I love books. Our house looks like an annex to a public library or a small version of Barnes & Nobles. Every room has at least one book, including the bathrooms. Since I have so many of them, I thought it would be cool to write my own book. It would be great to see my name on a book for a change. I have started the process of writing a book. And, I am here to tell you that writing a book is not an easy task.
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First, what will be the title of this masterpiece? It needs to be catchy, something to catch a reader’s attention. How about this one: Domestic Terrorism: Behind the White Picket Fence? I like it because it pretty much sums up the experience with our three children who turned into domestic terrorists for a while in their teens. The picket fence represents home, mom and apple pie; those qualities that we read about in books or see on TV. The qualities that make us good and decent people.
The next area is to divide the book into sections and chapters. It’s hard to select chapter titles but having them tie into the book title made the choices a little easier. A few of them are Building the Fence, Collateral Damage, Gathering the Troops, and Final Inspection.
Then there is grammar and punctuation and spelling and all sorts of things I learned in school that I’ve forgotten. That’s why there are books in the bookstore that remind you how to do all that stuff. You guessed it; I’ve bought quite a few of them recently and have highlighted a line or two.
My book is about the struggles our family went through with various issues: addiction, unplanned pregnancy, legal problems and general misbehavior by three of my favorite people. We certainly are not the only family that has encountered problems in these areas, nor will we be the last. What sets us apart is the fact that we came through these trials intact as a family. Danny and I didn’t get a divorce. The children didn’t get killed in an accident. We still love each other very much and want the best for each other. We are a family.
The book is a testament to God’s unfailing love and watch care over some young people who made bad choices. It tells of God’s watchful eye when Mom and Dad weren’t around to see what was happening. The book offers hope to parents who are deeply discouraged by what is happening in their family. I learned the hard way, that I cannot change another person. I can’t unaddict an addict; only that person can make that decision. I can only make changes in myself–through God’s grace, mercy and guidance.
I was alone when our family was struggling. I didn’t know where to turn for help. I didn’t even know another family who had these kinds of struggles. It was a terribly lonely time and I want to offer other parents hope and encouragement. I want to tell a distraught mother, “I know where you are–I’ve been there.”
One of my favorite verses is Psalm 6. King David cries out to God, “I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes. Does that sound like a parent weeping over a child? King David wasn’t weeping over a child in this particular verse, but it sure sounds like something I have done more than once. But later on in Psalm 30:5 he says, “For his anger lasts only a moment; but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” I take great comfort in those verses. I may cry all night long but joy comes in the morning as a new day emerges from the darkness of night. New days bring new hope.
I pray my book gets published some day. If it doesn’t, it’s okay. I’m writing it and the outcome is not in my hands. I’ve given my book to God, after all, it’s His story that is being told.