A lot has been happening since I returned from my holiday, and so I’m only now finding time to write. It all starts with the fact that I was crying out to God to open a door for my book. However, I had no idea what door would be the right one and had reached a point where I was wondering why I had even written it… and so… (A note to those of you reading this in an email: I’ve included pictures and links, which don’t always make it into the email version, so you may prefer to read this post on my website.)
Toronto and Guelph
I put thoughts of my book on hold and flew in to Toronto, Canada. It was my first time to be back in Toronto since I first met Rich there back in January of 2007. There to meet me was one of my friends and past students from the Chinese Church, Zeng. Rich and I had stayed with Zeng and his wife, Xie, when we got engaged, and from there visited the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. After we married, Rich and I visited them for Canadian Thanksgiving in 2006; when Rich died, Zeng was at the funeral.
They and their son have played a special part in my life, and I was thrilled to have time to spend with them. It was Autumn, and they took me for a walk along one of their favorite paths in Guelph, Canada. I don’t know which I enjoyed more, the wonderful Autumn colors, catching up with them, or just plain the thankfulness in how well I felt and that I could enjoy our walk.
Another highlight was the opportunity to share about my work in the Chinese Church in a Sunday School class in a church in Toronto. The pastor there had visited in Haifa, and when he heard that I would be in Canada, he asked me to have my friends contact him. He was considering coming to Guelph to visit. However, instead, he arranged for me to share with his congregation. It was a wonderful opportunity, and Zeng, Xie, and I had a wonderful time.
The time with them passed very quickly, and I was quite spoiled, with home made Chinese meals every day. It was a wonderful restful time.
Ohio and the Largest Ever Barnes & Noble Book Signing
In Ohio, I spent time with friends I’d known in college. They live way out in the country in Ohio, and it was great to just relax, and enjoy watching a tree cutting project, and have the chance to visit with mutual friends from college and high school. The time with Emily and Don was way too short, and all too soon I was checking into my hotel in Columbus for my third Igniting Souls Conference. The conference is run by Kary Oberbrunner, who is also the publisher for my book via Author Academy Elite.
Kary had made a special arrangement for Barnes & Noble to hold their largest ever book signing event in Columbus. I was quite excited about taking part and hopeful that it might open new doors for my book. I also made a point of inviting other friends from college days whom I’d not seen in years.
Truthfully, the event was not quite what I had expected it to be. Barnes & Noble didn’t leverage the opportunity as well as they could have, and so all of us authors and our books (some 40-50) were all clumped together in one part of the store. That made it hard for us to be able to talk with customers, or for people who were looking for us to find us… still… it was a good evening, I got to share, and thankfully, 3 of the 5 copies of my book that they had ordered sold, which was an encouragement. The best part of that evening though, was a wonderful evening with my friends, fellowship, sharing, catching up with each other… and to just celebrate God’s goodness in our lives.
The rest of the conference was a huge challenge for me. I began to realize that I had not leveraged well several trainings that I had signed up for, and basically had wasted a lot of time and money because I’d just plain been “too busy.” But the truth was, I’d been fighting major discouragement regarding my writing for a long time now. You see, marketing my book is up to me. Quite truthfully, I felt that I’d exhausted all channels that I can use; I know that even my friends on Facebook are rather sick of hearing about my book (maybe you are too…).
Part of my struggle has been with the idea that one can make a business out of their book. For me that has been totally questionable. At the end of the day, my book is just my story, and about how God has been with me in various situations. I’ve had some other ideas, not related to my book, but they were too time intensive. So as the conference progressed, I felt more and more depressed as I saw other people leaving their jobs and moving into speaking and coaching… I felt like the stick in the mud, because I actually do enjoy my daytime job, and I believe my commitment to the Chinese Church takes priority over private business. (And as I’ve shared many times, I really do believe these commitments are from the Lord.)
The truth is, I knew I was struggling with the down time I’d wasted. Yes, I need to relax, but only I am aware of just how much time I’ve actually wasted… At the end of the day, as I shared with a sister in the Lord at the conference, “I’ve been asking God to open a door that I haven’t even knocked on.”
Her response: “Well sister, I think you need to take this to the Lord and try to see what HE wants.”
I did try to do just that, but didn’t feel any deeper clarity as the conference ended and I prepared to go to Michigan to see my family.
