When You Are Counting on Change

{By Cindy Coloma} (Cindy’s latest co-authored book is receiving national attention for a true story that went from horrific tragedy to triumph. She’s written both fiction and non-fiction with a style that sucks you into the drama and mystery of a story. Even though a reader is dying to know how the story ends, you find yourself wanting to follow the characters long after the last page. Then again, maybe that’s my biased opinion since she’s my cousin. But do not take my word for it. Read hers. ~~tammy hendricksmeyer)

 

“You can only depend on change.”

That phrase jumped out at me while working as coauthor on the memoir of a woman who is now 102 years old. The book chronicles Minka Disbrow’s life from 1929 when she was raped and became pregnant through her reunion 77 years later with the daughter she gave up, yet never stopped longing for.

An editor wanted to cut the line, which was a good edit, but I fought for it to remain. I suppose I’ve reached a point when I get it. Life really is change.

As a child, I’d carry a book into my hiding place in the rafters of our barn where I’d read and look out across our ten country acres, imagining what might happen in the years that stretched ahead.

Now I look back and pick out points in my journey thus far when I’ve felt enormous wonder and other times when I didn’t know how to survive the pain. A church split in my early twenties first jarred my faith in Christians. A friend’s betrayal stunned me while revealing how giving in to selfish desires harms a wide circle of innocents. With the death of my baby nephew I faced how my will and prayers weren’t enough against God saying, “It’s his time.”

Then there are the beautiful moments. The phenomenal first glimpse of each of my children and touching their velvet skin, seeing their first smile, watching them discover the world. Or the innumerable times when I felt God so real and near to me. I’ve had adventures in Europe, Southeast Asia, and in a tent camping with my kids. Laughter with girlfriends, the quiet before dawn, a long stretch of night in a sleeping house, seeing a POW cry telling his memories, and those countless times alone or with others when the world seemed to pause with the wonder contained in the moment.

And yet, change is there too.

For a time, I was the small town girl who’d “made it” as a writer, who had one of those near-perfect marriages  (and it nearly was), who led children’s church, traveled to Europe, and spoke to women’s groups. For a bit, I was flown to book conventions or to my publishing house, sat in a limo with very well known people, was treated like I might be well-known very soon too.

Later I was the Christian author divorcee with flat sales on my books. I was making espresso for people I’d once signed books for. When my agent called to say I’d hit the Christian bestsellers list, I was on a roof covered in sweat and dirt working with my roofer father to try making ends meet (I loved the job and time with my dad but laughed at the moment). I’d coach local aspiring writers, take each dollar they gave me and go to the store to buy dinner – thanking God that they’d paid me that day.

I can see my own big missteps, and how others misstepped on me; I see how deep wounds scar deep, and how fragile our well-built homes can be especially when we neglect the growing cracks.

So when Minka’s daughter said, “You can only depend on change,” I knew she didn’t mean that change was all we can depend on. She’s mother of six, parents were pastors, and her love for God is blood in her veins.

But I caught her meaning: that in our planning and visions, in the day-to-day of where we are now, change is the factor we neglect. Change is the unexpected guest that we should always anticipate by savoring the now and not digging in to the belief that now will always be. That we own our today.

Because change never fails to show up.

I didn’t expect to marry again, especially to a man from a foreign country, or to fall deeply in love with two new babies when my first batch was mostly grown. I didn’t expect to coauthor books or to be shaped by every story.

So I’m staking my faith on the One who takes my perceived good and bad to shape me and bring me closer to him. With Christ, I don’t have to fear. And that’s why I now depend on Him, and on the fact – it’s all going to change.

 

{photo credit: tammy@meadowsSpeak}

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Cindy

Cindy Coloma is a national bestselling author who has written twelve novels, including: Beautiful (2010 Christy Award finalist for Young Adults and 2011 Revolve Young Adult Tour featured book); The Salt Garden (one of Library Journal‘s best genre books in 2004); Song of the Brokenhearted (2013 ECPA bestseller with coauthor Sheila Walsh); Orchid House (2008 ECPA bestseller); and Winter Passing (2001 Christy Award finalist and Romantic Times Top Pick). She’s collaborated on fiction projects with bestselling author, singer, and speaker Sheila Walsh, and as a ghostwriter with a former federal prosecutor and national TV legal-news analyst. Her nonfiction projects include collaborations on memoirs such as The Waiting (May 2014, Tyndale Momentum) and It’s a Wild Life: How My Life Became a Zoo(June 2014, Medallion Press), a book about an exotic animal zoo in Michigan and the Nat Geo Wild television program. She’s also developed and wrote the nonfiction book Renting Lacy: A Story of America’s Prostituted Children (coauthored with former Congresswoman Linda Smith). She’s been a speaker at the World Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany; Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference; Simpson University Faculty Retreat; LittWorld in Tagaytay, Philippines; and many others. Her website is here: www.cindycoloma.com or you can email her at cindycoloma@gmail.com. She can also be found on Facebook here.

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FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY

the waiting“When Minka whispered her secret, impossible prayer for the first time: Lord, I’d like to see Betty Jane before I die. I promise I won’t bother her or interrupt her life. I just want to lay eyes on her. Unbeknownst to Minka, that very same day, a judge was releasing the sealed adoption records to her 77-year-old daughter. And soon, Minka’s phone would ring.” ~~Amazon

 

 

 

 

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11 Comments on “When You Are Counting on Change

  1. I want to thank you for taking the time to share this special book with us, Cuz. Your post was so much more than I’d hoped for and your vulnerable sharing can be entrusted with this community of readers, writers, and friends. I miss my west coast family but today, I’m feeling blessed to be together in this space. I have awesome friends here and now I have family too.

    • I loved the opportunity to be here with you, Cuz! I sort of realized after sending that it was quite revealing in a way I haven’t been except through the vehicle of fiction, but I hope some of my experience encourages others. I was certainly moved while writing The Waiting by the realization of how I cling to what I have (maybe just the kids being young, or even like “my time”), but in truth, I don’t really own any of it. Letting go of that helps me further enjoy and savor the moment, and also know that when things are hard, “this too shall pass.”
      LOVE YOU!

  2. “You can only depend on change”…Cindy, I can so relate to this statement. Looking forward to reading this book. Your books have always been special to me. 😉

    • Hi Michelle! I’m sure you’ll find a lot of Minka’s story in The Waiting that will touch your life as I did mine if that phrase strikes you as well. And thank you for your comment about my books too. That means a lot. 🙂

  3. Cindy we have been anticipating you joining us here. This post resonates so deeply with me. As a cancer survivor and ministry leader i understand the loneliness that can haunt us, even in a large crowd. I am so grateful for your open heart, the gift of your words, and that you use your talents to glorify HIM. I am so looking forward to reading your book. ps. Tammy is one of my most favorite people, like a sister, so I’m just going to go ahead and adopt you as a cousin. 🙂

    • I’m happily adopted then! 🙂 And thank you for your words. They resonated back to me, and I have a feeling we’re kindred spirits (and not just because we both adore Tammy). I love what you all are doing here too.

  4. “Change is the unexpected guest that we should always anticipate by savoring the now and not digging in to the belief that now will always be. That we own our today.” – THIS. Oh, how I needed to hear this. Thank you!

    • I need to be reminded of it again, and again. But isn’t that part of it, grasping truths over and over until they are part of us. That’s what I hope at least. 🙂

  5. Pingback: What's in Store for Us, 2014 in Review, & Link Ups - outside the city gate

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