By Annette Stanwick -
I was terrified as I entered the huge convention center filled with thousands of book buyers from around the world. I gulped and silently prayed, “God, help me somehow make an impact with my book and your amazing miracle of forgiveness?”
Mustering up my courage, I approached individuals throughout the convention centre saying, “May I introduce you to my book, FORGIVENESS: THE MYSTERY AND MIRACLE,” as I handed them a colorful post card with the words “This Book Could Change Your Life” written across the top.
I was amazed by the response of total strangers as I said, “When my brother was murdered, I never dreamed my journey of healing would lead me to publicly forgive my brother’s murderers in the courtroom.” Their eyes stared at me in disbelief and curiosity, telling me without words, they were interested in hearing more.
Giving a brief synopsis of the book, how it could be obtained at the “New Release Party” that evening and at a book signing at our distributor’s booth the next day I handed a post card of invitation to everyone who listened, and then moved on.
My husband Clay and I shared hundreds of cards, praying that God would work throughout the convention center to create an interest in the book that could change their life, or the life of someone they loved, or the lives of their bookstore customers.
It was thrilling to see people lining up to obtain my book at the “New Release Party” that evening. Many shared brief stories of their need for forgiveness. I autographed each book with the words, “May you experience the freedom and peace that comes through the miracle of forgiveness.”
All too soon the books were gone and the party was over! A lovely blonde lady called out, “Annette, I need your book!” I was sad to tell her there were no more, but handed her a card saying, “Come to the book signing tomorrow- we’ll have more books then.” I could see the disappointment in her eyes.
When we arrived early the next morning, I had a few books in my bag just in case I saw some who’d wanted a book so badly.
The very first person we saw was Kim, who’d been so disappointed when the books were gone. I pulled her and her sister aside and gave them a book and talked with them about how forgiveness heals broken hearts. Kim was ecstatic, insisting a picture be taken with me, saying she would enlarge the picture for hanging in her bookstore in Tennessee.
That same afternoon I stepped into the “Ladies Restroom” to freshen up. As I stood at the mirror, Kim’s sister walked up beside me, almost overcome with emotion. “A miracle has happened right here at the convention center as a result of how God lead you to forgive your brother’s murderer.”
“All Kim can talk about is your story of forgiveness. She and her husband have gone through terrible struggles and she can’t get over it. Severe depression has engulfed her! She does nothing but cry all day – everyday. She didn’t want to come to this convention, but I pushed her, saying she had to come. After your talk with us and after receiving your book, she has miraculously become the wonderful, happy person I’ve always known. I called my Mom a few minutes ago to say, ‘we have Kim back! She’s been healed through the miracle of forgiveness!’
Later that day Kim appeared at my book signing to acquire another book. We hugged, shared a few thoughts and grateful tears as others lined up behind her.
Truly, the miracle of forgiveness was the key that unlocked Kim’s depression. God has ways of working beyond our depressions, fears and even through the disappointment of running out of books. An example of how God is able to change hearts and lives through the miracle of forgiveness.
Annette Stanwick is a speaker, award-winning author and Freedom Facilitator. Her book, Forgiveness: The Mystery and Miracle can be order through her website www.annettestanwick.com.
Photo by: FreeDigitalPhotos.net