The time is at hand. After five years of gestation, and over a year of hard labor (with a week of major complications), I have been assured that When Despair Meets Delight will go to the printers today. From there, it should take two weeks to prepare a review copy. When I am satisfied that all looks good, I will bring boxes of books home. Then comes the delightfully arduous task of mailing out advance orders — now over 100. On September 3, the print and e-book will be released on Amazon and the audio version on Audible.
This has been an incredibly busy week. I contracted with a man from Uganda to design memes for social media. I hired a sound engineer to create a commercial for iHeart radio. I have been reaching out to podcasters, blog authors, pastors, and others to get the message out. I am both incredibly enthused and emotionally exhausted. I know I can’t maintain this pace and I’m happy to say I have much help. Not only from God, but from God’s people. Over 100 people have joined #TeamDelight, praying for me and our shared mission to spread hope for troubled minds, the hope that shines light in the darkness and turns despair into delight.
Many of you know (some more than others) that I am taking a big risk. With my illness, such a frenetic schedule can do me in. One of the only ways to promote a memoir is to promote the author. For someone with bipolar, this can lead to grandiosity. I can begin to believe my own press clippings. Please pray with me that I maintain a humble heart, even if it means I am humiliated. I’m willing to play the fool, as long as I am a fool for Christ and give God the glory.
Finally, it is essential that I show integrity; that my actions are consistent with my words. One piece of pastoral advice I’ve given people is — “Receive God’s care, so you can care for yourselves to care for others.” Like the flight instructions often ignored, before we can help children with their oxygen masks, we have to put on our own. If I deplete my spiritual strength in an effort to manage more than I can bear, I won’t do anyone any good. To avoid this, I’m going to plan each day a schedule that promotes good health — physical, psychological, spiritual. My primary aim in life is not just to glorify God, but to enjoy him forever. One of the best ways to enjoy God is to appreciate creation. Each day I’m going to do something that better connects me with nature. Whether it is watching the joy of my wife as she plants flowers, taking my dog Briley for a refreshing walk through the park, or going on a retreat at a cabin in the woods. I am committing myself to living more in harmony with what God made and called good.
One thing I know I will continue to do is writing. Writing is not only my vocation, it is my primary form of prayer. It is my life’s blood. There is a direct vein going from my heart to my hand that pumps who I am and whose I am onto the page. When I write, the voices inside and around me are shushed and I can better hear God’s voice. When I read Scripture and reflect on it, I embrace the truth God’s speaks out of love for us.
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. (Psalm 119:105)