The Prayer, a Love Story
by Jacqueline von Zwehl
Do you Believe in Miracles?
Do you Believe in Eternal Love?
Do you Believe in Answered Prayers?
The Prayer, A Love Story is the inspirational true story of one woman who discovers the secret to living a life filled with miracles, unconditional love and answered prayers.
The journey begins with a divine promise, continues with unforeseen life challenges, and eventually leads to Jerusalem. Inside the Old City, a prayer will unlock the key to a life of miracles. This journey is proof heaven is real and its gifts are available to you now. Whether you have stopped believing in God or not, God believes in you.
The journey holds a promise for everyone. No matter how much darkness exists in your life, it cannot diminish the flicker of even the tiniest light. That light will lead you to your destiny and it will change your life forever.
I often wonder about the idea of a miracle. Is it something you feel? Can you see it? Or is it some- thing you just know? Miracle is a very big word, perhaps best saved for big events like the birth of a baby or the first man walking on the moon.
As I ponder this thought, I’m surrounded by lovely, fresh-cut flowers. Isn’t the blossoming of these flowers a miracle? A tiny little seed in the ground, nurtured with rich soil, water, and light, grows to reveal its unique beauty. When we look at the seed, we can’t see the miracle. It’s only later, after its potential has been manifested, we realize what that seed carried all along. Isn’t that how we all are? On the journey of our destiny in this life, all of us start as seeds. Some of us are still in the ground, waiting to grow. Some of us have sprouted a few leaves, and some of us have fully blossomed. Is the miracle the blossoming of the flower, or is the miracle knowing with certainty that everything is already in the seed? Yes, for me it always comes down to certainty. When all I can see is a seed in the ground, the miracle is certainty in my knowl- edge of what the seed is destined to become.
These were the thoughts I recorded in my journal on the morning of our wedding. I have heard that most brides wake up jittery and full of excitement, perhaps thinking about their hair and make-up, the excitement of the day ahead, and how the weather will hold up. I woke up and started writing.
‘What is a miracle? Today I will get married. I will marry the man who makes my heart sing and who was sent as the answer to my prayer. A man who calls me his miracle. Today is our seed, the first day of our journey as husband and wife.We don’t know how our seed will grow. We don’t know how many leaves will bloom or what its flower will look like. We don’t know what storms we’ll face. We do know with certainty that this seed is our destiny. It is our miracle.’
We were all ready. The driver took my hand and escorted me to my seat in the limo.
How to handle negative criticism.
When my publisher assigned me to a publicist to begin the Advance Review Copy (Galley) Campaign to the media, the first thing she did was send me a ten page questionnaire. Half way through the questionnaire there was the following, "how would you handle criticism of this work." Of course, I gave a very good, politically correct answer about how everyone has the right to their own opinion and it's an opportunity to grow and learn. That was a joke because the book had not yet been released and I hadn't been tested on this.
Now let's fast forward three months and I get my first "unimpressive" review. The review was three stars, not horrible, but very critical. My internal reaction ranged from, "she doesn't get it", "she didn't read my book", "I can't believe she said that!", to finally "are you kidding me?". Yes, I'm being honest. I did not handle it well. I thought I would. I thought I'd be more mature, not be bothered, and let it slide right off my back. The fact is, at least for me, that wasn't my reality.
Writing can easily be compared to giving birth to a child. I know, I've given birth to two of them, and my book also took me about nine months to get through all the editing. It's hard to hear less than raving reviews. It's just as hard as someone telling you your child is dumb or ugly. It's just plain awful, but the fact is, just as the moon rises and sets each day it's a guaranteed certainty you WILL receive negative criticism from someone in the world. Even if you win a Pulitzer someone will hate your book.
There are two types of criticism. One type is from someone who is just not a fan of your genre/story line/ideology etc... This type just ignore. The other type is from someone who genuinely could be your greatest fan but is giving you "loving" advice like go deeper into your characters, explore a wider range of emotions, fix the broken plot sequence in the last two chapters. This type of advice is valuable and critical to grow as a writer and you need to listen. Your gut will let you know when the criticism you're reading is just mean spirited or there to guide you to be a better writer.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Jacqueline von Zwehl, is a faith based relationship expert. She holds a BFA from New York University and a MBA from Pennsylvania State University. Jacqueline travels the country as a motivational speaker encouraging singles on the path to finding their soul mates. She has appeared on Nite Line, The Harvest Show, EWTN, TCT TV, Victory TV, CatholicTV, Telecare, Changing Lives, CatholicLife, That's the Spirit, The Church, The Cardinal and You, NPR, and more. Jacqueline lives in Fort Lauderdale, FL with her husband Christopher, their two daughters and dog. The Prayer, A Love Story is her debut book. Jacqueline von Zwehl, is a faith based relationship expert. She holds a BFA from New York University and a MBA from Pennsylvania State University. Jacqueline travels the country as a motivational speaker encouraging singles on the path to finding their soul mates. She has appeared on Nite Line, The Harvest Show, EWTN, TCT TV, Victory TV, CatholicTV, Telecare, Changing Lives, CatholicLife, That's the Spirit, The Church, The Cardinal and You, NPR, and more. Jacqueline lives in Fort Lauderdale, FL with her husband Christopher, their two daughters and dog. The Prayer, A Love Story is her debut book.
Read Jacqueline's Blog at www.jackievonzwehl.com
Become a Fan: www.facebook.com/JackieVonZwehl
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