July 21, 2018

Who is Talking Out of My Head? by Jocelyn Faire

Do you have any idea how silly you look, writing a life story that is wrong from start to finish, nitpicking over commas and semicolons? The MSG Matt 23:24

Tell us your story ... Taken out of context the above verse inspired me to hit Publish with a grin!
Truly, my first (and only book thus far) was written by a reluctant author. Walking along the pathways in my prairie home town—possibly two months after the accident that ripped apart my well ordained and blessed life—there was a knowing, a voice inside my head telling me that someday I would have to tell my story. This knowing made me aware that I was to walk through the grief journey in a way that would honour God. But I never found the
instruction manual on how to do grief well, the Good Grief Book 101. Surely God, after allowing two children to be taken away from their parents, would want their marriage to survive? Surely God, would orchestrate that. So I tried bargaining. I will write IF there is a happy ending. I wanted the “and despite of their loss, they lived happily ever after, with a deeper understanding of God's love for them.” I wanted the story to conclude that way. Instead God reminded me in the Message that God, not your marital status defines your life. (1Corinthians 7:17) And I said—let's tell some of your church people that. All I felt was judgment on top of loss. And God said I will love you with an everlasting love.
Over the years He has reminded me that, No one who hopes in me ever regrets it. (Isaiah 49:23)
The voice persisted, and in obedience I began to write my story ... the conviction grew that God was with me in the writing. He provided signs and encouragement along the way for this reluctant author. 
My writing began in earnest in Australia in 2009. My first writing class happened there, an eight week evening course on writing your own story. My opening chapter was penned in that warm second floor classroom at the University of Western Australia. The instructor gave valuable feedback on showing versus telling. In my apartment kitchen I set up my laptop computer on my concocted desk created by balancing a flat piece of wood across the opened cupboard. And there I punched down the first few chapters. I received excellent advice from my brainy sister, who has published articles: Get it professionally edited, she told me. As I did not know anyone in writing circles, I prayed about this and searched online for a professional editor. I made contact with an editing service in Calgary and after my manuscript was submitted, the chief editor suggested I would benefit from a second read. I did not feel I had the money for this, and this wonderful Crystal wrote back to me to say ... “I share your faith, and I believe your story needs to be told. I will finish the process without the extra fee.” I was humbled, encouraged and very grateful.
What began in Australia was concluded in Canada over a period of three and a half years. It was five years ago that I officially launched Who Is Talking out of my Head? Grief as an Out of Body Experience.
I also suggested to God, that He be in charge of marketing. He encouraged me to sign up for a Social Media class ... It was very difficult to promote a book that you hardly want to talk about. A book that left me feeling quite vulnerable. Now that more time has passed, I do not feel quite as exposed.

My granddaughter at the book launch
People have often asked me if writing the book was cathartic. I would have to say No. Writing in my journals was, that was where I could freely express myself. But in the process of getting a book ready, it was the editing and re-reading that I found painful. I do not think I ever got through the first chapter without tears. In the process of showing not telling, there was a lot of re-living the deep pain that happened. I know the experts often suggest a ten year gap between the experience and the writing. I knew that I would not be able to sit on this story that long. So in that sense perhaps the healing did happen with the writing of it.  
I also did not want the tragedy to be the final mark on my life. I do have another manuscript in the works. What will become of it? I'm uncertain. This is a quote from the introduction of BECOMING:

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

My, isn't she BECOMING ...
But becoming what?
Life in the Aftermath

Becoming is a spiritually reflective look at life, in the Aftermath of disappointment. Disappointment comes in all shapes and sizes. From the moment we are born we are trained to expect disappointment, trained to overcome it. But there are times it overcomes us. And where do we go from there? What will become of us when it overwhelms?
As part of an ever-changing life landscape, it intrigues me that becoming is adjective, noun and verb. As an adjective, becoming describes a person with attractive qualities, as a noun it means “the process of coming to be something or of passing into a state,” and as a verb it indicates transition.

This series of reflections arise from a woman who has experienced deep trauma, and who is coming to terms with the aftermath of dramatic life changes.

This is the story of a life rebuilding process, of becoming someone new, a becoming change. 

Jocelyn is the author of Who Is Talking Out of My Head, Grief as an Out of Body Experience


  1. Oh my! There is so much pain expressed in your post and yet so much love as well. When I read your posts I'm always inspired by your faith and trust in the Lord. "But there are times that it overcomes us." That a statement that rings very true in my life. I've been swallowed and finding my way again has proven difficult more than once. Thanks Jocelyn for this sharing the truths in this post. Would love a copy of your book.

    1. Thank you Vickie for your ongoing encouragement ... if you send me your address, I'd be delighted to send you the published book ... I know the google connection didn't seem to work-my email is jbmarietalking@gmail.com if you send a note there we can exchange details. The Becoming is still in progress. LIfe is a progress with some very sunny days, and some less so. It can overwhelm many times. Blessings to you!

  2. This is such a powerful post - as your book is as well. Truth speaks volumes and your words are a blessing to so many.

    1. Thank you Tracy, this morning I was reading where the disciples asked Jesus why he told so many stories ... it is to nudge people towards the truth. Truth through stories does speak volumes.

  3. Hi Jocelyn! This is an intriguing personal story you have shared. Your line, "This knowing made me aware that I was to walk through the grief journey in a way that would honour God. But I never found the
    instruction manual on how to do grief well..." gripped me. I've worked and come alongside many people in grief. It is not uncommon to hear things like not knowing how to grieve well. You grieve in your way and God is aware of it. Your post had an interesting impact on me. I could see us sitting having coffee and talking with each other. Another line that caught my attention is, "It was very difficult to promote a book that you hardly want to talk about. A book that left me feeling quite vulnerable." I felt the emotion in that line and can relate to it on a personal level. Thank you for this emotional and real piece of writing. :)

    1. Thank you Alan, yes, I read many books on grief, and I know more personal stories have been written in the last years. Somehow many books fell flat when "pat Christian answers were given." Grief defies pat answers. Coffee and conversation would be interesting.

    2. Yes, "pat Christian answers..." miss the mark. Some believers insist on using them with good but not always compassionate platitudes. I don't sense this from you at all. You honor your grief and that is emotionally healthy.

  4. This brief telling of how your first book came to be is humbling. You felt a calling, a compulsion to tell your story. You trusted God and began the writing without a desk and without the people and supports you could have used. You didn't wait for the right circumstances. You wrote. And God was with you. He spoke to you through his word and through his presence. In writing your story, you give testament to how God works in our lives.

    Blessing on you and your stories, as I see Becoming is waiting in the wings.

    1. Sharon, thank you for your ongoing support. Giving testament to how God works in our lives, is what connects us with others struggling. Doubts with our writing turns to reasons to postpone, it seems. More prayer is needed for the courage to launch Becoming.

  5. Hi Jocelyn; I too have a hard story to tell. Your journey in writing yours inspires me that it can be done. You have so much to offer others and you write beautifully.

  6. Thank you Jocelyn for sharing. Love the image of your granddaughter. Children have a way of taking the edge off of serious things. So reassuring to know that "God was with you in the writing."

  7. I just downloaded your book to my Kindle. Looking forward to the experience of reading it.


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.