“The storms of life put us all in periods of indecision, loneliness, pain and even a sense of defeat. The question confronting us is how do we face and deal with these storms?” – Author Cindy Oriol
I recently enjoyed the opportunity to speak with Cindy Oriol, the delightful lady behind the non-fiction, inspirational book, Having Joy in the Midst of the Storm.
How can we deal with these kinds of storms in life? Cindy Oriol traversed the ups and downs of her journey with joy in her heart as she kept her focus on her Lord, Christ Jesus. The subtitle of her book explains the author’s philosophy: Through the Storm He Is Lord, Lord of All.
I asked Cindy about her writing process.
I.C. Question: Cindy, what inspires you to write?
C.O. Response: Actually, the Holy Spirit inspires me. He whispers in my ear telling me,” You and I are going to write a book together. You are the clay and I am the potter, together, we will write an encouraging and inspirational book to help others while they are going through the storms of life.
I believe that each of us, has a story inside us. It’s what we choose to do with them [that matters]. I choose to write mine. Not only is it therapy for me, but for those [who] are struggling in their lives.
I.C. Question: How did you decide to write the specific story that became Having Joy in the Midst of the Storm?
C.O. Response: In my own personal case, I feel like authors should write a book about something they know, or someone they know. I chose to write about my testimony that was given to me from the Lord. While I am writing, I pray that others will be inspired by my faith.
I.C. Question: What works for you in your writing process? What advice do you have for young or beginning authors?
C.O. Response: My advice to other new, authors would be, while they are forming their book, to jot down words and phrases – anything that comes to their mind. Get themselves a journal and begin their writing. Every time, I heard something, that I wanted to put in my book, I stopped everything that I was doing to write it down. Sometimes at night, I would have to get out of bed, to write my thoughts. All through out the initial start of the book, I would add more things to my journal. As I was putting all the notes together, my book finally began to form.
I have learned that to become a good author, you need to really have a lot of detail through out your book.
For example, if you say that church is pretty, instead of writing that sentence, add the surroundings around the church. Describe the church by saying, that it is a very large church with beautiful stained glass windows with vibrant colors of red, blue, etc., that illuminate with the crescent moon as it shines over the church.
The more detail I added, the more my book came alive. I found myself going from page to page, adding and changing sentences until I felt it was right.
I.C. Question: As an author, are you typically a plotter or a pantser? How much do you plan ahead, and what steps do you go through to create a book?
C.O. Response: I consider myself to be an outliner. Before starting each book, I gather all my materials together and start forming parts of my book. First, I pray to the Holy Spirit to help me find the title, then I hear the whisper of His voice telling me what to do. So now I have a title and notes.
What do I do next? I start my chapters with a title above each chapter (for example, JESUS IS GOOD, JESUS IS OUR STRENGTH) and then I gather my notes that will go with that chapter.
At the end of each chapter, I find a scripture for each one that pertains to each title. For example, for a chapter titled “Jesus is peace” I might choose John 16:33, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace in all times and in every way.” I do each chapter that way.
My readers love that I am praising the Lord throughout the book. Some of them have come up to me and said, “Cindy, I would know your book anywhere, without ever having seen the author’s name.” They tell me that I have a unique way of writing. Some of them have told me that by reading my book, they have a different outlook on faith. This inspires me to keep writing. This is the reason the book was written, so others see my faith in my Jesus.
I.C. Question: I’m glad you said that, because it brings me to my next question – even though I have a pretty good idea of the answer even before asking. What part does your faith play in your writing life? How does your faith affect your work as an author?
C.O. Response: How does my faith affect my writing? My faith means everything to me. Without my Savior, I would be totally lost and there would not be an encouraging and inspiring book for others to read called “HAVING JOY IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM.”
It is my faith in Him completely that has gotten me through a life-changing injury, two different types of cancers (cancer of the pancreas and the breast), a stroke, and a brain cell malfunction that has no medical treatment. I was living in chronic pain, daily, from neuropathy and fibromyalgia, and all of that in a period of seven years. Without my faith, I never could have made it through any of this.
At one point, because of the horrific pain, I wanted to throw in the towel, but as always the Lord touched my heart and said, “I have this for you. Just sit back and be held.”
My prayer for my readers is this: “God, it’s my heart’s desire to encourage and inspire others to have a personal relationship with your son, Jesus. As we go through many storms in our lives, may we all trust in His love for us. May we know in our hearts that no matter what adversities happen to fall in our paths, on earth, He will never leave us. He is our healer, protector , provider and so many other things.”
I.C. Question: Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions and share your experience with us as writers and as humans who face issues in life every day that can test our faith. Now, what about the questions I haven’t asked? What is your heart telling you to share with us before we part company today?
C.O. Response: I want everyone to know, when your life breaks apart … Jesus restores the pieces.
This book is my shining testimonial of my surrender to Jesus’ healing mercy, and grace. Humbled, grateful and inspired, I share my personal story of crisis and rescue as I crawled to the foot of the cross and gave all my suffering to the Lord.
Do you need a miracle? Are you looking for consolation? Do you feel lost or hopeless or maybe defeated? I have been there, and my story will show you that Jesus is waiting to take you into His loving arms and carry you through the storms.
When you read my book, you will be encouraged and inspired by His word. You will walk through the valley with our Lord as I have done and continue to do daily. In the valley is where I met Jesus, as He carried through the storms. You will feel my pain, laugh and cry with me, but I do not want anyone to feel sorry for me
Remember, when the storms come crashing over you, we are surrounded by His grace, our rock our healer. Jesus has never left my side and He will be there for you, too, if you only ask.
I do not know what tomorrow will bring, I do not even try to ponder on it, because I know who holds my hand. I will be completely healed when I get to Heaven, but until then, “I WILL PRAISE HIM IN THE STORM.”
Learn more about Cindy Oriol, and read more than a dozen of her inspirational articles, on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/cindy-oriol-a79976184/.
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