2015 Highlights

frozen-flower-1182297-1280x960This year has truly, madly, deeply* been one of the craziest that I, my family, and my heart has ever seen.

I’ve experienced more heartbreak this year than most of those that came before it and I’ve been knocked to my knees, in tears, by generosity and love in measures that have risen to meet the height of my pain.

 

*Truly, Madly, Deeply by Savage Garden was a beloved song during my high school years.

 

2015 Highlights

January 2015 – My short story Phoenix was published in an anthology of fantasy stories and I was finally able to share the story about love chasing love into the realm of death itself.

February 2015 – I faced the unbearable and found that Jesus gave me the strength to bear it. Time is a mercy that softens the blade of the sharpest sorrows.

May 2015 – I defined a few of my own wisdom gleanings–things that took me years to learn and years more to believe for myself with pure conviction.

June 2015 – I faced the sacrificial years of motherhood that lay ahead of me and determined to live without regret, knowing I’ll have just a few short years of childhood with my son.

July 2015 – The little prince of my household turned 2 this year and I stopped to notice just how much he’s becoming himself in an astonishing, powerful way.

August 2015 – I went down into the black of general anesthesia for my very first surgery (apart from my wisdom teeth removal), and I found that as I stood on the brink, I was desperate to thank my husband for all the good he is to me, and to acknowledge I’m not nearly grateful enough. I realized, in the painful, Velveteen Rabbit kind of way, that this loss and sorrow and pain might just be part of my process in becoming real. Then I found myself struck speechless by the number of friends and family who chose to walk with me though the darkness.

November 2015 – My third novel, Guardian of the Gold Breathers, entered the world to the fanfare and excitement of many friends and supporters. I continue to be amazed by the community that supports me with fierce loyalty.

***

As this year ends and another one begins, I am hopeful in a state of quiet fragility. I am growing to believe I’m strong, though most days this word does not seem to fit me at all.

I long for beauty and healing to visit  me in full measure, and I know this takes time, and that life will not stop moving no matter how slow it seems to crawl.

My arms hang wide, palms up, in deep gratitude for the people who surround me, hold me, pray for me, and believe on my behalf in the breathtaking and good things that are yet to come. I cling to the hand of my God, knowing he has not abandoned me yet, and he has no intention of doing so.

Happy new year and Merry Christmas to you!

I send you my love, my hopes for a fullness and joy in your 2016, and my wishes for a peace that fills your heart deeper than any understanding and head-knowledge can bring.

 

Love,

Elise

About Elise

Elise Stephens began her career in writing at age six, illustrating her own story books and concocting wild adventures. Stephens counts authors Neil Gaiman, C.S. Lewis, and Margaret Atwood among her literary mentors, and has studied under Orson Scott Card. She dreams often of finding new ways to weave timeless truths into her stories. Her novels include Moonlight and Oranges (2011), Forecast (2013), and Guardian of the Gold Breathers (2015), a finalist for the INDIEFAB Book of the Year. She lives in Seattle with her family. Follow her on Twitter @elisestephens and Author Elise Stephens on Facebook.

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