Stories that Matter

When You Need Community …

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If you read my last blog post, you’ll know that I’m part of a wonderful community who support and cheer me on through all the ups and downs of life, especially on my publishing journey. I have to confess, I don’t always embrace that. When things get really bad, my tendency is to back away, draw the curtains, curl up tight, and wait for the storm to pass. Sometimes the wind howls so loud I don’t hear my friends knocking on the door. Sometimes they go away and leave me in my space, knowing I’ll come out eventually. And sometimes they know to kick that door down and come sit with me.

But there have been times when I’ve needed to just be alone. Needed to walk the woods around my cottage and muddle through the mess … or sit by the pool, and stare at the Atlantic through blurred vision, because I’ve lost sight of the bigger picture. And that’s okay. Sometimes the only way to find truth is to seek it out, just you and God, whatever way makes the most sense to you.

Sometimes you need to go on a walkabout to find the way home.

You know?

And when you finally find your way back, there they are, waiting for you. Waiting with open arms and full hearts. They’ve been there, waiting, waiting for you to finally get it, all along.

Community. 

My mind runs hard and fast and finds a hundred and one reasons to say I don’t deserve this. This grace. This mercy and forgiveness. These friends who know me – sometimes better than I know myself. And maybe I don’t. Maybe I don’t deserve them, but oh, how grateful I am for the gift of friendship! How incredibly thankful I am to have a community of fellow sojourners who totally get this crazy ride. Who actually get ‘me’, because they’re that way too.

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And we are. And if you’re not, that’s okay. Love us anyway.

In all the whirlwind of the past few months and figuring all this out, my third book, Bridge of Faith, released. Once again, I realized just how important my community of friends is. When you need help sharing good news, they’re right there, happy to shout it from the rooftops. And I’d like to say thanks for that. Thanks for continuing to believe in me and what I do. And to those who’ve already read the book and jumped up and down about it, wow, you’re so awesome. I’m actually a little amazed at the great reaction to this story, because to tell the truth, I was pretty nervous about this one. I was totally on my own with it, and Indie publishing is no walk in the park, no matter what they tell you. So I needed that team of superheroes behind me, and definitely still do. Thank you all so much!!

But the celebrations continue! This week – STARTING TODAY – we are launching a fun Pinterest Challenge for Bridge of Faith!! Create your own board around Vermont-themed ideas …

Covered Bridges, New England countryside, places in Vermont to visit, anything related to Bridge of Faith, if you have read the book. And be sure to submit links to your board for judging!

I know a lot of you are really big pinners, so go have some fun with this!

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And we’re also 2 weeks away from the Bridge of Faith Facebook launch party – I know that’s going to be a great time and I’m looking forward to hanging out with you all, and chatting about my books and whatever else we can find to yak about, so plan to join the fun, okay? We’ve got some great giveaways too, so if you haven’t signed up yet, do it! And click on the poster below, and you’ll be directed to the contest entry page.

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As I enter into this new season, I’m more thankful than ever for all of you, the friends who pop in here to share a bit of life with me, even those who may just read and nod along. I need you. You know my heart, understand my silence, and carry the weight when I can’t. You lift me up in prayer, sing me silly songs and send me funny quotes that only those fluent in my second language would really understand. You make me laugh through the tears, and you tell me straight up when I need to “Suck it up, Buttercup.” And you celebrate loud and long into the night when the good times come.

I don’t say it often, but I love you for that. For all you do, and don’t do, because you know I need to do it on my own this time. You are THE BEST.

Don’t ever leave.

Now let’s go part-aaaa-yyy … WOO HOOO!!!

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13 Comments

  1. Jennifer Zarifeh Major on May 17, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    Party?? YESSSSSSSSSs!!!
    Can I be in charge of the punch bowl? MUahahahaha!

  2. Jeanne Takenaka on May 18, 2015 at 12:07 am

    Sooooo fun being in community with you, Cathy! I’m blessed to know you. Truly.

  3. Jessica White on May 18, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Cathy,
    I have so enjoyed getting to know you over at Transformational Fiction. Like you I tend to be one who wants to step back when I’m overwhelmed or have lost my focus, but I’ve found that stepping forward and asking for help from my brothers and sisters in Christ has been the better way (His way). In the quiet moments with God, I am reminded that He is always with me. We’re never truly alone, because we weren’t created to be alone. Sometimes He is all we need, but more often He chooses to bring someone alongside us. I’m learning that is even true in the business of being an author. Our journey isn’t meant to be a competition it is meant to be a fellowship where we lift one another up. Praying much success for Bridge of Faith. I’m looking forward to reading it later this summer.

    • Cathy West on May 18, 2015 at 11:10 am

      Thanks, Jessica! It’s always great to connect with fellow writers, and I’ve found that for the most part, there is no competition, because we are all writing for the higher purpose, to glorify God. Sometimes I see people lose sight of that and sales figures and #1 Bestsellers seem to take priority, but I’m learning to move along. It is great to achieve success, but I’m making it my goal to always remember who I am doing this for, and it’s not me. 🙂

  4. aschmeisser on May 25, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    Late to the conversation, but what the heck.

    Community, at this point, is playing a large part in keeping me alive. The Books and Such people, and my blog readers…they…YOU…are carrying me as my strength fails.

    We are meant to live with hands linked through the abyss, forming the road to Heaven.

    • Cathy West on May 27, 2015 at 6:31 pm

      Andrew, that is a beautiful image. Continued prayers for you.

  5. Britney Adams on May 27, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    I’m so excited for you, Cathy, and look forward to Friday’s celebration! I had so much fun pinning to my Bridge of Faith board on Pinterest. Here’s the link: https://www.pinterest.com/texagg/bridge-of-faith/ I’m eager to see the other boards!

  6. Britney Adams on May 27, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    I’m so excited for you, Cathy, and look forward to Friday’s celebration! I had so much fun pinning to my Bridge of Faith board on Pinterest. Here’s the link: https://www.pinterest.com/texagg/bridge-of-faith/ I’m eager to see the other boards!

    • Cathy West on May 27, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      Awesome, Britney! Thanks for everything you’re doing to help spread the word about Bridge of Faith!

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