Light in the darkest night
Books have been a major part of my life since I was a tot. Before becoming a Christian, I'd already made the journey from fairy tales to Nancy Drew, from Agatha Christie to Stephen King, from Betty Friedan to Shulamith Firestone, with countless detours along the way. Whether I needed to be entertained or enlightened, swept away or educated, books have always been my refuge.
So, too, on the darkest night of my life.
My beloved Christian mother was dying, and I was a 47-year-old feminist atheist who was at long last desperate for truth. I had to know if what she believed could possibly be real, with "know" being the operative word. I wasn't going to be comforted by wishful thinking about a Rainbow Bridge or a fantastic, resident-run hereafter. I had to know for sure. So I picked up the only two remotely spiritual books in my library, and started reading.
That was on May 30, 2000, and it marked the beginning of a 15-month investigation into the question of God's existence (a no-brainer, as it turned out) and then into the question of His identity. This journey took me through every major worldview, searching diligently for evidence of truth. Finding none in the non-Christian theologies, I found myself at last right back where I'd started from, as a white-gloved little girl sitting in a big old gothic church in Green Bay, Wisconsin -- with a Bible in hand and a willingness, finally, to accept its teachings if it could prove itself true.
Which of course it did, utterly transforming my head, my heart, and my eternal destiny.
A professional writer by trade, I later recounted the story of my journey in this memoir, published by Thomas Nelson. It includes not only my personal story, but a bibliography briefly describing the 40 or so most important books I read along the way.
Heaven Without Her is available just about everywhere online, if you're interested. Most reviewers seemed to like it. Some readers have told me that it has strengthened their faith. And many have given copies to their own beloved unbelievers, hoping that it would point them in the direction of the only truth that matters -- maybe not today, but at some time in the future, when they have reached the end of their own resources.
It is, in fact, the book that I wish I'd had that darkest of nights. Perhaps it will be there for someone else one of these days.
Reviews and interviews
Buy the book