It hardly bears pointing out that 2020 was a rough year. Everyone faced new and unexpected challenges. I don’t suppose anyone escaped unscathed.
I was facing those challenges head on by early March. My father had recently entered a long-term care facility for health issues not related to Covid. At my “day job,” I made the shift to working from home while also losing staff at the very busiest time of year for my project. I was putting in longer hours, while at the same time my two brothers and I were scrambling to keep watch over my father’s care, despite the new barriers raised by Covid restrictions. We couldn’t visit him, he couldn’t leave, and we felt helpless to stand by as Covid positives began to spread through the facility. In the end, I was at least able to visit my father twice before he passed away in early June. My mother had died eleven years before, so with my father’s death, my brothers and I shifted to a new reality that was, like 2020 itself, strangely unfamiliar.
And then, there was the writing. The draft for Crossed Lines was due to my publisher in mid-June, while June 30 was the release date for Line By Line. I thank God for the staff at my publisher, Bethany House. They worked with me, extending the deadline and supporting me in many ways, including with their prayers. I was also cognizant of the many prayers offered up by family members and dear friends.
The release of Line By Line was bittersweet, not only because it came on the heels of my father’s death, but because I knew he would have particularly enjoyed this one. My father knew Morse code, having learned it as a ham radio operator and for use in the Navy. He read all my books, and he would have liked the Morse code scenes in Line By Line. I was not able to do most of the usual publicity that I’d do for a book launch, including a live event. Again, the staff at Bethany House stepped in to help. In addition, I sent up many prayers to God, asking that the book would find its way, reaching readers who would enjoy it. I’ve seen the results of those prayers in the wonderful feedback I’ve received from readers so far.
As always in my life, I turned often to the Bible for comfort and strength. Among my favorite verses were Psalms 31:15: “My times are in thy hand…” and Philippians 4:13 (Amplified): “I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me…” Through it all, even on the darkest days, I never doubted that God was there, strengthening me.
Despite the rough year, I look forward to the future, and I’m excited to be continuing on with the Love Along the Wires series and sharing it with you.