I love a good story! Stories captivate our imaginations, impact our lives, and have the ability to shift whole cultures. Swapping stories with a sweet friend over a cuppa hot something is just the best. It's a joy to welcome Lori Ann Wood to Story Swap today! (Every Saturday I post a Story Swap feature on my Instagram).
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself. What does a typical day look like for you?
I love my days! But I haven't always felt this way. Seven years ago, I was suddenly diagnosed with end stage heart failure. This is a chronic illness, so my day begins later and ends earlier than I'd like. I have to sleep more than I did pre-illness, and the meds I take also cause fatigue. But the middle hours of my day are spent writing and connecting with others who have found themselves on a path they'd never choose. It has been the most rewarding period of my life.
2. When and how did you meet Jesus?
I have known about Jesus for as long as I can remember. I was raised in a Christian home and raised my own children in one. But it wasn't until I ran into this health detour that I began really engaging with my faith on a daily basis, and learning about who this Jesus really is.
3. What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about empowering and equipping long-time Christians to ask their hard faith questions. I have found that poking and prodding and contending with them allows our faith to stay alive in the difficult times when it would be so easy to walk away.
4. How are you making the most of your current season of life?
I am coming to terms with my limitations and adapting my expectations and actions to be the most impactful in this season. I don't know that I would have taken the time in a safer, healthier life to come alongside others in the ways I have been able to.
5. How do you prioritize the Word of God?
Every day His Word is top of mind for me. Part of that, in my questioning personality, is lamenting and bringing my complaints and concerns to God even when they don't sound that pretty. The Psalms have become a close ally in this endeavor.
6. What has God been speaking to you about and how has He moved in your life recently?
I recently published my first book of Christian essays, Divine Detour: The Path You'd Never Choose Can Lead to the Faith You've Always Wanted. It is a book exploring the three questions every life must answer. Over the last 4 years, the book's central theme has been a constant conversation with God.
7. What is the biggest thing you've had to trust God with?
I have had to relinquish control (another essay topic in the book) over my health and my plans in ways I never would have imagined this hands-on mama could have done. It has been faith-building and freeing, but not in any way easy.
8. What story is God writing with your life?
He is writing a story of unbridled trust. I am still learning and the story is still being written. Chapters and edits added daily.
Lori Ann Wood lives with her husband in an empty nest in beautiful Bentonville, Arkansas.
Having discovered a serious heart condition almost too late, Lori Ann writes to encourage others to embrace deep faith questions along the detours of life.
She has been awarded the Frederick Buechner Narrative Essay Award, and awards from the
Evangelical Press Association as well as from Colorado Christian Writers. Her work has been
published in several anthologies and numerous print and online venues, including The New York Times, The Christian Century Magazine, The Joyful Life Magazine, Just Between Us Magazine, Bella Grace Magazine, Truly Magazine, Pepperdine University Press, and Sweet to the Soul FAITH Magazine.
Lori Ann’s first book, Divine Detour: The Path You’d Never Choose Can Lead to the Faith
You’ve Always Wanted, was recently published by CrossRiver Media. It quickly became #1 New Release on Amazon in Christian Spiritual Growth and in Personal Growth & Christianity, and has already been awarded First Place Nonfiction Book in Religion-Christianity by BookFest.
Connect with Lori Ann: