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Friday, July 12, 2013

Speaking of Volume 2....

If You Will Forgive Me

Would you mind if I share with you something kind of silly, maybe kind of obnoxious, but something real that I am experiencing?  I guess if you do mind, you can just stop reading now.  I am having kind of an odd experience just now, and was so struck by it that I wanted to pass it along. 

In the process of getting a book printed, the publisher sends out what they call galley proofs.  These are a mockup of the book that is to be printed, from start to finish.  I am expected to review it all for accuracy and publisher errors, and provide my approval or list of changes.  If I send approval, the book goes to the next step of making a hard copy sample for final approval prior to printing.  If I send changes, then the publisher makes the changes and sends me a corrected galley proof for review again, and I once again either approve or send changes.  I experience this to be a very slow and tedious process. 

Earlier this week I received the galley proof for the Spring and Summer volume of Finding God in the Seasons of Divorce.  Being the second time I have done this, I kind of know what to expect, and have been able to save some steps along the way by doing some things in advance notes to the publisher.  But the galley proofs still need to be reviewed, and though I really wish things moved more rapidly and I would like to just move on to the next step, I realize that for the book to be the best quality I can make, I must take the time to carefully review the galleys.  So that is what I am doing this week.  And I do this as meticulously as possible, because I want to do my best to make the book what it ought to be.  And, sure enough, I am finding changes due to publisher errors and some typos of my own that I missed prior to submission of the text.  And so, they will soon be sent in so that the next round of galleys can be produced.  I tell you all of that so that I can adequately explain today’s topic.

To accomplish my goal, I reread the entire book at least once, looking for errors or clarifications I would like to make.  Because these divorce devotionals include many references to that troubling time of divorce in my own life some 14 years ago, it is an emotionally charged experience to read these writings once again (though not as intense as the writing of them was).  I find old feelings stirred, memories revisited and relive some of the emotions of so many years ago.  Sometimes that is difficult, sometimes it is healing, sometimes it gives reassurances…but it is never going through the motions, it is always an engaging experience for me.  And I believe it is this personal touch that makes this book different from books designed to counsel people through divorce.

But I am really struck by two things in particular.  The first is how much more I like the messages of this book than those of the first book.  This is a natural response, because the first book deals so much and so intensely with the experiences of devastation, uncertainty and loss that come with the experience of divorce.  It isn't that its messages are discouraging, because they are just the opposite.  But that first volume just deals with so many tough issues that, for me, it reminds me of how tough the experience was, and how much of life had to be reassessed and rearranged due to divorce.  

This second volume, however, deals with the next stages in the process, the stages when hope begins to return, and new directions become promising instead of discouraging.  It speaks of the beauty of God’s plan and the ability of God to carry us beyond the trauma into a new beauty and meaning of life just around the corner.  

So as I proofread these devotions, I find myself rejoicing in the progress I have experienced, and in the promise of God for my future.  It has been a joyful experience reviewing these pages.

And the second thing that has struck me is that I am actually pretty pleased with the material I am reading.  More than once I have found myself thinking how much I wish I could have had something like this book available to help me when I was struggling with divorce.  And that is really special to me, because that is the goal of the writing, to offer folks who are struggling some of the helps that would have been helpful for me, and when I see it actually materialize before my eyes, I feel assurance that I am achieving that which I have felt called to produce.  That is the part that sounds obnoxious, but it is true…I really believe there is something precious and valuable in these pages.  I really believe this book (and the other) can and will make a difference in the lives of people who struggled as I did, and hopefully, make the experience just a little less devastating than it was for me.  My wife has told me a number of times how much she believes in what I am doing in these books, and as I read this one, my own belief in their value has been reaffirmed and augmented.  I am really looking forward to the completion of this text, and am working on these final stages as quickly as possible…but as I read, I believe it will be worth the wait.  I am pretty excited about what I am reading, and what I hope you will be reading yourself before too long. 

But there is one other thought.  I am also working on some other books that have nothing to do with divorce, and am looking forward to being done with this project so that I can focus my attention and energies on the next ones.  I will let you know later what those are, because with several in the works, I am not sure which I will be finalizing next.   Anyway, I just wanted to share a bit of my world with you.  I hope you are anticipating the next volume, too!

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