September 1, 2010
Hey everyone —
Today marks the official day that Exposed releases. You’d think I’d be excited or something, but not so much. This novel has taken a lot out of me and so has our life recently. God is drawing me closer to Him through it all, so I’m thankful for that, but since this is the big day for Exposed let me give you a little history of it.
Obviously it is birthed from our own story. George’s porn struggle and my struggle to forgive and heal from the bazillion insecurities in my heart. I never thought I’d be here today. Those times were difficult and I thought our marriage would never survive, much less my heart. During the process of our healing I wrote four novels. I didn’t like any of them. Finally, after we had a changed marriage and refreshed hearts, I thought, “Why not write a book about porn? It would’ve been something I would’ve loved to have read during the process.”
So, I started Exposed. Originally it was going to be story of Ally, a wife of an addict. But along the path as I researched porn … I unraveled the heart of a porn star. I knew I had to include Taylor’s story in there, and this is when the arrows started flying at my heart again.
As I researched for Taylor’s story I read stories of porn stars. I read about the porn industry. I mean, I immersed myself in their world to feel what they feel. And I did. I felt it. So much that I started having pornographic dreams. I started having temptations to look at porn, so much that I wanted to put an accountability program on my own computer just so George knew what I was doing. It was horrible.
Finally, I finished the book and stopped looking into porn so much. Phew. That helped. I felt free of the chains around so many ankles stuck in porn. But just because I finished the book didn’t mean the arrows stopped.
Doors would open for Exposed. Like being a finalist in the Genesis contest. And other big doors. Then doors would close. Another huge door would open, then I’d get discouraged. Finally, after a lot of praying, I decided to stop writing professionally for a little while, focus on my family, and self-publish Exposed. So, we ventured into that journey and it has been up and down and all around. Crazy. We bought our first house, had our third baby, and lived on edge financially … all while getting this book ready.
Then, right at the end of this battle, we were just a week from printing and we realized we had the wrong amount of money in our minds the entire time. We would need $1,500 more than we thought we would. Yikes, right? We didn’t have a refrigerator, much less $1,500 in spare cash. So, I wanted to give up.
I officially wanted to give up and keep this novel from the hands of readers. At least for a good long while. Too much of a hassle. And with three kids under three and a design business—not fun. Also, somewhere in the midst of this George’s computer crashed with ALL of our Exposed files, from the cover to the interior. We had to start from scratch and we had a week to finish.
We finished. I didn’t give up. George urged me on. And we were only mildly stressed. So … we worked super hard to finish the interior again. I had to re-edit the entire novel and re-format things that didn’t line up correctly when we switched from Word to InDesign (like question marks in the place of em dashes). And I did all of this while holding a baby and battling a quick flu. Well, we handed in the finished product and printed it. Guess what? We finally get this baby in our hands and what do we have? Somehow, we have no idea how, the wrong interior file was used. Yes. Question marks are in the place of em dashes. A few errors are not corrected that were corrected in my final file. I’m a perfectionist. This kills me. Kiiilllls me.
And it makes me a little less thrilled about the release of this novel. After all of the stuff we went through to come to this point … we gave birth to a book we thought was so beautiful, only to realize seconds later how un-perfect it is.
But you know what God is teaching me?
He’s teaching me that beauty isn’t about being perfect in the world’s eyes. Just like the entire point of Exposed and my More than Desire ministry. He uses the broken to change lives. If He wants to use Exposed to open hearts, He will. If He wants to use this story for good, He will despite my errors. And so … I can’t possible be prideful about this book, because it’s all Him.
You know … I have an autistic sister. We didn’t know she was autistic for the first two years of her life. And we loved her. We thought she was perfectly her. Then … we found out the inevitable. It doesn’t make me love her any less. I love her more than I ever thought I could love a sibling. She’s beautiful. Perfectly her. And amazing, despite things the world may think are flaws.
So … I’m not absolutely thrilled about the first print run of Exposed, just like my parents weren’t thrilled when they found out my sister was autistic. But I still love my baby, just like they love their baby. And without flaws we think too highly of ourselves. I don’t want that. I need God. And this is just another instance that proves that.
I could also use some sleep and a looooooooong break from anything writing-related. To all of you writers out there who write away and do so with young children and another job … I applaud you. It’s not easy. And to all of you out there getting through tough times in life … I applaud you. Seek Him. He loves to taken the broken and turn it into something beautiful.