Today I'm celebrating with author Lynette Endicott the release of her brand new novel, Finding Her Voice. She has information about that and an excerpt to follow, but first, she has a life and death testimony of faith to share. Welcome, Lynette!
I saw her grasping at the edge of the health office counter; her eyes rolled back in her head as she fell straight back. Her head hit the floor hard and when I knelt down beside her, Mandee’s gaze was fixed and staring. Then she began to have a seizure, grand mal, which lasted a little over a minute. I called out, “We have a seizure here,” and a couple of the county nurses came toward us, but no one came all the way over to help. When she came out of the seizure she was confused and combative and I knew we needed to get her to the hospital. What had started out as an immunization for the upcoming Mission trip for my 13-year-old daughter rapidly became a nightmare.
I work in the field of disabilities, so I have seen a lot of things, and I knew my daughter wasn’t right. I had to fight to get her a CT; the doctors continued to insist she was scanning normally with their “follow my finger” tests and that I should bring her back if I couldn’t wake her up.
I was so glad I pushed. As soon as the bleed on her brain showed up in the scan they scrambled and called for the air ambulance to take us from our smaller hospital to Wichita where the neurosurgeon was located. It was almost too late. She stopped breathing en route and had to be intubated. After the surgery they took her down for another CT because she was still non-responsive. They found and evacuated a second bleed. The surgeon’s post-op conversation with me was not encouraging.
I was by myself – there was only room for one parent on the plane so my husband was driving down later. I had lots of time to think, pray, process what was happening.
I came to the conclusion that God would answer my prayers – that he would take care of my daughter – no matter what the outcome. If she came through the surgery fully intact then I would praise Him for his complete protection. If she came out of the surgery with disability – from memory to speak to walking – He would still care for her. If she didn’t survive, then she was fully healed and in His arms. I had no doubt that He would answer my prayers. I didn’t know, however, what the answer would be.
I thought about other people who were close to me who had lost children. My brother and his wife lost their daughter before her first birthday. I had friends who’d lost their son at 17 and others their daughter at 30. Who was I to think my daughter’s life was more important than their children’s?
In fact, I will never be able to explain why God spared my daughter and took the 30 year old mother of two.
Somewhere in the midst of conversations about praying for my daughter and being grateful she survived with little long term impact, I realized that my understanding of answered prayer changed when I acknowledged that any answer could be God’s will, and that even death could be his will.
We are all going to die, but sometimes we pretend that isn’t so, that we will live forever without dying. Most of us experience some kind of pain and distress as life here on earth comes to an end. We should not be surprised.
I am truly grateful that my daughter is still in my life (and even made that mission trip). God taught me, through her brain injury, that we are still in His care, and our prayers are being answered, no matter what is going on in our lives.
Finding Her Voice is Book Three of the Starting Over Series. In Book One, More Than a Job, Paige starts over after she loses the job she loved. In Book Two, The Return of Joy, Joy Huffman and her young daughter find a way to go on after her husband’s death. In Book Three, Jennifer is forced to find a way to keep moving forward after an even more devastating loss.
Each of these books can be read independent from the others. While some of the characters cross over these are not sequential books and each story is uniquely its own.
Finding Her Voice
Jennifer had the perfect life. A loving husband, a beautiful daughter, a flexible job in the family business. When it was all taken from her, Jen struggled to move through her days with the help of friends and family — but they couldn’t understand, and somehow expected her to get over her grief. Even her twin brother, Joshua, was unable to help her heal.
Ollie, her daughter’s rescued dog, was the only one who seemed to share her grief and understand her pain in losing her daughter. When the divorce ended in the sale of their home, she and Ollie set out on a road trip of discovery. She needed time and the care of an old friend, and along the way met others who had lost a child or a marriage or both. None of them expected her to get over it, but they did help her go on living.
Her old friend listened, and with love guided her to an outlet for her feeling through music — and she found comfort through on-line contact with other bereaved parents, including Michael.
Life would never be the same, but maybe she could find the music, find her voice, find her own path to living after her loss. And if she was lucky, find love along the way.
Time to get this show on the road. She typed out a text and sent it in a blast to her whole family.
I’m packed and headed out. Thanks for understanding. I’ll update you from time to time.
Then she gave a little whistle and commanded Ollie to get up. He clambered into the seat where she belted him in.
“Well, boy, here we go. Off on an adventure.”
They called every ride an adventure. He had no idea how long a trip he was in for. Or that he would never come back to the place they’d called home. But then, she wasn’t certain how long it would be either.
Jen went around to the driver’s side, climbed in, and dropped her phone into the sound system so she could take or make phone calls if she wanted.
She started the van and, out of habit, started the tunes saved to her phone.
The song that came up was one she and Trudy sang together, a fun, silly song. She couldn’t bear it. She shut down the music. It was too hard. She couldn’t sing. Not anymore. She took one last look at the house that had been home to her now-destroyed family, then threw the van into reverse and turned so she could steer out of the driveway and onto the road. She didn’t look back. Her goal today was to drive as fast as the law allowed, and as far as her energy would support. She needed distance between her wrecked life and whatever was ahead.
Available July 11 from my publisher, and along with the paperback and epub versions of Books One and Two, on my Amazon Author Page.
Lynette is also writing a series of speculative romance with Tami Dee that follow the journey of a time-traveling enemy as she attempts to thwart love in the lives of the women in a family line who carry the Heartmark, a heart shaped birthmark. The fourth book in the Time After Time Saga, Pioneer Instinct, will be released in the fall. Like the series at www.facebook.com/timeaftertimesaga
Like the author on Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorlynetteendicott