On Saturday, June 26, 2021, my family experienced the most devastating event of our lives. Our 25-year-old son passed away. Desperate for some time to process this deep, bewildering loss, my husband, daughter and I decided to get away, just the three of us. I had just received a preview copy of author Tricia Lott Williford’s new book, This Book Is for You, so I decided to take it along with me. I knew in my heart that any book about leaning into God’s Word would have some life-giving lessons in its pages. And as I opened the book and began digesting it, I saw God’s provision. I knew He had gifted it to me for this very season, and I wanted the author and the book’s launch team to know.
I gave myself permission to speak, and that, friends, was a big deal. Grief and grieving don’t come with rules of engagement, or if they once did, someone bent the rules along the way. Maybe even rewrote them. I felt trapped somewhere between wanting to talk about the truth God was sowing into my heart and wondering if I was “allowed.” Was it “proper protocol”? Was I following current social morés? I didn’t know. All I knew was that my heart was beating with a desire to “speak,” in the middle of my grief, and I had to share my heart. Following is a message I shared with the author about the first lessons I learned from This Book Is for You.
I don’t know if I am “supposed” to be posting here. Yes, I was invited to the group. And, yes, I know members are encouraged to leave comments. But, a huge thing happened three days after I received my copy of This Book Is for You. My 25-year-old son died. And I am moving through each day trying to figure out how this new “normal” looks. Here is one lesson I am learning afresh. When you’re invited into something, it often is for far different reasons than you originally imagined.
You see, I am a seasoned believer in the truth that the Bible is for me and all who dive into its pages. I have been reading, studying and memorizing this Book for decades. And I believe that “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) I thought I would read this book with resounding “Yes!”es, declaring, “I so agree!” And then I would share those endorsements with my friends. But God had far different plans.
I believe God pre-selected this book for me for such a time as this. I believe He is saying, “Linda, This Book Is for You because I am going to show you how to view My word differently. I am going to use the lessons I’ve taught #tricialottwilliford to work as salve for your soul and teach you how to lean into Me in new ways. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. And #thisbookisforyou will teach you how.
And teach me it did – not only me, but also my friend and ministry partner, Sue. In the days ahead, she and I will be sharing the lessons we’ve gleaned from This Book Is for You. In the meantime, we encourage you to visit your favorite bookseller today to grab a copy for yourself.
— Linda R. Maynard © August 2021