Well, I don’t know if Michigan can be said to be “wonderful” but it is for me because that is where my step-children and grandchildren are. I always stay with a friend, Sue, whom I got to know when I first visited Rich in Michigan before I got married. Lloyd, Rich’s oldest son, always helps me out by providing wheels for me to get around and the rest of my time in Michigan was spent going back and forth between different homes, visiting, playing with grand kids, enjoying a huge family dinner, and some one-on-one time with everyone.
It was one of those visits where I was so busy enjoying being WITH people, that I didn’t get as many photos as I probably should have… but a few of these shots are enough to give you the idea of how thankful I am for everyone in my adopted family – thanks to Rich. And of course, I got to enjoy the switchover from Autumn to winter with a first snow, and even “shot” my first deer.
God Opened the Door I Didn’t Knock On…
Back in Israel, I landed on a Tuesday and was back to work that Wednesday. I barely had time to think about all that had happened and all that I’d learned, let alone my book, or even to really take the time to ask the Lord about that door I hadn’t knocked on.
And then, on December 1, I received an email from someone named “Autumn:”
I just came across your book “Connecting the Dots of a Disconnected Life” and I have only heard such AMAZING comments from it. It is truly moving and your vulnerability really helps to change people’s lives for the better. Thank you.
… I am the Editor-In-Chief of Toi Magazine. … We use our magazine to bring additional awareness to mental disorders from the perspective of the survivor, assisted with licensed psychologists and psychotherapists. …
And then came the ask. She was preparing a special issue on dissociative disorder and in the course of her research, she had come across my book. The only reason she found it (I’m guessing), besides God, is that I had indexed my book on Amazon under “Health, Fitness & Dieting > Counseling & Psychology > Pathologies > Dissociative Identity.”
If you haven’t read my book you may be wondering why I did that. Well, it was because of Part 3 of my book, called “Fractures of the Soul,” in which I share about being diagnosed with dissociative disorder not otherwise specified (DDNOS). Autumn wanted me to do a sponsored advertisement in her magazine that would include a full two-page spread interview with me, push my book, and how to contact me. She would also arrange for YouTubers who focus on dissociative disorders to review my book to their audiences of thousands.
God had opened a door for me that I didn’t even consider knocking on. In my every consideration of WHO my target audience was, it only crossed my mind in passing that people with dissociative disorder would be interested in my book. You see, I was totally unaware of several things that have happened since I was diagnosed some 20 years ago. Dissociative disorder diagnoses are increasing, particularly of the type that I have (on the low end of the spectrum), and there are very few resources written by people who have been through the process and found wholeness. I had no idea that there were audiences in the tens of thousands who are seeking help, advice, and trying to learn more about how to cope with dissociation, and others who are family members or friends who are desperate to try to understand a disorder that is greatly misunderstood and stigmatized by both secular groups as well as Christians.
And so, as this post ends, a new door is opening before me. The interview was published on December 31/January 1. You can read it here. The book reviews are scheduled to be posted in another week or so and I have a renewed vision for how God can use my book to bring hope to people who find themselves in desperate need of hope when faced with the amnesia, nightmares, dissociation, and more that accompany dissociative disorder.
A New Project in the Making
And all that to share with you a new project that I’m now working on. When I first published my book, I had thought I should work on a companion piece – a workbook that would help people better understand the HOW behind what God did in my life. The steps I had to make. The scripture I had to appropriate. But quite truthfully, I shelved the project and wondered who really needed it.
Now, with the publication of this article, and following a letter someone wrote to me as a result of that interview, I realize how wrong I was to give us so easily. I’ve started working on a new workbook, targeted particularly for Christians dealing with dissociative disorder.
And here is why I’m sharing this with you. This time, I’m not asking you to support the costs (like I did with my audiobook – a big thank you to all of you who helped with that). I am asking you for your prayers and to hold me accountable to do this, and to do it as soon as possible. As my followers, some of you for many years, you know how easy it is for me to let myself get sidetracked. And like anyone else who is human, it is so easy to get distracted and discouraged.
I would greatly appreciate your prayers for this project and for the upcoming book reviews. Please do write to me find out how far I’ve gotten on this project… and please, please, pray for me to have wisdom from above to prepare a workbook that will be usable and meet a need for people who are facing some of the same things I faced.
I know this has been a rather long post, especially if you’ve taken the time to view the pictures. Thank you for reading through to the end. Thank you for your encouragement and support, and thank you for subscribing either via my DvoraElisheva or Hope-Challenged websites.
I pray that YOU will have a blessed New Year, and that God will lead you in His good paths.
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.