Can I Tell You a Story?

It surprises most people when they find out I’m a published author. A physical-therapist-turned-writer, all because of a dream I had one night? They all want to know the story behind the story. So here goes. For those of you who have heard this tale before, I’m sorry for the repetition, but it’s pretty amazing what God could do through a pair of willing hands. 

Can I tell you a story?

Once upon a time (May 2018), in a land not so far away (Houston), I had the most vivid and divine dream I had ever experienced up to that point in my life. I remember telling my husband about this dream and my heart would race any time I would share more about it. He encouraged me to document the dream just as an exercise in obedience. As I wrote out the details, I had the distinct impression that the characters in my dream were meant to be real. I felt nudged by the Lord to write more of the story, the pieces I hadn’t seen in my dream. Shaking my head at him, I turned away from His ask. I was a Physical Therapist, what did I know about writing? 

It took me six months of saying no to bring me to a place of asking the Lord, “What should I do with this dream?” I felt like He said, “If you wait, this will pass from your hand.” My heart quickened, just like it had in the beginning when I talked about the dream. I was not a writer and didn’t feel equipped, but the Lord was asking me to write this and if I didn’t obey, He would get someone else to do it. I knew then, that I would regret not being a part of what God was going to do through this writing process. 

Over the next six months, I wrote when my sons were at preschool. I would pray and rest my hands on the keyboard as an elaborate movie of the story would start projecting in my mind. With the Holy Spirit feeding me the scenes, I could write 1,500 words in an hour, which amazed me.

Pier in water

Unfortunately, I stopped before I reached the finish line – scared of what a completed story would mean for me once I finished. I originally thought I was just writing this for myself, but the more the story grew, the more I knew this account would be out for everyone to see. And that thought was crippling. 

At the same time that I was putting on the brakes, my friend Allison was hearing from the Lord that she was supposed to read something of mine that I had wrote. She asked me about it and listened to my heart when I was at this point of wrestling. She read the book for me, in all its unfinished, terrible-grammar, Word-document-format…glory. I mean, it didn’t even have paragraph or chapter breaks. Three days later, she had read the book beginning to end, she could not put it down. She carried it to the bathroom and read it at the dinner table, completely out of character for her, which served to confirm that this book was meant to be read by as many hands as we could get it into. It was a book of hope, hope that was desperately needed in this time when darkness seems to win. 

For Allison’s birthday in September 2019, I finished writing this book. A novel, Light Bearers: The Awakening, was written in just over ten months. While the story was there, the grammar and proper punctuation were still lacking and I didn’t want that to impede the message of hope contained within. I prayed about what to do next and three different friends suggested I reach out to a woman I already knew, named Carol. I unaware that she edited books, blogs, and webpages, and had a whole other bag of skills. She agreed to meet with me, intending to just walk me through the publication process. Instead, we ended up talking more about how the book came about and that my heart was just to get it into as many hands as possible.

Carol’s workload was already full with other authors, but she generously agreed to read the first few chapters to see if I had something worth pursuing. Carol asked me to give her two weeks to read my work, but after only two days, she reached out with the editing contract ready to work with me to make this 83,000-word document into a fantasy fiction novel.   

Fast forward to the next fall, I utilized a self-publisher to do all the formatting and printing of the book and on Nov 11, 2020, I released Light Bearers: The Awakening to the world. God had simply told me to write, but I jumped in and released the book before I was really ready to be a published author and all that entailed. 

It turns out there is more to launching a book than just saying, “Here’s my book! Please read it!” I thought I was prepared, but I wasn’t. While I sold more books than the average indie author, it wasn’t enough to perpetuate the Light Bearers series. The first draft of Book 2 was almost complete, and I now knew there would be a third book. My husband and I donated to make the first book a possibility, but we weren’t able to keep doing that for the other two books. 

So I embarked on the path to figure out how I could get out this message of hope and get more books in more hands, but that just let the world and secular advice enter into the conversation. The more information that came in, the more I convinced myself that everything I had done was wrong and I just couldn’t do this indie author thing. I still wrote occasionally, letting the Lord guide me into the third book, but I was holding back in fear. Then, my physical health became an issue. I was taking a lot of Aleve for pain and experienced bleeding that lasted two years. I ended up having surgery to correct this issue in the Fall of 2021. After recovering from the surgery, I started to experience terrible pain that decreased my mobility while also suffering from shooting nerve pain that picked up in intensity. With no answers and the quality of my life suffering, more bad news was in store during the Fall of 2022. I was diagnosed with severe arthritis in both jaw joints and an unidentified autoimmune disorder. Thirteen doctors later and I still don’t have an official diagnosis for the autoimmune disorder. In addition, I have now had head pain in the form of migraines or headaches for the past year.

I don’t say all of this to have a pity party, but to share the reasons why I have wanted to quit so many times. I believed the lies of the enemy telling me I wouldn’t get better and I wasn’t enough…so I stopped trying, I even stopped writing for nearly a year.

Light Bearers: The Deliverance has sat completely edited on my computer for two years. For that, I need to apologize. I’m sorry that I gave in to fear and didn’t continue to share the words the Lord gave to me. 

I have heard many testimonies of how Light Bearers: The Awakening continues to encourage and change lives. One woman told me that the Lord healed something in her childhood when she was reading and praying about a scene in the book. A friend told me that her teen daughter had anxiety and would often turn on the TV when she was spiraling, which didn’t help calm her. In one instance, my friend watched her daughter try to find the remote, but she found the Light Bearers book on the coffee table instead. Her daughter picked it up and started reading at a random page. My friend could see the peace noticeably come over her daughter as the words on the page filled her mind.

Though I am weak, He is strong, and His Word does not return void. I am not claiming we should read Light Bearers instead of the Bible, just that it was Holy-Spirit-inspired and it will stir your affections for our Savior, Jesus Christ, who brings the Light and makes us His Light Bearers!

Even in the last month (three years after its release), I had a woman that I’ve never met reach out to me through my website. She had ordered Light Bearers: The Awakening and was reading it to see if it was appropriate for her daughter. In doing so, she realized the book was meant for her. In her note to me, she told me what an impact the book had on her life and that she was going to share it with others. Two days ago, she let me know that a teen she gifted the book to was spending time with the Lord and in her Bible because of reading Light Bearers: The Awakening. Praise the Lord! 

Through prayer and encouragement, I started writing again in the Fall of 2023. I wrote 50,000 words (that’s half a book) in November for National Novel Writing Month. Those 50,000 words increased my total up to 70,000 words in a whole new series, that yes, also came from a divine dream. I cannot doubt that God is with me. Throughout this month, He has shown me His presence as I was able to write almost every day while still homeschooling my three boys (ages 7, 10, and 12) and without my head pain subsiding even for a single day. 

As I write this post, I’m reminded that the journey of a writer is not just about the words on the page but the stories etched into the hearts of those who read them. Light Bearers: The Awakening was born not only from my dreams but from the whispered nudges of a divine plan. And though there were moments of doubt, pain, and unexpected detours, the testimonials I’ve received remind me that stories have the power to heal, inspire, and kindle hope. 

The journey of Light Bearers continues, and I invite you to walk alongside me as we explore the realms of imagination and faith together. May the words written here be not just an ending but a prelude to the endless stories yet to unfold. With gratitude and anticipation, I eagerly await the Spring of 2024 when Light Bearers: The Deliverance will find its way into your hands.

You are seen. You matter. You are loved!

Mindy



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