I’m sitting here in anticipation. Waiting. Waiting for my book cover reveal to get started. Waiting for my debut as a Novelist to begin. Waiting for the promise to be delivered. Waiting.
A film strip of Facebook memories flash through my phone. Some I smile at fondly, my heart squeezed in pleasure, whereas others I dread to view, afraid of their stubborn reminder of relationships lost to various fallouts over the years. It is a love-hate relationship with those memories, I tell you.
But very often, they are evidence of me showing up for people.
I’m sure you and others have digital albums bombarded with family photos. Many that consist of chubby kids playing in the snow, or you being wed to your love at the altar, or your standard holiday Christmas picture. You know, the ones with you in PJs with the family canine donning his matching doggie sweater. Many of my photos have those same things. But, they are of other people’s familial celebrations. Not my own.
What I mean is, I have plenty of wedding albums in my FB picture drive. They just aren’t of my weddings. I am a master at capturing moments with words or pictures, so I share my gift lavishly with those I care for. Snapping and clicking and, now, with the new practice of reels, editing and piecing videos together, acquainted by the perfect trending song for the occasion. It brings me joy.
Somehow over the years, I’ve accumulated bundles of memories of my friends celebrating their cultural milestones. Their children are springing up faster than weeds now. Their anniversaries are flying by like speeding bullets. Their parents are aging gracefully with beautiful grey strands cascading from every pore. Their family trips are filled with family fun. But I am waiting.
I remember my grad school graduation. So many showed up for me. My mother was there, of course, and praised me as if I were a celebrity in her usual way. My best friend’s mom gave me my first professional photo shoot. Another bestie flew in from out of town, and my favorite high school teacher attended with his wife. I remember looking into the audience and spotting my spiritual father hidden in the risers, watching proudly as I got ready to cross the stage. That day sharply stands out in my mind as one of celebration—all for me.
Over the years, I have learned not just to celebrate others but to celebrate myself. Over the years, I have been intentional to take trips, throw myself parties, enjoy my life.Sometimes we have to fight for joy. Click To Tweet
My book cover reveal for When Love Wins was another attempt at that. I would much rather be doing another kind of reveal. One that involved a growing family. A swollen belly. A bundle of joy. But that is not my story.
This is my story.
When Love Wins is my story.
In some ways, my books are my babies. In some ways, I suppose, I give birth to stories. That is why it meant so much when my people showed up for me.
When I hosted my book cover reveal, I was incredibly blessed by those who commented, supported, shared, engaged, made purchases, and responded to this project. I may not have the opportunities for celebrations that many of my peers have, but what I do have, are people who are there for me when I do.
I have community. And that was reiterated to me this last week as loved ones surrounded me. People called. Stopped by. Jumped on my virtual zoom party.
The holidays can be tough. I think most struggle with lost loved ones around this time. I struggle most of the time. But the word that I know God is saying is something my pastor quoted recently.
We may still have a particular thorn digging deeply into our side. We may still be called to carry our cross. But even Jesus had help with carrying His. (Matthew 15:21)
Thank you to all who are there for me, rooting me on and supporting me. Showing up for me. Thank you for believing in me. For encouraging me. For being the family I always long for. For filling in the gaps.
Thank you for helping me to carry my cross as I aim to continue helping you to carry yours.
Here are pics of one person who has been the family to me I have needed for the last two decades of this journey 🙂
In other news, are you on Instagram/Facebook? If so, please reach out! I have started a series called “Word of the Day Wednesdays” where I share 5-10 minutes worth of nuggets that are on my heart, which I hope are encouraging to others on IGTV/FB Live! I have these also posted on my Youtube Channel.
Have you read “Stories for the Urban Soul” and are eager to dialogue about your favorite characters, lessons learned, and so much more? Well, now you can download 20 Dialogue questions available on my website to discuss with your friends! Just enter your email in the pop up box and its there! If you have read “Stories for the (Urban) Soul, please put up an Amazon review here! I was SUPER encouraged and blessed when a new reader put up her review for my 2nd book which you can view here :).
As always thank you for your support!