I earned a long break. I needed it more than anyone could possibly understand, except perhaps Jake. But now that we’re walking down this road once more… oh my goodness… it feels GOOD.
I love to create. I love to tell stories. I love words. I love translating the magic in my mind onto the pages so I can share it with the world. I love the high of knowing I nailed a scene and that it will blow your mind. I love the messages from my early readers freaking out because of what they read. I love being able to affect people with the intensity, beauty, and creativity of my gift and my art. But most of all, I love that even though it’s been a few years, my people—the people who love my work—are going to be here for it and feel every bit of the intensity I feel writing it when they experience it.
This story has been a long time coming. I couldn’t write it until I was ready. I couldn’t write it until the story was ready. And now, watching it unfold in the most amazing fashion right in front of my eyes is like a dream coming to life. Watching Jake read the pages I write, fresh off the printer, and seeing his smile as he says, “This is so good. So good. Like, really, really good. You are so good at this. This is what you’re meant to do,” fills me with joy that I didn’t realize I was missing from my life. And thanks to my amazing, wonderful, and beautiful friends (aka, YOU), I know that what I’m doing goes far beyond simply writing a story. This story will change people. It will inspire people. Its impact will go far beyond anything I can imagine.
My romance novels have helped incredible people not kill themselves when they were in the depths of despair, leave abusive relationships, find solace and relief from pain and tragedy, find light in the darkness, believe in love again, and so much more than I could have ever possibly dreamed.
Five years ago, I wanted so badly to do more—to make a bigger difference in the world. To do something that mattered. It took all of those five years for me to realize that I’ve already made a massive difference—a bigger one that matters more than I ever could have imagined—just by being me and doing what I do. That realization was eye-opening, life-affirming, and grounding in ways I’m only beginning to recognize.
Before, I felt like I wasn’t enough. Like I wasn’t doing enough. Like there was more out there for me. And while now I know I’ve always been enough, I was right in thinking there is more out there for me. A lot more. But it isn’t necessarily doing something completely different with my life. It’s being myself and expressing myself wholly and completely and doing the things I naturally love. God takes care of the impact I make on the world. That’s not up to me. I’m just here to be who I have been created to be. And part of that is being one of the most gifted and talented authors alive on this planet right now.
There’s a quote that says, “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” I always thought it wasn’t the best advertisement for enlightenment, but that’s because I didn’t truly understand what it meant. And while I’m definitely not saying that I’m enlightened, I now understand that quote in a way I never did before.
It might seem as though I’m “doing the same thing I was before,” but I’m doing it from a totally different perspective and with a totally different motivation. I’m doing it with a different purpose and that makes all the difference in the world.
You see, before, these books were all for me. I wrote them for my freedom. So that I could live the life that I felt destined to live. It’s the honest truth. But now, there’s a much larger purpose and motivation behind my work. I’m doing what God has created me to do, because this is one way He can use me for my perfect purpose for the greatest good.
Nothing in life happens by accident. I truly believe I’m always being guided, led, helped, healed, and blessed every single moment. And one of those blessings is my creativity and the stories that come into my mind and take root, begging to be told and shared with the world.
I have no idea how or who my words will affect or impact. That part isn’t up to me. But I know that if I don’t write them, they won’t be there for the impact they’re meant to have.
So back into the magic I go, letting these stories that have been percolating, marinating, and growing in my mind for years come to life so that I can offer them to you.
I had no idea my stories could be one of the ways I could best serve on this planet, but I can’t argue with the fact any longer. I wouldn’t be who I am and have this gift unless I was meant to use it. My life wouldn’t have been what it has been to cause me to become who I am otherwise. God doesn’t make mistakes. We are each created for a perfect purpose, and that is to be who we are in truth.
I love being me. It’s the greatest gift of this lifetime that I get to be myself. And allowing myself to flourish and shine with purpose in a unique way that only I can… that, my friends, feels like one of life’s great secrets revealed to me.
Thank you for your patience with me as I went through an epic dark night of the soul. Thank you for not losing hope that I would one day write again. Thank you for your emails, letters, and cards sharing with me how my work has impacted and affected you. Just like I will never know the true impact of my words, you will never know how important your words were to me.
I came here to serve, and it is my honor to use these gifts God has given me to do just that. I’ve often said that I feel like I’m just getting started, but the truth is, I started long ago. Now, it is time for me to continue doing what I do and being who I am, because that is my purpose and my privilege.
Thank you so much for being among those I am blessed to serve. I can’t wait to share what’s coming next with you. I think you’re going to lose your ever-lovin’ mind when you read this story. I’m living the dream while writing it. Now, back to my work—because I love it, and it’s part of who I am and what I came here to do.
Yours in eternal gratitude,