This week I revealed the title to the book I'm writing! It was so exciting and so fun to see everyone's excitement around this sequel. It almost matches my excitement for it, almost! No Way but Through came to me fast and "easy" (is writing a book ever easy?). Looking back on that time, I'm shocked by how it just kept coming, rolling from my fingertips onto the screen. The whole thing, from start to finish, took less than a year! What?! That included sending it to 5 beta readers over the summer and drastically changing it in the fall.
I don't say all this to toot my own horn. On the contrary, I am wondering how in the world that happened! And I'm so grateful for that process. It was not me telling a story, it was God piecing everything together to give me a story to get out into the world.
This book is no different. God is giving me this story. Except it's very different because I have had to fight for this story to reveal itself to me. It has not given up it's secrets easily. That is a topic for another day. Today I want to share how the titles to both my books came to me. Yes, they revealed themselves to me, I didn't make them up.
I had No Way but Through almost completely finished when the title finally came to me. It was a silly inspiration from a book I read as a kid. Repeated words from We're Going On A Bear Hunt kept running through my mind one day as I contemplated a good title. This was really strange since No Way but Through has nothing to do with bear hunts or children's books, but I couldn't get the words out of my head. On every other page, the little family hunting for a bear comes up against an obstacle and they chant the words, "Can't go over it, can't go around it. We gotta go through it!" As a kid, I remember thrilling to those words and saying them along with whomever was reading to me. (I highly recommend this read.)
As those words ran through my head again as an adult the phrase "no way but through" surfaced. It struck a deep chord in me. That was the title, it worked on so many levels, and I have loved hearing how it has impacted my readers in many ways as well.
The title for this book was no where near a priority when it came to me, as I am still working on the first draft.
But when I stumbled upon this quote from J.R.R. Tolkien the words struck me in the same way No Way but Through had and I couldn't ignore them:
"You can only come to the morning through the shadows." - Tolkien
It was a sure thing in my heart, this is the title of the sequel. As I sat with it, and as the story progressed on the page, the words only grew deeper roots. This title also speaks well not only to the story, but also to our lives.
We've all been through some very dark shadows lately, as our friends in No Way but Through have been. I pray your morning is coming to you soon. There is no way over those shadows, and there's no way to get around them. We gotta go through them.
But morning shines brightly on the other side when we have the endurance and hope to get through. In fact, as Tolkien averred, the ONLY way to get to the morning is through the shadows. Otherwise, we get stuck, we don't move forward, and we can't experience the joy of the morning. Keep going.
Buy No Way but Through here. 30% of proceeds go directly to support refugees.