Yesterday, my husband and I went to see the movie, THE SHACK.
I read THE SHACK not long after it became a best-seller. Three different friends suggested it to me – Debby, Beth, and Carol. When Carol suggested it, I said to her, “Geez, you are the third person to suggest that book to me. I guess I should read it, huh?” With that, Carol took a copy of the book out of her purse and handed it to me. She said, “I definitely want this copy back, but I’m sharing it with you because I know you need to read it.” And that is when the main spiritual transformation within my heart exploded.
At that time in my life, I had been in recovery from my addictions for several years. I had just started writing a fictional book about a serial killer (I had always wanted to write for a living and thought a serial killer story would be a best seller). I was also on the tail end of some very intensive counseling to heal wounds of my past and allow me to open my heart to become the person God had created me to be. I had no idea what God was orchestrating and how awesome His timing was while it was happening, but as I write this now, I do see it and all I can offer is this: “Damn, He’s good.”
While I was reading THE SHACK, I found myself overwhelmed with an urge to stop writing about the serial killer. I felt like I was being guided to a place where I would only be offering goodness to the world – to not put anything evil into the universe. And, as I read through the book a second time (after being gifted with my own copy to highlight and write in margins by my wonderful friends, Debby & Carl), it hit me that my gift of writing was meant to be shared in healing and service to others. It wasn’t about me making lots of money or being on best-seller lists. It wasn’t about me winning prizes or being asked to speak about my success throughout the country. My writing was meant to be used by God for His purposes. Needless to say, after 20 or so chapters on the serial killer, I put that draft aside and started writing a daily meditation book, which eventually became Dewdrops.
Dewdrops hasn’t sold millions and it certainly isn’t sitting on any best-seller lists anywhere…and the beautiful thing about that statement is – I don’t care. People have told me that it has helped them. That is all that matters…that my writing has helped another person.
As I sat in the movie theater yesterday, waiting for the film to start, I asked God to remove all of my expectations. You see, I have read the book many times now and was worried that my human expectations would interfere with anything God wanted for me as I watched the story play out before me. When it started, my heart began beating harder…something inside me was so very excited to see the characters I had been reading about “in person.” And when I saw them and heard their voices surrounding me, it was like no one else was there. I was in the story with them, feeling their love and guidance flowing over me. Sure, there were times when the coughing lady next to me made me roll my eyes, or the crinkling of popcorn bags annoyed me. But the overall experience was one that filled my heart with a joy I cannot even put into words. The tears, the laughter, the intense emotion… I want to tell you all about how each moment healed my heart a little bit more…but I don’t want to spoil it for you!
If you haven’t read the book (I know there are people who don’t like to read as much as I do – go figure), please go see the movie.
If you have read the book, please go see the movie.
It is simply wonderful.