Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Steadfast Soldier by Cheryl Wyatt is IN STORES NOW
Hey all, Cheryl Wyatt here.
Today is the official release day for Steadfast Soldier and all other June Love Inspired books. Be sure to pick a few up on your next trip to town because they only stay on shelves for a matter of weeks.
I didn't realize until this weekend how fitting it was to have Steadfast Soldier release on Memorial Day weekend. In this story we know that Chance, the hero, has just experienced the death of his mother followed immediately by his father falling ill to a debilitating stroke. Having Chance's mother die was not my original idea but one my editor suggested and for good reasons. Every editorial suggestion has strengthened my books. I trust my editors. They know the readership and they know story. So I simply killed off his mom by writing her out of the synopsis and it was as easy as that, right?
In order to evoke emotion in readers, authors sometimes have to "go there" in their minds. Meaning, imagine what that particular trauma would be like. My mom is still with me and TRUST ME, I did NOT want to go there. That aspect of the book was the most difficult to write because, due to a certain scene involving my hero and a tattered tea pot, I had to think of all the things I'd miss about my mom if she were gone. Simply put...I'd miss EVERYTHING about her.
Unfortunately I know many of you out there have lost your moms and my heart goes out to you.
This weekend, I'm sure many of you spent time and probably a few tears remembering loved ones who've already stepped into Eternity.
My hope is Jesus and the cross. When He rose from that tomb to live again, so did hope that we will see our loved ones again if we only believe.
I don't want this to be a one-way conversation, so I'd love to hear who you miss the most today and why. They deserve to be remembered. No one wants to be forgotten. It's okay. Let your heart go there today...
And I pray that God will lift you up into His lap and hold you. He promises to wipe all of our tears away for good one day. While you draw near to Him in the remembering and let Him draw near to you, I pray that you will experience Him in a deep way. Feel Him lift your chin in the mourning and as eye-meets-eye, you see joy sparkling in His eyes for the tears that have hovered in yours. See the compassion of a God who is Eternal and whose love will never die. Feel Him plant the promise on your cheek through mercy's kiss. You will see your loved one again. Let Him love on you today and thread the hope of Heaven more deeply into your heart.
My heart has been heavy for several days over the loss of a girl I've never met. My niece was informed this week that a good friend of hers comitted suicide a few days ago. Especially painful was the fact that she mentioned my niece in her note and asked that she be thanked for being the only kid at camp to stick up for her when other kids relentlessly teased. Three weeks before she took her life, this seventeen year old girl sent a message through a mutual friend to tell my niece thank you for reaching out and making her life better.
My niece's tearful, agonized-to-the-soul reply: "Cheryl, if I made it better then why did she do it?"
I feel her pain. Such a senseless, preventable death. Those are hard. I can't imagine. I don't want to. Still...a story idea keeps swirling in despite that I continually bat it away.
But if the book can save even one life...I'll go there mentally in a heartbeat. Pray protection over our youth against suicide if you are reading this today. The suicide rate among soldiers is especially high these days too. Lift them up. Support them with your prayers whether you agree with the war or not. The fact is these brave men and women are sacrificing EVERYTHING so that you don't lose everything.
God help us to see the sadness in the eyes of those who may be on the brink of suicide and enable us to reach out and make THE difference of a precious life saved instead of lost.
Feel free to share about a loved one you miss so that we may know a special thing about them and remember them today. You are in my prayers!
As you remember your loved ones today, also remember the hope of Heaven. God is very near to the broken hearted. He loves you. He made a way. Jesus did it. Heaven is real. Hope lives. Sorrow has a definite end. God made sure of it. He is intimately acquainted with your pain. He will help you.