Welcome to my September Blog. This month author Joy Margetts gets to guest blog with her own personal story and how it is reflected in her novel, The Healing.
I have always loved writing. It has been a place of refuge, a means of expressing my deepest thoughts, and a vehicle for my imagination. But never could I have imagined that anything that I wrote would actually find itself in print.
I am fifty something mother and new grandmother. I love God, and I love His word. I love where God has placed us to live, in wild and beautiful North Wales, surrounded by sea and mountains, but also by castles and abbey ruins, and pilgrim trails and ancient churches. Here I can indulge myself in my lifelong love of history, but also feed on the rich spiritual heritage of the land, a land of pilgrimage and of revival fire.
Eight years ago I became unexpectedly ill, with a condition later diagnosed as ME. It turned my contented life upside down, robbed me of much of what I felt gave me joy and purpose, and challenged the very foundations of my faith. From the darkest of places, besieged by fear, doubt, pain and on the verge of despair, God started a deep healing work in me. He sent me people who loved me, prayed when I couldn’t, spoke life, and hope, and truth into me, and stood by me through some messy moments. God began to piece my life back together, slowly and tenderly, and over time has proved Himself to be my strength, my hope, my healer and my redeemer.
Whilst sitting in the ruins of a Welsh abbey, on a beautiful summer day, talking to God about the people of the past who may well have come to that place to find healing for their souls, the outline of a story plot came to me. I jotted some thoughts down on a scrap of paper, even came home and did some historical research and then, as I had done many times before, persuaded myself that I was not capable of writing a novel, and left it.
As 2020’s first lockdown hit, I found myself with unexpected time on my hands, and the need to distract my thoughts. I wondered if I could actually write that book, found my research notes and got excited again. I then panicked, I didn’t have a clue how or where to start. I consulted with my daughter, a creative writing graduate. ‘Start with a scene you can imagine in your head’ she told me, so I did. I wrote that scene and the scene became a chapter, and that chapter quickly became three. Then I realised I had got almost to the end of the story without actually writing the beginning! The hardest part was ensuring that the two parts connected! But in the space of six short weeks I wrote the whole story. It was my story, if told through the fictional story of another, and I knew straight away that I had to call it The Healing.
The Healing is historic fiction, set against the background of monastic Wales. It follows a life weary medieval knight’s journey back from the brink of despair, to a life empowered by, and devoted to God, aided by the wisdom, kindness and humour of a Cistercian monk. Philip finds his physical health restored and his heart healed; then God offers him even more in the shape of a long lost dream rediscovered. It is a story of redemption, with a powerful message of hope. God’s truth, His word and promises, are interspersed throughout the book.
I truly believe that The Healing was given to me as a gift, and I felt God’s hand all over it. Inspiration for scenes and characters, for word pictures and ideas came unbidden, even as I was writing it. It became a part of my own healing process, recalling what God had taught me, and I believe the truth and wisdom it contains can offer healing and hope to others. That is my prayer for the book. That God will place it into the hands of those who need to read it and bless them through it.
The Healing was published by Instant Apostle on 19th March 2021. It is available to purchase from all well known online book retailers and selected bookstores. If you would like a personally signed copy direct from the author you can order through my website www.joymargetts.com. The website also has a lot more information about the book, reviews by others who have read it, and been blessed by it, and the opportunity to sign up to follow my blog, or to become an email newsletter subscriber.
If you liked the blog, why not join Susan’s mailing list to be the first to know when they are published. Go to https://leavingbethany.com/contact/ and click Join The Mailing List
Susan Sutherland is the author of Leaving Bethany, a historical and Biblical fiction written from the point of view of Martha of Bethany. She is currently working on the sequel, Return to Caesarea, due out winter 2022.