Darkest before Dawn

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“Weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning,” Psalm 30:5.

Sometimes it seems as though the night will never end.  I am writing the 4th book in my “Survival” series, “Darkest before Dawn.” I survived cancer, car accidents, loss of my family, abusive men, and teaching English overseas for 5 years–in Russia, Turkey, and China.  What more must I survive?  How can we all survive what is coming?

Have you ever noticed that it really is darkest–and coldest–before the sun rises?  I often have trouble sleeping and have stayed up until dawn.  Just knowing that the sun will rise gives me hope.  Then, ironically, when that yellow orb breaks upon the eastern horizon, I can relax and go to sleep.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.”  In the book of Revelation (written by John), Jesus is “the bright and morning star.”

I often do my writing at night.  If you like my blog, please check out my books.

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Woman Down

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I watched the most life-changing film, “Man Down.”  Not only veterans get PTSD   I have had it since I was not yet 5 years old, when my father shot himself in the head–in front of me–on Christmas Day.  Through abusive men, cancer, and near-fatal car accidents, trauma has returned repeatedly.  Jesus help veterans and all of us who have PTSD.  Woman Down.

You can read all about my journey with PTSD in my 3 nonfiction books which I call my “Survival Series.”  Start with “Crossing the Chemo Room,” then go through “I Saw You in the Moon.”  Realize that I do not tell the whole truth until “Fire and Ice.”

May our 2018 be a year less affected by trauma.  Sadly, I cannot help but feel that everyone on Earth is in danger of PTSD the way things are headed.  Like my Selah fantasy character, may we overcome!

Silver

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A Maori boy in New Zealand wears a “Lord of the Rings” Gondor helmet and holds a Frodo “Sting” sword and a silver shield.

Silver is a semi-precious metal and a color.  I prefer wearing silver jewelry to gold because silver is softer, like moonlight on a mountain lake, not glaring like the gold-wrought sun over a desert.  I like wearing royal blue clothes with silver highlights.  Silver is a pure metal, and in Medieval times, it was thought to protect against evil (for example, silver could kill werewolves and vampires).  In Medieval times, only royalty could afford silver spoons and cups, and little flakes would break off and be eaten, so rich people were often healthier than poor people (it also helped that they had dry, warm houses, nice clothes, and a good diet).  We say, “He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth” to refer to a rich kid.  Today, tiny pieces of silver suspended in water can actually be drunk as a natural antibiotic.  You can buy “colloidal silver” at a health food shop.  I’ve used it; it really works!  Also, in World War II, the U.S.A. used silver-plated airplanes to protect pilots from radiation.

Anyway, I always use silver in my fantasy novels.  In “Selah of the Summit,” a slave girl fights off her evil master and his witchcraft with a silver pendant and (later) a silver sword.  As a Christian, I believe I shouldn’t fight with a real metal sword.  Jesus said, “Love your enemies and do good to those who persecute you” and “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.”  So, if I wear armor like a helmet, breastplate, and shield–with a sword–it is only a symbol of a kind of spiritual warfare, like good fighting against evil.  Selah fought an evil wizard and his soldiers who enslaved people.  After she found freedom and journeyed to the top of the mountain, she returned to the desert to free others.  Life is always a battle.  What evil forces do you have to stand against–or advance toward–for the sake of helping someone?

Read more about Selah and her silver adventures here.

Read about my true battle with cancer (18 years ago) here.

Surviving Breast Cancer

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Lonna Lisa Williams sits inside the cave behind Duden Waterfall in Antalya, Turkey, 2012

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so I thought I’d share my own cancer story:

I was nursing my baby when I found a lump in my breast. I told my doctor that I felt achy and tired all the time, and he said it was because I just had a baby and chased after a toddler all day. He thought my breast lump was a clogged milk duct and gave me a mammogram. Nothing strange showed up in the mammogram. But the lump didn’t go away, and I felt like I had the flu all of the time, with low-grade fevers and night sweats.

“Something is wrong,” I told my doctor when I returned, my two children with me. I knew that I was in charge of my body’s health, and I had done research on breast lumps and ways to test them.

“Give me a needle biopsy,” I requested. Jonathan started crying in my arms, and Jessica was running around the examining room.

“Just come back in 6 months,” the impatient doctor responded. “You are young, and it’s probably nothing.”

“No, do it now,” I demanded.

That action saved my life. Two days later my doctor told me I had cancer. Thus began my battle with a rare tumor that sometimes appears in women’s breasts: non-hodgkins lymphoma.

I had to stop nursing abruptly and have surgery. Luckily, I only had a lumpectomy (a lump removed from my breast). I faced four months of chemotherapy, shots, and blood work. I endured strange medical tests like CAT-scans and bone marrow biopsies. My hair fell out. I looked pale, not even eyebrows on my face to soften my vivid blue eyes. My family, friends, and church helped me by watching my children, bringing meals, and babysitting me after my chemotherapy treatments left me nauseated and weak.

I wanted to live for my children and believed that God could help me. I laughed when two boys tossed my blonde wig to each other or people stared when I forgot my wig. I joined a breast cancer support group and wrote two books about my ordeal.

Since those books were published, I have fought other battles like divorce, dependence on prescription medication, and a near-fatal car accident. I had to go overseas to teach English, leaving my children with my ex-husband. After Russia, I lived in Turkey , married a Turkish man, and took a new teaching post in China.  Now I’m trying to write my way back to California to see my children.

Last June, Jonathan graduated from high school. Jessica turned 21. I discovered that cancer was only one battle in my life, 17 years ago, and I’m grateful that the battles–and triumphs–continue.

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Read about my story in my book Crossing the Chemo Room.

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Lonna and her Turkish husband Omer at Duden Waterfall in Turkey

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Lonna with her children Jessica and Jonathan in California, 2010