I was five months pregnant when God asked me if I would “record the works of His hands”. I was in a church service in Redding, California and something about the way this church celebrated testimonies (called ‘stories’ going forward) of people encountering God awakened something in me. I knew I wouldn’t be recording the stories of high profile celebrities – instead, He was calling me to gather the experiences of my peers. I also knew they’d be collected in the format of a book, but that’s all I knew. I said yes, thinking this vision would play out in ten years’ time, when I had the capacity for it. Instead, my son Benjamin was just four months old when God started saying, “It’s time.” I nervously giggled in disbelief, and then realised that God was serious about this timing and I knew I would need a lot of faith to see the vision come to life.
Wholeheartedly, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, means completely and sincerely devoted; determined or enthusiastic. I can’t quite remember how this name came to me – it wasn’t your typical light bulb moment – but as I worked on the first book, I realised that these words perfectly capture the essence of how each of the storytellers went about the task of recording the work of God in their lives. And that is my hope for every story recorded in the future.
My heart is that each story that is shared on this platform is written from a place of vulnerability and boldness – defying the norms of society that tell us to build an image that is pleasing to the audience, but not true to our unique make up.
What I thought was a once off project, I am starting to believe will unfold into a series of books under the Wholeheartedly banner, providing a platform for God-breathed stories to be recorded and shared. The book available for purchase on this website is titled Wholeheartedly Free, the first in the series and focuses on the stories of young women. I don’t have a blueprint of what’s to follow, but I know it will come from a place of rest in God’s perfect timing.
ABOUT THE WHOLEHEARTEDLY FREE BOOK
Journey along with twelve women and experience stories many of us can relate to through their perspective. Wholeheartedly Free is a compilation of real stories told by real women. They openly share from their most intimate experiences of dealing with: depression, fear, control, shame, adoption, pregnancy, addiction, sickness, trauma and loss.
While their stories range a number of different topics, these women have one thing in common – navigating, or rather being navigated, towards true freedom and wholeness; seeing the loving hand of Jesus transform them from darkness to light, from abandonment to acceptance and from self-reliance to surrender.
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATIONS
All of the illustrations in the book were created (some even sold to far away countries) long before a single word of these stories was written. I think God works in such unpredictable and incredible ways to remind us that for Him all things are possible (Matthew 19:26), and it’s best not to limit His ways to our human reason or understanding. “From Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36)