Christmas gift for your loved ones – so that these books may continue to bless more and more people.