What do I want you to know about me?
How do I define who I am? By what I do or don’t do, where I come from, or where I’m going? Maybe what I’ve learned along the way says the most.
All of these things have a part to play in what makes me who I am, I suppose. My biggest, single factor of identity became solidified like never before when I could do next to nothing. Let me tell you about it.
In 2015 I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. After months in a downward spiral, factoring in some other health complications, my world became quite small. I lived with a migraine quality headache most days. Everyday ambient sounds, like the tv or the music playing in the grocery store could get my head to pounding. And heaven forbid, the sound of the kitchen mixer whirring made me stuff my ears with cotton and cry. Sensitive to light, sound, and groups of people, my home became my world. And even then I had issues.
The Definitive Me
One winter day as I sat near a sunny window, holding my little dog, Ruby, I prayed. Not aloud because at the time I could hardly talk—complications from a surgery. I counted up the things in my life which had changed or that I could no longer do or do well because of my MS attack. The list added up to a significant amount of normal activities, hobbies, and in general things I enjoyed doing, but in the midst of grieving over the loss of all the parts of me I thought definitive, I realized that who I was in Christ could never be taken from me.
At that moment I praised and worshiped God like never before, doing so when I could say nothing or do nothing that I’d held as a part of my identity. When I was at my least, He was at His greatest.
Many months passed, and some portions of my health improved enough for me to enter back into a semi-normal life. But I remembered those closely-held days of being cocooned in the palm of the Lord’s hand like a baby bird, and with the help of my iPad and my pointer finger (I have some disability in my dominant hand), I wrote. I brought the struggles, pain, hope, sadness, and joy to life through my characters.
A portion of my journey and the hope that I found dwells in every book and every main character.
I consider the writing of Ruby Moon, my first book, “a determined miracle,” as I think back to that day when I couldn’t watch anything, read anything, look at a computer screen, or barely think because my head hurt so much. But during this time God taught me in a new way, and what I learned and the way I trusted Him has given me faith to trust Him through anything that may come in the future. I want to write this kind of identity, this kind of hope through my characters’ stories.
The first day that I stayed home from work after quitting my job due to my disability, I started writing, and Ruby Moon took shape. In Ruby Moon, Jenay’s life turns on its head when she accidentally wields the instrument of someone’s death. Through her dark time of grief and confusion, she learns to trust God and to know that He will give her “the treasures of the darkness and hidden riches of secret places”—Isaiah 45:3
Through a tale of rare and true things Vanessa and Valerie, identical twin sisters divided by their role as mothers to one boy, must come to grips with choosing bitterness or choosing forgiveness. I highlight my struggle with MS through one of the sisters in Blue Moon.
Silver Moon, my most ambitious book due to WWI research, curtails a tale of hope and courage in the darkest of times. I know what dark times are like, when the inner light has seemed all but extinguished. I wrote this emotion into Oshki, Mauve, Jimmy, Lily, Luis, and Rose as they discover what it means to keep going and keep hoping when little light appears on the horizon.
Releasing June 30th! Pre-order Silver Moon.
Coming this winter, Harvest Moon, set in the 1860s on an Ontario Indian reservation, is a prequel to Ruby Moon and tells the story of my most favorite character, Maang-ikwe (Ojibwe, meaning loon woman). What kind of harvest will the pain of abuse and grief bring in Maang-ikwe’s life? Will she allow those things to define her, or will she gather a harvest of blessing instead?
Most of all, I want you to know that I’m writing because I desire to tell others about the hope Christ offers, and I can think of no better way for me to do that than through the vehicle of a good story.
Learn more about me and my books on my website at: jennyknipfer.com.