Recently I had an opportunity to attend an awards reception in Chicago. My book, The Grace Impact, won the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book of the Year Award for the category Christian:Non-Fiction.
In Chicago, I enjoyed seeing some of the downtown sights and Lake Michigan, which brought back memories from my childhood.
On the evening of the awards reception, we rode in a cab through stop-and-go rush hour traffic, arriving a little late to the Newberry Library. We were enthusiastically greeted as we stepped up to the registration table. All authors were honored; a spirit of joy filled the room as writers networked and celebrated.
In this room of writers and literary accomplishment, God planned something special for me. He orchestrated a conversation with someone whom I had to work through an issue of forgiveness, one of those situations where you wonder how you’ll react if you ever see a certain person again. The person approached me. Kind words were exchanged; forgiveness, grace, and a handshake were extended. An unfortunate chapter was put to rest once for all.
The evening gave me two awards—the medal and the reconciliation.
Since returning home, I learned that The Grace Impact received recognition with Honorable Mention in the Eric Hoffer Awards in the Spiritual category and as a finalist in daVinci Eye Award for cover design. As someone who doesn’t like to enter contests, I am amazed—and blessed.
Many times I wanted to abandon the book project when obstacles and delays made the process difficult. Through it all, God was faithful and carried the project to fruition, in His time. I learned A LOT. I’m grateful for the team at CrossRiver Media and the people prayed me through the process. I praise God for all He has done.
…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
Years ago I heard this story of Corrie Ten Boom. She spoke about God’s love and forgiveness after being the German concentration camps of World War II; her words touched many lives. Someone asked her how she accepts accolades. Her answer has stayed with me and recently came to mind:
“When people come up and give me a compliment–‘Corrie, that was a good talk,’ or ‘Corrie, you were so brave,’ I take each remark as if it were a flower. At the end of each day I lift up the bouquet of flowers I have gathered throughout the day and say, ‘Here you are, Lord, it is all Yours.’” –The Five Silent Years of Corrie Ten Boom
Anything we do—any accolades or compliments—may we remember to give them back to God. It’s His work in us. It’s His grace impact.