Hello, friends. There are so many blogs out there that you could have landed on, and I’m so grateful you found mine. Although I’ve been writing my thoughts and fears ever since I learned to hold a pencil, thinking of writing as a professional is a new idea for me, an idea that is still in its infancy, really. Despite that, I hear God speaking into my heart, and I know that He has given me a distinct message to communicate to anyone who reads my words or hears my thoughts.
God has called me to speak fearlessly about illness, mourning, trauma, and hardship. Those aren’t fun topics, of course, but they need to be a part of the human conversation, for believers and non-believers alike, because heartache, illness, and pain are important parts of our stories. To gloss over the difficulties we experience, sweeping them under the rug with a smile and a Sunday morning hug does a disservice to those we serve and witness to. I’ve been a Christ-follower for 20+ years now, and in that time I haven’t just seen God’s people attempt to whitewash the sin and pain from their lives, I’ve become a victim of it too. When we shove a problem under a rug, we are always shoving the sufferer under it too.
I met KJ Ramsey a few years ago in an online community for Christian writers, and I latched onto her message immediately, because her words spoke to my calling as well. KJ has published articles on faith in times of suffering and trauma that have been featured in some of the most respected Christ-centered publications, like Relevant and Christianity Today. Her writing is real, deep, and unfiltered. Because chronic suffering is a burden, and anyone who tries to say otherwise needs to try it for themselves.
KJ’s raw, honest conversation about long term suffering in a life of faith inspires my own, so I am proud to invite you to be one of the first to read her empathic words in her first published book, This Too Shall Last.
I’m not just posting this to help out a friend, either. KJ says the things I want to say in ways that are so much more meaningful than the ways I say them. Take a look:
“The seed of sorrow must be sown to grow new life. We can’t swallow our discouragement and expect to sprout hope. We have to let ourselves speak aloud the suffering our culture says should stay private. We have to let ourselves be seen, our stories be heard, our weaknesses to be witnessed. We have to let our friends into our dirty homes and ourselves into the homes of people we might barely know just because kindness and hope could be there to discover” (Ramsey, 171).
“Part of our resistance to being devoured by suffering is being aware that suffering is the shared experience of the people of God all over the world. When our suffering is hidden behind closed doors and strained smiles, it’s difficult to remember the truth. It’s hard to remember you aren’t the only one afflicted when you can’t see anyone else’s tears. But the tears are there, waiting to be witnessed” (Ramsey, 186).
If you can relate to the impossibility of communicating deep suffering in a community of believers who don’t have the words to respond, or if you’re ready to sit with others in their suffering, even when there is no end to it in sight, This Too Shall Last will help you see the why and the how in long term battles in our bodies and minds. If you are someone who ministers to those who carry a grief no words can heal, this book will show you the power of being present and bearing witness to pain as a portion of our inheritance from Eden that has the power to sustain our faith, with or without recovery.
While This Too Shall Last won’t be available in stores or online until May 12th, it’s available right now for preorder. For those who want first dibs, plus a few bonus “preorder presents,” like a downloadable e-book, Poems and Prayers for Peace that Lasts, and a free presale listen to the first two chapters of This Too Shall Last, you’ve got a few options:
CLAIM YOUR PREORDER COPY OF THIS TOO SHALL LAST, PLUS YOUR PREORDER PRESENTS!
1. Go to http://kjramsey.com/book , and click the icon for your favorite place to buy books (Amazon, Audible, Christianbook, they’re all there).
2. Order your book from the online bookstore of your choice, and write down your order confirmation number.
3. Go back to http://kjramsey.com/book, click the button that says “claim your preorder bonuses,” and fill in your order confirmation number and contact information.
Happy reading, all.