The last week in August I was plugging along as usual--doing the edits on the last book in my Keepers of the Promise Amish series while writing the new Amish romantic suspense, planning a book event, trying to keep up with the schedule I'd imposed on myself. Then, within a matter of days, what seemed to be a simple flu-like virus attacked my husband and turned rapidly into a full-scale assault. Before we could grasp what had happened, he was in intensive care, fighting for his life as one system after another failed.
Needless to say, my writing schedule didn't receive even a passing thought during those days. All my strength and energy were required to face nothing more than the next step in front of me. Thanks to skilled doctors and nurses and the powerful prayers not only of family and friends but of people we've never even met, he finally turned the corner. Two weeks in the medical center was succeeded by another two weeks in the rehab hospital. Finally, praise God, he came home, and after a few days of adjusting to the "new normal," we began to feel as if we could breathe again.
When the time came to go back to work, I approached the computer with a great deal of anxiety. The story that had once seemed so clear in my mind had vanished entirely. Things that once seemed crucial to me no longer had meaning. And I honestly didn't know if I was capable of writing again.
Strangely enough, once I actually put fingers to the keyboard, I found it all came back again. Without the involvement of my conscious mind, somehow my writer's brain had stored what I needed. The story began to flow again.
All of this is said not because my story is especially unique. I met many people during those days and nights in the intensive care waiting room who had more tragic stories and worse outcomes than mine. I'm saying it as a reminder that in a time of crisis, all of the unimportant things fall away, and we see clearly those things that are, and should be, paramount in our lives. Family. Faith. Love. We were the recipients of so many simple acts of kindness during those days--words and acts that may have meant very little to the people who gave them but meant the world to us. I hope I never forget. I hope I never put other things, no matter how worthy, before the need to serve God through loving all those He sends my way.