I am proud and happy to introduce Laura Ann Day. She is daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend, and now a published author:
Colleen: Laura, I’ve know you for years. Other than youth group Bible study lessons, Keynotes for Daughters of the King, and Son Quest lessons, have you written a full-length book before now?
Laura: No, never. I have, however, felt a strong calling to reach out further beyond myself for a while now, but that energy never moved in a specific direction until now.
Colleen: So what prompted you write “Soul Reunion”?
Laura: The short answer is God. (laughter) But in sincerity, it was a very long process. We were transferred from our long-time home and I was searching—struggling really—to find what my purpose is here. I was approached to work closely with the women of our congregation to help re-define their direction. There was so much untapped talent! So, I took about a month to put together a 40-Day Study. We used that time to fast and pray for God to show us HIS direction. As God revealed Himself and re-kindled a collective deep desire to know Him more intimately over the following two and a half years, that study was expanded into two quarterly studies. At the conclusion of the last quarter, an elder approached me to “strongly suggest” I put the work into book form. I was like, “…seriously? Because I’m pretty sure I just requested to take the summer off to re-charge, and heal from the loss of my Father…” This elder was so very gentle and kind… he basically said that this was the perfect time to write the book, because there was none of “me” left to fight the process, and that God would have wide-open space to accomplish His words through me. As spiritually and emotionally exhausted as I was, those words hit me like lightening. I knew God was telling me to sit myself in that chair and get busy!
Colleen: What was your writing process? Did you have a plan or did you just pray and drink lots of coffee?
Laura: Well, coffee was definitely involved! (more laughter) You do know me well!
Honestly, I was just completely outside myself with this thing. I had no clue as to how to, I don’t know, “harness?” this work and steer it where it was supposed to go. I was working on it and collecting the lessons and arranging them into an outline, all while traveling and attending a bunch of weddings. One wedding turned into a gigantic family reunion—we hadn’t all been together in probably ten years—and that’s when the structure of the book was revealed to me. As we all shared old family stories with the new generation at the dinner table, I had a vivid vision in my head of our spiritual ancestors sitting at God’s table, sharing the stories of their walk with God. The scene was so comforting to me; very much in the way my family brings me comfort. I know without a doubt that God was showing me the exact direction to go. I went home and got busy… and God did the rest. His words flowed through me in a way that I just can’t explain. It was one of the most intimate and precious times of my life.
Colleen: When deciding to write the book, did you have a specific person/audience in mind? Sometimes author’s write for themselves, others for someone in specific. You?
Laura: There was nothing specific at the beginning of the process other than knowing God was calling me to do the work. As I went through the process I began to pray over the words. I asked God to give me exactly what needed to be written, because He alone knew who would be reading. It was at that point that I surrendered it wholly to Him. I found myself completely at peace with whatever the outcome would be. If the only purpose of the process was to deepen my own faith… if I was the only person who would ever lay eyes on it…I was OK with that. I didn’t worry about anything beyond that. I knew—I mean I KNEW—He had a plan and a purpose, and that He would accomplish it in His time.
Colleen: How did you come up with the format of the book?
Laura: Well, I basically went by the same format as the classroom studies. The original manuscript was distributed to five different people for review of content and marketability. One of my mentors, who has a very keen sense of organization, gave me some invaluable feedback concerning the flow and continuity. I made a few adjustments, like including the “Points to Ponder” at the end of every chapter. The original format only included it in about 75% of the chapters. But he saw that section as an instrument that draws each reader into his or her own intimate encounter with God. Once that addition was completed I knew it was the way it was intended to be.
Colleen: What did you learn in regards to your spiritual walk while researching the scriptures for this book?
Laura: The one thing that has changed me the most is coming to an understanding that we are all connected. Every follower of Christ is undeniably linked to the faithful people of the past, from creation all the way to right now. No matter where or when someone is called to a walk of faith with our Creator, the constant is God. Each of us has to confront those facets of ourselves that don’t fully trust God. Each of us has to wrestle with the mistakes we make. God is always with us, not only in spite of our frailties and imperfections, but also in a way in which those things can be used to His glory and honor. This understanding has had a profound effect on my walk. I love God more than I ever thought possible.
Colleen: I had the privilege off proofreading the book for you. I could feel you sitting beside me and telling me the stories and teaching. Maybe its because I know you, but your voice was in my head as I read it. Do you think the reader, who may not know you personally, will feel the same way? What would you like to say to them to give greater insight to you?
Laura: I am very hopeful that this will be the case. I think more than anything else, I would like them to know that I never want to lead with my own words, or with my own agenda. There was a time in my life that I couldn’t say that, because there were parts of me that I hadn’t surrendered to God yet. Most people think God is, you know, out there, far away, on His throne, in the corner office type of thing. While He is definitely His Majesty, He is also Abba—our Dad. He wants us to know Him so well that we feel His familial presence. That was the one thing I was hoping to accomplish for the reader…that “sit down next to you and chat a while” feeling.
Colleen: Do you plan on writing another book?
Laura: Yes. I am currently working on another book, but it is still so completely in its infancy that there really isn’t a title yet. There are several others spinning around in my head, but until God directs that energy where it should go, they’ll stay there!
Colleen: Let’s say someone reads this blog and does not know God, has never read the Bible, but is curious... what would you say to them?
Laura: Nothing happens by mistake or coincidence. God led you to this blog, at this moment, to call you to follow Him. Contact the author of this blog, and she will know where to send you to get the information you need. The life you’ve always dreamed of is waiting for you! Do it!
Soul Reunion is available now through Westbow Press and also Amazon. Read it and be blessed by it as I was.