Book preview? Yes, the book I am sharing with you today is not yet available in stores. No, this is not a review because I am much too close to this project to talk to you about it objectively. Dancing On My Ashes was written by my dear friend Heather Gilion and her sister Holly Snell, and I had the privilege of editing it before it went to the publisher last year. (A huge shout-out to my college editing instructor Tracy Dalton for equipping me to tackle such a huge project!)
In the book, Heather and Holly first chronicle the story of their family, specifically the health issues their dad faced when they were young and how they overcame his health problems by their faith in God. Once in college and on their own, each sister goes to college, falls in love, and marries the man of their dreams. And the kingdoms they’ve built for themselves come crumbling down. Their dad dies when his body finally caves to its health problems. And then their husbands die in a canoeing accident.
And their response was not to run away from God but to run to God. The rest of the book chronicles their journey of healing and how God turned their mourning into dancing. They now dance on the ashes that once covered them.
This book has a special place in my heart, not just because it’s the highest profile project I’ve worked on, but because I know Heather, and I got to watch her work through many of the lessons she shares. God is funny. When you meet Heather and her husband Dallas, it’s natural to assume that this beautiful (because they are both awesome–inside and out), talented (you should hear the songs they write together) couple with these two beautiful boys have never had a care in the world, but then you read this story and realize that God wounded them and scarred them and healed them and that what you’re looking at is what God has healed. A.maz.ing.
If you know someone who’s lost a loved one, specifically a young widow who’s lost a husband, you must share this book with them. Or if you’re just not happy with life’s status quo, you must read it. The book is not available in stores until April, but you can order it directly from the publisher. And you can find the girls on Dancing On My Ashes’ Facebook page, which also has listing of their speaking engagements.
As a bonus, here’s an interview they did with my pastor last year: