Greetings from Marti Pieper in rainy, wintry Seneca, South Carolina! As I type this, I’m waving east to my friend Edie Melson, also a resident of this beautiful state. I’m thrilled to introduce an accomplished writer such as Edie to you today, so let’s get started.
Welcome to the CAN blog, Edie. Would you please tell us a bit about Soul Care When You’re Grieving?
Grief is difficult. We all experience it—and we experience it differently. There is no right or wrong way to face loss, yet many of us feel we could be coping better. Going through loss narrows my world. I used to believe that was my personal experience, but I’ve discovered that limited perspective happens to us all.
And the last couple of years have highlighted grief more than ever for so many of us, which makes this project so timely. What inspired you to write this book?
This series was contracted in 2018, and this title was slated into the 2020 calendar year. The series was written for times in life when we desperately need God, but we may not have the ability for long, deep blocks of time. Grief is one of those times. So this book is written to help us connect with God in those in-between moments. It has five short chapters, and each chapter contains five devotions, five prayers, five creative connection points, and three Scripture Prescriptions to help us meet God where we are right now.
That sounds so wise. What surprised you the most during the research or writing of your book?
The thing that surprised me most was the timing of this book. I had just finished writing it when our precious daughter-in-law was killed in a tragic farming accident—leaving our son and their three-month-old baby. I had spent the previous nine months immersed in how to cope during grief and was immediately placed into a situation to put what I’d learned into practice. It was an amazing gift from God, and reminded me that He truly does provide what we need when we need it.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
My hope is that readers will discover that grief is a very personal experience and there’s no right or wrong way to go through it. We need to give ourselves permission to grieve the way God created us. Some of us grieve privately, some need the interaction of loved ones, and some have a mix. We need to give ourselves and others lots of grace when it comes to grief.
I also pray that readers will come to understand that the traditional “Five Stages of Grief” are not a step-by-step process. They are just common things that most people experience during a loss event.
Again, I can see how much wisdom the Lord has given you. What’s your favorite section in this book?
My favorite parts of this book are the devotions. I loved exploring how God has used life experiences and situations to illustrate His truth.
What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?
I think the biggest theme I return to is finding God’s strength and equipping during difficulties. This pertains to the Christian living books I write, the books I pen for writers, and even my novels. God has perfectly designed each of us for this specific time and place.
How has being a writer impacted your relationship with Christ?
Embracing my calling as a writer who writes for God has enabled me to work closer with Him. I’m doing what God designed me to do. It’s not always easy, but it is something that fills me with joy.
When did you first recognize God’s call to write for Him?
My mother would tell you I began writing when I could crawl to a white wall with a red crayon. But I remember surrendering to God’s call to write for Him in 1994. I had three small children and didn’t see any way I could do it, but I told Him if He’d make a way, all my writing would be for Him.
I love that, and He has made lots of ways for you! What talents do you have aside from storytelling?
I’m also a professional photographer. I love getting to focus on life through the lens of my camera.
I’m pretty sure you’re a storyteller via your images as well. Everyone struggles with time management in our 24/7 world. How do you stay disciplined and meet your deadlines?
I’m a huge fan of bullet journaling. I discovered this process, developed by Ryder Carroll, several years ago. It allows me to organize my days and keep track of what’s gone before.
I know several writers who say the same thing as you. What are your hobbies, activities, or passions outside of writing?
I love to knit, crochet, and do crafts of all kinds.
I think what we’re learning about Edie through this interview is that God put creativity all the way through your DNA! Now, please tell us about your next project.
Soul Care When the Nest is Empty, another in the Soul Care series, is written to those who are transitioning to an empty nest.