There are a thousand words I could use to describe the last couple of weeks and months, including but not limited to crazy, tearful, laughable, exhausting, healing, surprising, maddening, and hopeful. But it wasn’t until last night that I added the word “surreal” to the list.
Mostly, surreal came from seeing a link to this in my inbox:
My memoir, The Color of Life, is now available for pre-order on Amazon!
The book has been a labor of love, to say the least. Five and a half years ago, I left full-time ministry to pursue writing and speaking full-time. I wrote a memoir about being a woman in ministry, entering motherhood and leaving ministry, and (wait for it, wait for it…) experiencing a crisis of faith because I wasn’t in ministry any longer. I spent nearly two years writing and trying to sell that book, until the agent who eventually became my agent told me to can it.
“Cara,” she said, “maybe that’s the book that showed you how to write a book. But it’s not the book you’re supposed to publish. This is the book you’re supposed to publish,” she said referring to an article that went viral.
I read that article now, and I think about how much I didn’t know, about the things I hadn’t begun to work through, like whiteness, white supremacy and white privilege.
I read that article now, and I think about how rosy I made all of it – like entering into interracial marriage and raising mixed-race children – sound, mostly because I didn’t know better.And I read that article now, and I think about how being an ally toward my brothers and sisters of color doesn’t just happen overnight; instead, I must do the hard work of believing in the inclusive power of the Beloved Community, of not merely offering people a seat at the table but actively seeking to pass the microphone.
Still, that article birthed something in me, because it made me realize my journey toward love and racial justice is one I’d been traveling on for a long time, and one I will continue to travel on for the rest of my life.
As someone who identifies as white, mine will always be a journey toward racial justice.
But maybe this is the surreal part of the experience as well, because part of it has started to come full circle. At this point, I’ve done my part: I’ve written the book (over and over and over again). I’ve passed it on to my beta readers, my editors and my publisher. Soon, the publicity and marketing portions of selling a book will begin, but otherwise, I’ve done what I was supposed to do.
And the response is now out of my hands.
Some folks will love it.
Some folks will hate it.
Some folks will be changed by it.
Some folks will see God in it.
Some folks will begin to look at history and theology and the power of love through a new lens because of it.
Perhaps like a blog post, my job is simply to be faithful to putting my words out there in the world …and whatever happens as a result is not up to me.
But for now you’ll find me basking in this surreal moment.
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