Tuesday, October 6, 2009

When our paths cross (and I'm so grateful they do!)

Yesterday on Writes of Passage (a group blog I'm part of), Robin Lee Hatcher shared about the joy of what we do as writers, and yesterday I experienced what I consider to be among the sweetest joys about writing--hearing from a reader and connecting with them through the story and characters, and sharing and encouraging each other in our journeys with the Lord.

Here's the email I received (shared here with Kristen and her daughter Carley's permission, of course. Carley's pictured to the right). I so appreciate the kind words about my books but even more, I appreciate them sharing their own personal journey. A painful one, but hopeful as well...
Dear Tamera,
I can't thank you enough for writing such wonderful books! I have read all of them and am looking forward to reading
Within My Heart next.

Your book,
The Inheritance is close to my heart right now as my 17 year old daughter, Carley, is reading it. Since August 11th of this year she has undergone 10 surgeries which have resulted in the loss of her right hand. Right now her right arm is attached to her stomach to hopefully speed up the healing to her wrist area. She will undergo another surgery this week to detach it. These past two months have been an incredibly hard road for our family--especially for Carley.

Reading your books is one thing that has kept her going. I think it's been nice for her to be able to escape the "real world" for a little while and enjoy the company of your wonderful characters.

Her face lights up when she says, "Mom, my book is sooo good!" It's so nice to see a smile on her face as she can't do much else right now.

I hope you continue writing and sharing the wonderful gift God has given you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving my precious child a reason to smile!!!

In Christ,
Kristen in
Three Rivers, MI

Kristen, I return your thanks a hundredfold even as my mother's heart aches for you, friend. To both you and Carley, I'm blessed by your faithfulness to the Lord and your courage to trust Him as He leads you down this difficult road. I firmly believe that nothing happens to believers that doesn't first filter through the loving hands of our Heavenly father. That doesn't mean we're always given the understanding behind the "why" some things happen. Not hardly.

Yet the longer I live, the less important I'm finding the "why" to be. And far more important is the "who." I know with full assurance Who holds my life, and who holds yours. And we're right beside each other in the palm of His hands. I'm praying for you, Carley, for complete healing in hand and body, as I'm sure will everyone who reads your brave story.

To learn more about Carley and her upcoming surgery this week, request to be added to "Carley's Group" on Facebook. You may also leave her and her mom, Kristen, a message here in the comments, if you'd like.

A good friend, Joe Barnett, passed along the following quote from John Cheever a while ago, and I'm reminded of it today. "I can't write without a reader. It's precisely like a kiss--you can't do it alone."

While I can technically write without a reader, it would be a far lonelier journey for me. Part of the blessing in writing is taking steps closer to the Lord as I write. And also closer to you, dear readers, as you read.

Thank you for reading and sharing your journeys with me. Carley, we're praying for you, girl.

4 comments:

  1. Dear Tammy,
    I am so moved...so touched by the courage of Carly and her mom. Thank you for sharing their testimony and please pass on to them my love.
    Tammy as I have shared with you before your books are so anointed with the truth of God's Word. You write the kind of books that make me want to change to be more like Him, just by telling a wonderful story with your "everyday" characters. Isn't that what it is all about? It's not about building a great "work" here on earth, but it's all about using what God has given you to reach that one person and in reaching that one person we can effect the world. You have touched many, but I thank God that He has used you to touch Carly... and me.
    Love you girl!
    Veronica

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  2. What a precious note, and I know you have blessed folks a hundred-fold. You have certainly blessed me.

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  3. Thanks, friends. Isn't Carley's story a precious one? And she's a precious young woman.

    Carley, we're lifting you up continually. You too, Kristen. As are many others. May God strengthen you and keep you in His care, and work His good and perfect will in your lives. Ours too!

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  4. And Veronica, amen to wanting to become more like Him. That's what this journey is all about...becoming more like Christ. A training ground for our forever Home. So glad we're on this journey together, friends.

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