When my son died, my world shattered. For years, I tried in vain to get back to “normal”. I wanted so desperately to be the woman I used to be before tragedy tore me apart.
But it turns out, that woman died the same day her son did. She no longer exists. God, who alone has the power to resurrect, raised up a new woman from the ashes of that death. I am so grateful that God did not leave me as I was when I was broken.
He healed me.
It has taken me a long time, but I can finally say with honesty that I am also grateful He did not leave me as I was before my brokenness.
He made me stronger.
He used my pain to give me a greater purpose.
Several years ago, I started writing down thoughts that came to me as God and I wrestled with some tough questions together. I got very honest with God about my hurt and my doubts.
About halfway through the first notebook, I realized, “I think I might be writing a book!” I brainstormed topics and worked to group my “a-ha” moments into clusters of ideas. Writing a real book seemed like a far-off dream that would never actually happen.
After three more notebooks and another year’s worth of talking to God and reading His Word, I finally started typing up what God had shown me in a Word document. I called it STAND STRONG because Ephesians 6:13 says that after you’ve done everything you know to do, just keep standing by the power and grace of God (my paraphrase).
I felt like that’s what I was doing. Life had knocked me down hard and my enemy had taken the opportunity to rip my faith to shreds. But because of Jesus, I was able to stand back up. At that point, I didn’t feel that I was doing anything noteworthy.
I was just standing. . .
But that was enough.
By simply standing, I told my enemy that I had decided to live UNDEFEATED.
I didn’t have to “take the hill”. I just had to rise again.
I didn’t need to win any big victory. I just had to refuse to stay down.
I chose to stand my ground knowing God had already won everything for me.
I chose to fight for my faith and to believe anyway, even when it seemed like I shouldn’t.
It didn’t take me long to realize that writing a book was a lot harder than I thought it would be, primarily because I didn’t know how to go about it. I got help. I read blog posts, ordered courses, and talked to experts. Meanwhile, the content for my book kept growing as God showed me more of His love and unveiled a bigger purpose behind all the pain.
Eventually, it was obvious that I had too much to share for just one book. And so, the Stand Strong trilogy was born! (Can you even have a non-fiction trilogy? I’m not sure if that’s a thing, but if not, I just made it one. :))
This year, I have intentionally neglected my blog to focus on finishing this book. I am thrilled to announce that by the grace of God, UNDEFEATED: From Trial to Triumph is a dream no longer! It is a reality now, Baby! (Happy dance and fireworks!)
This is just the first book! Two and three will be on their way soon, but for now let’s celebrate what God has done in turning my ragged, tear-stained notebooks into a message that can help someone else to STAND STRONG in Christ!
As I have labored over bringing this book into existence, it changed me. I decided a while back that if I was the only person who ever read it, it would be worth it just for how I have grown.
Yet, I don’t think God wants to stop with me. He’s always got big plans and He brings people together in mysterious ways. For years now, I’ve been praying for the people who would eventually read this book when it was finished. Are you the one I’ve been praying for?
I believe God will get this book into the hands of every person He wants to read it. Who came to your mind as you read my story just now? A friend? A family member? An acquaintance?
If God’s nudging you to share this with someone, please do. He knows exactly who needs to hear it. Thank you for your willingness to partner with me to get it to them!
Maybe you’re already standing strong and living UNDEFEATED. Perhaps you’ve come through your own Fiery Trial and grew stronger as you took the hard road to Triumph. What message has God put on your heart? What has God shown you that could help others in their journey toward wholeness?
Several people have asked me how I was able to get my story written and my book published. I didn’t do it alone. First and foremost, God equips and enables us to do everything He calls us to do. Every time we step out in faith, He’s right there to meet us.
God only lets us fall to teach us how to fly.
Secondly, I have an awesome husband who leads the family in supporting my efforts to get the light God’s given me out from under the basket. Joel’s got a busy career of his own but he is a super involved dad and has done so much for our family to free up some time for me to write.
But when it comes down to the nuts and bolts of getting the job done, I depend on my author coach. I was unable to get my book to the “end zone” until taught me how. If you have a book inside you that needs to be shared, he can help you get it out into the world. (Click here for more information.) Our stories were meant to be shared. Processing my pain so I could tell my story has been so healing for me personally. I have seen the same transformation in other authors I have met.
I have finally figured out that I don’t want to get back to “normal”. I don’t want to be the old me anymore. I still ache to hold my son in Heaven someday, but in the meantime, I’m ready to live this one life I’ve been given full out. The old elizabeth could never have the things I’m doing now. She wasn’t strong enough yet.
This journey has been so long but I have to say that I do not feel I am crossing the finish line.
This is just my first step past the starting line.
Want to run with me? I’d love to go an adventure with you!
Never forget: You were created to live victoriously! You just have to learn how.
Stand Strong & Live UNDEFEATED,