The Cost of Dreams/The Riches of Faith

The Cost of Dreams/The Riches of Faith

The book is finished. The memoir I’ve been writing: PERMISSION, Loving the Child You Were Written to Be. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. A book I believe God called me to write. It’s done. No…it hasn’t been published. It hasn’t even been edited for errors or flowability or whatever it’s called when a book follows a solid sequence, but I’ve done all I can do.

It’s taken a toll on my mind and body. Mary Karr warned me in, The Art of Memoir, “I’ve said it’s hard. Here’s how hard: everybody I know who wades deep enough into memory’s waters drowns a little. Two hours after Carolyn See finished her first draft of Dreaming, she collapsed with viral meningitis: It was my brain’s way of saying, ‘You’ve been looking where you shouldn’t be looking.’

The thing about writing memoir; it’s going back and reliving it on an immersed level. Back then, we didn’t stop for feelings, we managed with varying vices. Reviving it on the page forces you to taste, touch, wear, smell, hear those memories in ways you may not have allowed yourself to reach when it was actually happening. From this vantage point you’re accepting the full impact of events all at once. (My therapist shakes her head when I tell her this.)

After the first draft, I went to the hospital with pneumonia. The second, I came down with a month-long virus sending me to the ER for dehydration. The third draft triggered a nervous breakdown—back to the hospital. The fifth draft—dotting the last sentence—I literally left my chair in a full-blown panic attack.

It all began with a dream, “I want to write!” Progressed like a question, “Can I write this?” Ended like the last runner of a marathon, “I finished.” The cheering had all died down. Empty cups and torn streamers lay in the street. Everyone’s gone home and I’m wondering if it was all worth it. The last leg looks nothing like the dream I first imagined.

But dreams never do.

I wonder if Abraham, the father of many nations, ever asked, “Was this part of your plan God? Have I misread you?” Did the brave boy David, crowned King of Israel, ever crumble over all the blood on his hands? Do you think Mary’s dreams included a price on her newborn’s head? Or a cross stained red?

God has never been about furthering his kid’s fame or fortune—the stuff dreams are made of. He’s not training us to take home the trophy. He’s making us fit for the kingdom.

Now in the pause of proving myself capable, I’m counting great gains. Relationships have healed. Bitterness has been beaten. My understanding of forgiveness and grace is going out and flowing in like the tide. My heart is no longer beating solely for itself. I’m getting comfortable in my own skin and welcoming who Jesus has loved me to be.

I put my faith in God to write the book. He carries me through the book so I can find greater faith.

What happens next—I do not know. I only know this finish-line is bigger than a bestseller.

18 Comments

  1. David Alo on October 16, 2019 at 8:45 pm

    This is FANTASTIC!!!!!

    • Jo Ann Alo on October 16, 2019 at 10:31 pm

      Thanks, Love. You are my pillar.

  2. JoninHaran on October 16, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    I hope I get to read this book. May give me the nudge I need. I love and respect you. I miss seeing your beautiful face. Your heart is so raw and for real. You are one in a million. 😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘
    Joni

    • Jo Ann Alo on October 16, 2019 at 10:33 pm

      Joni! So happy to have you here! So grateful to receive your love! I miss you too, Sister. Thank you for your words of encouragement! *stronghug

  3. MaryKay Lyczak on October 17, 2019 at 1:57 am

    So awesome Jo Ann! You have such a gift .. more than you think — embrace that! It’s very emotional and often times very raw to the core to write what you have been through and feel it again and again and it takes a strong person to do that and you have done that. What an accomplishment. Hope it gets published. Would love to read it. ((Hugs)) to you!

    • Jo Ann Alo on October 17, 2019 at 12:24 pm

      MaryKay, you get it. Thank you for your comments, they help make the race worth it. So blessed you stopped by! Hope to read you again soon. 🥰

    • Karen Barry on October 17, 2019 at 9:13 pm

      Wow!! What an accomplishment! You have such a gift for writing. When your book gets published I’ll be first in line to purchase it. I LOVE your writing, so honest and raw.
      All the best to you.

      • Jo Ann Alo on October 17, 2019 at 9:25 pm

        Karen! Thank you! It’s the connection that happens with people like you who make the work of writing so rewarding. So glad you took the time to stop by and write your words of encouragement. *hugehug

  4. Jessica Johnson on October 17, 2019 at 2:45 am

    Wow!! Beautiful and inspiring— you truly are!

    • Jo Ann Alo on October 17, 2019 at 12:26 pm

      Jessica you are wonderful for me! Thank you dearly for stopping and sharing your encouragement. I love you Sister.😘

  5. DC on October 17, 2019 at 4:26 am

    ❤️

    • Jo Ann Alo on October 17, 2019 at 12:28 pm

      Don! Thank you for leaving me your heart. I needed it today. You know I love you. *bighug

  6. Patty on October 17, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Beautiful. Moves my heart. Love you.

    • Jo Ann Alo on October 17, 2019 at 2:05 pm

      Thank you Patty. So glad to know you were here. I love you right back. *hug

  7. Jackie Darby on October 19, 2019 at 5:23 am

    I LOVE this JoAnn!! ❤️ So beautifully written and I love how God transforms hearts & lives. Can’t wait to read it all! Congrats & to God be all the glory.!

    • Jo Ann Alo on October 19, 2019 at 11:36 am

      Amen!
      Thank you Jackie! It means so much to me to know you’re on this grace given journey with me! Thank you for taking the time to come and share your thoughts. You bless my heart.💝

  8. Alane m Eisenbrandt on October 21, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    God Bless You, JoAnn.
    I hope you take the time to heal now. I’m sure in all this pain, it must have been cathartic for you as well.
    I am waiting to read this memoir.
    Love,
    Alane

    • Jo Ann Alo on October 21, 2019 at 4:22 pm

      Thank you, Alane. What tender words, “take the time to heal now.” Five words I needed to remember today.
      Blessings, Dear Friend.

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