I’m learning to not tell God my plans, as He will just laugh and follow His own plan.
When I initially contacted my publisher the first week in January 2018, he asked if I had a special date I was targeting to get my books published. I didn’t, as I was hoping to take my time to avoid the stress of deadlines, but I stated it would be nice to shoot for either June 25 (the second anniversary of Chris’s death), July 7 (our wedding anniversary), or November (National Lung Cancer Awareness Month). He then told me that if we started the process that day, the earliest the book could be released would be September 1 because of all the required time during each phase of getting the books published. So that was what we shot for.
My “stress-free” publishing process went out the window, as I started with a deadline the following week for writing ads for the books and making all sorts of decisions about the physical details of the books I had never considered. I had two weeks to design the cover of two books to meet the deadline to get them in a catalog for advertisements to book stores. And the deadlines just kept coming. My last deadline was to get the final manuscripts to the printing press by June 1 in order to allow time for printing and shipping.
I made my deadlines, thinking I wouldn’t see the final products until mid-August. But God had some surprises up His sleeve.
June 25 (the anniversary of Chris’s death): The books were printed and boxed for shipping.
June 29 (the anniversary of Chris’s viewing at the funeral home): The books arrived at my house and I viewed them for the first time.
June 30 (the anniversary of Chris’s funeral): I had my first book launch party to celebrate Chris’s legacy.
July 7 (our wedding anniversary): I was celebrating another happy occasion: Our older son was entering his first race in the Tour de France.
Mike Doocy, a sportscaster with a Dallas TV station, contacted me last weekend (Chad gave him my phone number) and asked me to do an interview about Chad being in the Tour de France. So being the kind of mother who will do anything for her “children,” I gathered information about Chad and photos to provide, praying Mr. Doocy would just ask me questions off camera and then write the news story.
After I agreed to do the interview, I laughed and shook my head at the irony. I know God was laughing with me. Chris was probably cringing up in heaven, thinking, “Lord, you don’t know what you’re doing.” Those who know me best know I have a big disinterest in sports and still have a lot to learn about the cycling sport. I’m definitely not one to watch a sportscast on TV. And now I was going to be on a sports segment?
As an introvert, I’ve never been one who feels comfortable talking in public or being the center of attention even before a small group of friends or family. I can totally relate to Moses in Exodus 4:10 when he said to God, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent…. I am slow of speech and tongue.” God responded in Exodus 4:12, “I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
When I saw the cameraman setting up the lighting with two bar stools facing each other, I knew I was in trouble. I said a quick prayer, “Lord, please put the words in my mouth.”
As I answered the questions during the interview, I didn’t take time to think before I spoke. And yet I was able to talk about my son being a living miracle, my husband’s battle with stage IV lung cancer as a never-smoker, and about our faith. As a surprise bonus, the television station advertised my book. I received a free television ad! I am amazed at how God pulled all that off. My publisher had suggested I hire a publicist to promote my book on TV and radio, but with God bringing the TV opportunity to my home, I think I already have a Publicist.