I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
During this month, I am giving thanks to some of the people that God used to push me into my purpose, help me meet goals and plans made over a decade ago, and were instrumental in my new career paths.Today I want to share an open letter of thanks to Author JoAnn Schehr Fashina. i also wish to extend my thanks to Shawn Morrison and Angella Middleton.
God used Shawn Morrison, member of the gospel group The Spiritual Souls, to cause our paths to cross in 2013 when she organized TAPS, The Apostolic Poets Society’s. We had an event in Boston, MA. You had a book signing, I taught a writers workshop, and together we mentored the young poets that were in attendance.
But before we even met, I went online and purchased your first book, My God, My Song, My Praise. I was in awe of your testimony, your gift, and your work as an author. You agreed to be a guest on my radio show and read from your three books, plus the fourth one that you were working on at the time.
To say that you were a real life hero in my book would be an understatement. Woman of God, mother, grandmother, retired teacher, poet, and Christian author. I soaked up everything you shared, both during the interview and at the event in Boston later that year. You encouraged me during that session and afterwards. I shared with you that I had several manuscripts of poetry that I had yet to publish. You told me how God had blessed you to publish one book per year since your retirement, and that if you could do it, so could I.
I left the conference energized to get back on the wheel and continue my assignment from the Lord. That was 2013. Once I got back home, I tried to follow the advice you gave me on how to do it, but at the time I couldn’t understand the online website you told me about (CreateSpace). I was so embarrassed and disappointed I let defeat win and promptly gave up. "I can’t" became my inner motto.
Two years years later, my daughter Angella Middleton, had finished writing her book, Life Lessons I Learned in Law School, and used the same website you told me about. When she said, "Mom you can do it", it was like everything you told me came back to my mind, and I said to myself, ‘Yes, I can do it’. I went back online to the CreateSpace account that had laid dormant for the past two years and got to work.
That was January of 2016. By November of that year, I had uploaded my sixth book to CreateSpace.
JoAnn, God used you to encourage me and to remind me that I can indeed, do all things through Christ. Your example of sharing your road to salvation in your preface/foreword still gives me chills to this day. It was a stark reminder to me that in all that I do, never forget to share the gospel. Since then, I have followed your example and each of my books includes the message of the gospel and God's love for humanity.
Shawn, thank you for your vision. It brought us all together. You are the epitome of the example that our purpose is never just about us. JoAnn, thank you for the seeds you planted. Angella, thank you for the watering you did. And most of all, God, I want to thank You for giving the increase!
And thank YOU for visiting. Stayed tuned for Part 4 of this month's blog series, A Time To Give Thanks.