Lori and I met after a lecture I gave in biblical counseling. In the last several years I've grown to consider her a dear friend and fellow Christ follower. Not only does Lori have much wisdom learned from years of hard lessons, she has a love for God unmatched by most people. This is why I wanted to introduce her to you because after spending time with her you will never be the same.
You have written three books about the journey you have found yourself on over these last fourteen years. Can you tell us a little about your life and how you came to author three books as a result of the lessons you have learned?
I have a muscle disease called Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia. I believe with all my heart that this disease has been allowed because it was the only way God could slow me down and get my attention. It gave me the chance to re-evaluate my life and get a clear perspective of the importance I was assigning to things. Up until this point, my life was centered entirely on me. I was wrapped so tightly with arrogance, self-centeredness, and shallowness.
What a radical change God has made in my life… and my Memoir is all about that change.
This is the story of how my brokenness transformed me into a woman of God. God has imparted much to me in this barren wilderness. Freely I was given and freely I will share. It’s my story but you can plug yourself and your specific trial in place of Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia to get hope and be encouraged at the same time.
Tell us how long did it take to write your books?
The first Volume of my memoir was written in 2009. It took maybe a month or two. God brought back all of the memories of learning how to navigate my “new normal” life with Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia. He seemed to download to me even the smallest details about how the book should be written... sometimes with very raw emotion and transparency. Volume Two was written in 2011. Volume Three was written in 2014. Each volume emphasizes how I grew, and am still growing in spiritual wisdom, greater intimacy, and most importantly - learning how to truly die to myself and to the things of this world, so I can now abide with and rest in the Almighty.
What advice do you have for a new writer?
God has done this with me – so I definitely recommend keeping a tablet or pad by your bed. You can write things down that God speaks to you by His Spirit. I would have forgotten some things I’ve included in my books if I didn’t write down ideas as they were fresh in my mind.
In your books you discuss the physical limitations you have had to deal with over the years, what has been the hardest part of coming to grips with the changes they have brought to your life?
Undoubtedly the hardest part of this journey was being weaned from the world and taken into the wilderness. Being separated from the things we rely on for comfort and stability, and losing things we hold dear is extremely painful! At the onset of this disease, my body, mind and soul were plunged into great darkness. I was thrown into a deep pit, where I was confronted with humiliation after humiliation! My soul has throbbed with the agonizing groans of Gethsemane.
But there is no Gethsemane without its angel to strengthen and comfort. God gives us extraordinary grace for extraordinary situations. He turns messes into messages, afflictions into advances, problems into promotions and trials into triumphs.
Truly dying to self is ridiculously difficult. Nobody willingly walks down the road to Calvary. Calvary is the road that speaks of genuine brokenness and a crushing of self. It’s in walking through the shadow of the valley of death we must remember that the One who lives in us is greater than the one in the world! Once we surrender and lay down our self-will and pride at the feet of Jesus, a certain sweetness of the heart comes... His heart!
In spite of these difficulties and the extreme challenges you face daily, you are one of those rare people who grows lovelier every time I see you. Can you tell us what the secret is to your inner glow?
My inner glow comes from worshiping God and recognizing my need for Him every minute. I know how spiritually bankrupt I am without Him.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Truly, I can do nothing without Him... Thank you, Lord, for teaching me this truth.
I know you have said to me on numerous occasions that you would not change the life God has given to you because it has forced you to grow closer to the One who loves you the most. Some of the sweetest words I've heard have come from you when you describe your relationship to Jesus. What can you tell us about him in relation to growing to know Him more in your years of experiencing pain and disappointment from your circumstances?
I can tell you that He is faithful. The years of suffering, disappointment, and hopes that were dashed time after time - have been intense. But it has been in those times I’ve learned to fall on Jesus, and the harder I fell is when I discovered Him to be stronger and stronger in my life.
I know I'm asking you hard questions because many of us could learn a lot from the patience and endurance you have managed to work into your life. On a lighter note, can you tell us about your husband Michael and your kitty cats?
I have been blessed with a great husband who helps me with the physical stuff outside of the home. Simple things like: grocery shopping, running to the post office, taking me here and there, etc. Michael and I have been married for fifteen years.
Sampson and Delilah are my two little furry friends. It just makes a huge difference when you’re around other living things. I tell them quite often (I’m so glad they understand English!) to “Praise Jesus.” Everything that has breath, praise the Lord!
In my experience, I've learned that you are a gifted web designer and you taught me about my own inner nerd :-) Lori thank you for helping me to grow as a writer and for encouraging me in my own difficulties as I've walked out the call God has placed on my life.
ALL right ~ now that you have fallen in love with my friend Lori, too, you are welcome to visit her website to read her memoir she has published in the Blessings in the Storm series. All three books are also available FREE in PDF form. Lori's Memoir - A Blessing in the Storm...