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2 Corinthians 3:3 
"You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts."
Monday, September 26 2011

 Name: GLIMPSES: Two Stories of Hope and Healing
 Date of arrival: September 19, 2011, 2 pm CST
 Height: 8.5 inches; Width: 5.5 inches
 Weight: 1.05 pounds
 ISBN: 978-1-57892-064-8

The long-awaited moment at last! Three years in gestation, this “baby” has been prayed over with expectant fervor by many and I am humbled to hold it in my arms and offer it back to the Lord with great thanksgiving. Curiosly, my reaction on its delivery did not seem suited to the occasion. Having anticipated this for so long, I thought I might nearly faint with excitement, weeping and rejoicing over the beauty of my literary child. How strange, then, that I matter-of-factly received the shipment with the greatest equanimity as if it were Lowe’s delivering a new washer and dryer.

Awareness of past reactions to events of great magnitude entered into the picture slowly but surely. Flashback to age 10, arriving home from Fairview School one early spring afternoon:

MOM: “Honey, I have a great surprise for you!”
ME: (imagining a chocolate cake or maybe even a new baby doll) “What?”
MOM: “The best piano teacher in Mt. Prospect has agreed to take you!”
ME: “Oh.”

My heart’s desire ever since I had first seen a piano had been to learn to play, and my parents had sacrificed to buy me one. But to learn that I would actually be taking lessons meant…something was EXPECTED of me! I sensed that my life would never again be the same; that I was being given a tremendous gift that also carried with it a commensurate responsibility. I was fundamentally terrified. When the day of my first lesson dawned, however, I was ready to meet the challenge head-on and never look back.

The second time I experienced this bizarre oxymoronic amalgamation of blissful terror was on the day of our son Paul’s birth. At the crack of dawn on January 7, 1992, we received a phone call from Bethany Christian Services, telling us that the birthmother who had chosen us had given birth to a son and we could come and meet him. I burst into tears - but my inner child had a visceral reaction reminiscent of the one when I was ten. The magnitude of responsibility for this precious new life greeted me like a tsunami. Yet when I entered Lisa’s hospital room and she said to him, “Here’s your mom!”, my heart was one hundred percent captivated by this incredible bundle of vibrant new life and I was ready to embrace motherhood head-on and never look back.

So, for the third time in my life, I have reacted in a way that confounds even me, but I see the pattern: an amazing gift from God being presented to me to steward for Him. As in the other two instances, I will nurture this gift with practice, patience and prayer. I will expose it to those who will invest in it and help it to grow and be appreciated by others. I will allow it to go into situations where it will be challenged and criticized, but I will trust that the Lord is my defense and I will not be moved. I will permit it to speak for itself, knowing that its Author has a plan for it that far exceeds my own. I am ready to embrace the challenge head-on and never look back... and I am starting to dream about when this book-baby might have a sibling.

Posted by: Jan AT 05:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Saturday, September 10 2011

"I think I'll have to chew on this for a while."  I wasn't referring to the tantalizing pulled pork sandwich that was beckoning to me as I sat across from my sister-of-the-heart Lisa last night at County Line BBQ. Surrounded by the raucous strains of Chuckwagon Charlie strumming his gui-tar under the nearly-full moon over nearly-empty Lake Conroe, I felt myself "going Greek"  - needing to separate body and spirit, at least for a time - as she delivered words that would open up a new window of understanding to God's love.
"These are your twins on the cover, Jan!" were her words as I felt my jaw drop in astonishment. Lisa was sharing with me her reaction to the cover of GLIMPSES, which is featured on this website's homepage. While I knew that the Lord had inspired my editor, Lynn Ponder, and the cover designer, Lynette Whitesell, to come up with the idea for the book cover, I had only thought of the two little girls chasing butterflies as Carrie and myself.  But Lisa saw beyond and spoke with the authority of one who hears from God.

My journey through cancer began with pregnancy. Ironically, the twins that I was carrying but never delivered revealed the uterine cancer that would likely have remained hidden were it not for their presence. Through the grief of the loss of their unborn lives, God revealed His love to me in such a thorough and profound way that I truly became a new creation in Christ. Through the seed of those babies that died, God has brought abundant life.

In the final chapter of GLIMPSES, I share the vision God gave me of one of the twins, a little girl whose name He gave me from Romans 5:4 - HOPE. Over the years, I have asked Him to reveal more to me about the other child, but until last night, nothing was shown to me. This morning, He gave me her name - FAITH. The substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things unseen - Hebrews 11:1.

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE." 

Posted by: Jan deChambrier AT 12:56 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
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