I didn’t set out to write a love story. I was just trying to heal. Trying to make sense of a breakdown. I once believed I wrote out of a big imagination, but this year, I learned I write out of my wounds. In an attempt to heal myself, I bleed on paper.
In my novels, I hide the bleeding in fiction. But the book I’m working on now isn’t fiction. It’s a memoir.
When I first started writing this story five years ago I was only seeking the truth. What caused my breakdown? Why did it happen? What in the world was wrong with me?
I have a good memory. Sometimes too good. I began with my past, and then took a good hard look at my future. I was the get-er-done girl who wasn’t getting it done anymore. I was feeling done. I was exhausted. And needed to know why. And then a beautiful thing happened.
I saw God.
St. Augustine said, “In my deepest wound, I saw your glory, and it dazzled me.”
I didn’t mean to write about a great romance with God and with my husband. I was just writing down my life. Trying to figure it out. I didn’t feel dazzled when I saw God. I felt wrecked. I wrote in tears. In brutal honesty. And then deleted a lot of it because I didn’t want to write a Jerry Springer show. I wanted to write a story about grace. Because I knew that’s what Scott and I had been given.
Pure, sweet grace to a couple of dirty sinners.
But I stopped and started and stopped again on this memoir. I got some counseling. Found new courage. Not only to tell the truth but to swallow the whole of it. All the good and bad that sometimes comes out pretty and sometimes ugly on the page, and in the end, I just wanted to come clean.
So here are the covers I want you to help me choose from. Please tell me which cover you like best for the story. I find it ironic that I look pregnant with peaches in these pictures. I spent most of my adult life pregnant or nursing a baby. Carrying a child inside me or in my arms. Now I’m carrying a bucket full of peaches. Or nectarines. Or pluots. This week it’s been pluots we’ve been picking. Just last month I thought my least favorite thing to do on our farm was picking, but picking is growing on me. Kind of like pregnancy grew on me. My body is finally getting used to the heavy picking bucket. I’m actually starting to enjoy my mornings in the orchard with my bucket.
When I was young, I swore up and down I’d never return to the farm. I didn’t want to be a farmer. But now I’m eating humble pie made of peaches. I may even be a little sad when our harvest ends this week.
When I posted the top picture of Scott and me in the orchard on Facebook, a number of you said it should be a book cover. Neither Scott or I want our faces on the cover of a book. We really don’t want this story to be about us. We want the story to be about amazing grace. How God loved two sinful human beings enough to hang in there with us as we fell in love and fell apart and ultimately fell headfirst into the story of Farming Grace.