Currently, I sit in the cornerest of corners in Frothy Monkey, a coffee shop located in the heart of Franklin, Tennessee. I'm not quite ready to put on my extrovert pants.. there are so many people meeting here for this conference, and my back is to them and they probably think I'm rude and stuck up. But really, I'm just a weird sort of introvert.
I flew from Portland, OR to Nashville yesterday, arriving to my friend JJ's house to tuck in for a nice sleep. One of the best sleep's I've had in about two years. Also..the humidity? Not a fan.
It's an honor and privilege to be here with a whole bunch of creatives and go-getters.
My book releases Monday.
Technically, people are already receiving their copies because that is simply how fun the world works. But our official launch and celebration day is Monday, September 18.
Here's how I feel about it:
I have worked so hard to create and release This Undeserved Life.
For awhile I had anxiety surrounding the release of This Undeserved Life, fearful I would step on toes and hurt feelings and people would misunderstand me. I was fearful and anxious that people I love and respect would think I don't care about them, would think I am upset with them, would think I look down on them or am holding some weird grudge or something.
People I love may think these things, but they aren't true.
To the core of myself, I feel good about where my heart is in regards to the people I love and know. I feel healthy and level headed.
Here is a bit more about how I feel about this book:
To be honest, one of my greatest weaknesses surrounding this book is my elevator pitch. People always ask me what it's about, and on surface-level, it's about loss and learning how to grieve. I usually awkwardly fumble around because I don't want people to write it off...I think so many people need this book.
This book is about so much more than trying to get pregnant, miscarriage, adoption, church trauma, birth trauma...it's about so much more than loss and finding the permission to grieve.
This Undeserved Life is about a grace so scandalous, it wrecks you and then puts you back together.
It's about uncovering the gift of grief which is simply: healing comes through grieveing. There is no shame in or formula for grieving...we are invited to grieve loss of all kinds because loss is brokenness and brokenness was never in His plans.
It's never a bad thing to be honest, even while we are grieving...the more honest we can be about how we are dealing with and processing our losses and brokenness, the more healing we can access. Sometimes honesty feels ugly, but I have found when I am at my rawest, "ugliest," most honest form...I am able to push through towards immense healing.
This book is about learning to be raw, gut wrenchingly honest.
Going deeper and even further than this, I have found an immense fullness through allowing myself to walk the road of grief for different losses. Fullness of joy and wholeness and freedom.
It's in those tunnel days of darkness where I found grace sitting with me in the bottom of the pit. And when I stumbled upon grace to be entirely honest and to just be, I found freedom and hope, which gave me access to healing.
Taking it even deeper, grief taught me how to love better. (Like Jesus. Which is my actual goal in all of life.)
Loss and grief has taught me that I don't have all the answers, I don't know all the things, and I have so much to learn. Loss and grief has humbled me and revealed to me there are so many experiences being lived in this world, and who am I to doubt/question/invalidate anyone's lived experience? Loss and grief has revealed to me that sensitivity is an actual super power; true compassion and empathy is what will literally save our world.
Because right now? Our humanity is losing it's humanity. Right now? Our humanity needs compassion and empathy at it's fullest form.
I had the privilege of sitting down for lunch with Chad Allen from Baker Books Publishing and Jonathan Milligan today. I have opportunities before me that are available due to nothing I have done, and everything He has done. Yes, I've worked hard and seized connections when made available, but opportunities have sort of landed in my lap.
I'm just me, you guys.
I don't know what my future holds writing-career-wise, but what I will say is this: as a little girl I had a dream to be a full time author + writer. For as long as I can remember, I've loved writing stories. GUYS, currently have tears in my eyes because my Grandma Donna told me a year or so ago that she still has one of my first stories.
To be honest, it's hard to process that I've written a legitimate book and real live humans outside of my mom are reading it. Have read it. And like it. And have been set free through it.
It really does bring tears to my eyes because it's a dream I know so many have, but so many fear to pursue. They fear they aren't good enough, or something. Who are they? They ask. I still ask that: Who am I? I'm just me.
And that's just the thing: Jesus uses us unlikely, little people to do "big" things, when we are willing. I have confidence in who He is and His love for me...which means no matter what I do—if it's a flop or an embarrassment or a big hot mess—I've still got Him. And that's worth any risk, to me. He's worth any risk.
I have had the best launch team. THE BEST. I have so many friends and family and virtual friends I've never met who have been absolutely generous with sharing about my book. This has meant the world to me. And I need them.
I hope you'll join hundreds of others and preorder This Undeserved Life this weekend. It would be my honor. Also, it's $6 off and is only $9.99. In the back of the book is a printed and revised version of Wholeness Despite the Brokenness: A Grief Guide. Plus more resources.
And when you receive the book, my deepest prayer is that the pages will pour oceans of grace into the cracked pieces of your soul.
This book? It was a labor of love for the fractured-hearted. Our world is thirsty for it.