I’ve been writing as long as I can remember, starting with poems. I dreamed of being a poet when I grew up—a dream that became reality in 2009. More recently (in 2019), I was clearing files in an annual New Year’s purge. I came across a copy of a letter I’d written in 1997 to a friend and stopped to read it.
The letter recounted a profound, supernatural healing I’d just experienced—of injuries sustained in a car accident in 1985. The accident left me with severe spinal injuries and a permanent disability, which launched me into a twelve-year journey to find healing.
As I reread the letter, I decided to add it to my website. I’d chosen ‘healing’ as a theme for 2020. If I freshened up language and formatted it as an eBook, I could offer it on Amazon too.
I expected to complete it in 2-3 weeks. Several months later, I was tearing my hair out. Because—plot twist—COVID-19.
Life veered off the rails as 2020 rearranged our lives, mine included. Lockdowns—a writer’s dream—theoretically freed me to concentrate on the manuscript but actually tied me up in other ways. But when I found my footing, I continued with what I tentatively entitled Collision, A Journey into Healing. Or maybe it’s Collision: How I Found Myself by Accident.
Second plot twist: because of COVID restrictions, writer’s conferences—the lifeblood of the American publishing industry—went online. Redemption Press hosted one in May, offering me a chance to attend what is usually unaffordable. I registered immediately.
The conference introduced me to a publisher that fit the manuscript. I requested a consultation, which took place in late July, thinking to propose another manuscript, because I still hadn’t finished Collision.
Third plot twist: God interrupted my plans by telling me I had it backwards. I needed to present Collision and put the other manuscript on the back burner. He would provide the funding for publication costs. The resonance in my spirit told me yes, this was the book and now was the time. Go!
Within two weeks, I consulted with the publisher, pitched Collision, and prepared a Go Fund Me campaign—a crowdfunding platform I’d never attempted. A few days later, I signed a contract and launched the campaign. Within twenty-four hours, I hit 50% of my goal—enough to begin Phase 1 and 2 of my book contract. The publishing train roared out of the station—a crash course in nonfiction writing, publishing, and marketing.
Then came the September slog. Working with a project manager and developmental editor, I faced off with a daunting amount of documents, videos, and content creation. Raising and transferring another 50% of funds. Completing the manuscript. Without the overwhelming affirmations of August, I’m not sure I would have made it through the next nine months. The slog continues, but I see the finish line.
I formed a prayer team. While COVID restrictions loosened, I remained in isolation until I finished the manuscript. God turned me inside out as he shook out stories and memories from my brain, connecting dots, indicating direction, helping me find words. Many mornings I woke with some writing solution I needed. I marveled as I heard my story from God’s perspective, connecting childhood memories to life now. Many an evening, I sat worshiping God for how he wrote the chapters over the decades. And how he continued to help and provide, whether words or funds.
To produce the manuscript, I contacted about seventy people for permissions, releases, and endorsements. Some barely knew me, some I lost touch with over the years. Invariably, the reaction has been positive and affirming, with many a happy virtual reunion in the isolation. Often, someone would jog my memory of some key element. Events that seemed random now revealed themselves as purposeful and meticulously timed by God.
God is already speaking through the stories to touch lives. Often, when I share a story from the book, it speaks redemptively to the listener’s heart. May the true Author speak through this book as it takes a walk in the world soon. May God use it to reveal Himself as healer, deliverer, and restorer, who can rebuild our broken and shattered lives into something extraordinary.
And what is the book about?
The screech of brakes—yes, and the car accident. Potholes of anger, grief, and depression. Strongholds in the mind, counterfeits, and deception. The hiss of lies—demonic influences in our afflictions. But that’s only Act 1.
In Act 2, the heart of the matter is exposed—in particular, issues of anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness. In the climax of Act 3, another collision between the Kingdom of Darkness and the Kingdom of Light, I emerge healed and delivered of heart, mind, and body. The restoration prepared me for the ongoing journey on transformation—an invitation to wholeness.
Follow the ongoing story on www.mythicmonastery.org, Facebook (Patricia Butler) or Instagram (@mythic_monastery). Collision is available for pre-sale donations at the Redemption Press online bookstore (www.redemption-press.com).