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A Woman of Strength by Candace Calvert
“For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10
I slid my boot into the stirrup that April day clueless I was about to face death, a ride that would forever change my life. I only knew spring had finally come after the most soul-bruising winters I’d ever experienced. In the previous eighteen months I’d endured the unexpected and painful end of a twenty-three year marriage followed by a flood that threatened what was left of my broken home. But on that April day I prided myself on being a survivor. I was a devoted single mother, a veteran ER nurse, an avid equestrienne and, mostly importantly, a Strong woman—capital ‘S.’ Things were under control again. I was fearless. Only weeks before, I’d proven it by strapping on a parachute and leaping from a plane at 13,000 feet. A skydiver, not a castoff wife: strong!
Only minutes after I settled into that saddle, my young thoroughbred spooked and then bucked, hurling me over his head and onto the ground. I heard bones shatter: eight ribs (one that bloodied my lung), my upper back, and my neck-- in three places. When I struggled to haul myself from the dirt, a shard of bone bit into my spinal cord causing my right arm to burn with searing pain. And then it went numb. Somehow I crawled through the fence, staggered back to my house and phoned for help.
Lying on a trauma gurney in my own ER, I felt anything but strong. Neck collar, oxygen, IV, urinary catheter, eighteen merciful milligrams of morphine, x-rays and a CT scan—I was on the wrong side of the stethoscope. The emergency team, my dear friends, did everything possible to help me, but before long I’d hear concerns about permanent spinal damage. My fear returned with a vengeance. I was losing control.
I had believed this to my core: A strong woman stays in control, always, and doesn’t fully trust anyone. After all, I’d trusted my husband and he left; I’d trusted the security of my home and the floodwaters came. The big question hit me as hard as that fall: Did I trust God? I prayed to Him, I worshipped Him, but did I really allow myself to depend on Him? A little card tucked onto my dresser mirror read, “Let Go and Let God,” yet I’d fought desperately to keep life’s reins in my own hands. And they were yanked away.
In the following months as I worked in physical therapy to regain full use of my arms, I had time to ponder and to pray. I wondered about my need to feel strong. Was it simply armor to ward off other unimaginable hurts? I began to set new priorities, evaluate success and survival in different ways. With great relief, I let God take the burdens from my battered shoulders. I began to feel, deep in my soul, that my life had been spared for a reason. God had a plan for me.
“By Accident,” the inspirational account of my riding accident, appears in Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul and was my first published work. Since then I’ve published five (going on six) full-length Christian fiction novels, and recently signed a contract for three more. As with most authors, each story contains a bit of my own DNA. Disaster Status is the story of a feisty ER nurse who learns the difference between being a strong woman and a woman of strength. Code Triage is the heart-tugging story of a couple headed for divorce. And in Trauma Plan, a nurse who suffered a broken neck is determined to return to the career she loves. It even has a skydiving scene!
I have no doubt that God’s plan—the miracle that saved me that spring day—was to prepare me to write stories that inspire, encourage, and offer hope. Sometimes I joke that God had to drop this stubborn woman into the dirt and break her neck to finally get her attention. He made me weak long enough to teach me the difference between being strong and having strength.
That difference is faith.
Thank you, Elaine, for hosting me here. I love this opportunity to connect with your readers!
Candice's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Meet author and equestrienne-accident survivor Candace Calvert. (Tweet This)
Staying strong when things are out of control? Visit author Candace Calvert to see how. (Tweet This)
Candace Calvert on Everyone’s Story: when God lifts up your burden. (Tweet This)
Candace Calvert #BookGiveaway offer to 5 winners! (Tweet This)
Candace Calvert is a former ER nurse who believes love, laughter and faith are the best medicines. Her Mercy Hospital and Grace Medical series offer readers a chance to “scrub in” on the exciting world of emergency medicine—along with a soul-soothing prescription for hope. Wife, mother, and very proud grandmother, she makes her home in northern California.
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