MASON — Sometimes life events, such as death and a pandemic, can push a person to do what they never thought they could, and such was the journey of Lisa Hysell of Hartford.
Following the death of her mother and nephew in 2019, and the Coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, Hysell said she was pushed by God to pen her newly published book, “But God Moments in a Quarantined World.”
The book, Hysell’s first at the age of 53, contains 366 daily devotionals. It was published in January by Westbow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan.
Hysell said her first intention was not to write a book. Her mother passed away in March 2019 and her nephew in December the same year. Shortly after her nephew’s death, Hysell said hundreds came forward telling the family how he had touched their lives. Hysell said she began at that point to ask God for a heart like her nephew’s.
Fast forward a few months to March 2020. When the pandemic and quarantine hit, Hysell said God told her it was her time to start. She began sending a picture each day with a scripture to some of her friends as a way to stay connected while they were unable to socialize.
She soon began receiving feedback from those friends about how the small messages encouraged them and how they looked forward to them. One friend in particular, Debbie Johnson, encouraged Hysell to make a book from the writings. She said she laughed it off both the first and second time Johnson suggested it, but the third time Hysell said she knew God was using Johnson to give her the final push she needed to write the book.
“There is no doubt God pushed me to write this book,” Hysell said. “I’m praying God places it where He can use it to inspire, encourage, uplift, and yes, even challenge people. Maybe even push others out of their comfort zones and into uncharted waters.”
Hysell said once she started, some days she would write a week’s worth of devotions, while other days she would write 20 to 30. She began writing in April, and by July the book was submitted to the publisher.
“Only God could use me, a 53-year-old novice writer, to help me recall scriptures and then write about them,” Hysell said.
A stay-at-home wife, she added the entire book was handwritten on paper before putting it on a computer program. The name of the book didn’t come to her until about midway through, when she noticed “but God” coming up in different devotions. She describes “but God” moments as those when God lifts you up when you least expect it. And although the book was written during a “quarantined world,” it is relative for any time.
As for the future, Hysell said she already has a second book completed and is working on a third, but is in the prayer phase as to how to proceed. While she might have them published, Hysell added she might launch a website as a way to allow people to access them.
“But God Moments in a Quarantined World” can be ordered in hardback, softback, or as an e-book from westbow.com, Barnes and Noble, or Amazon. Signed, discounted copies can be obtained from Hysell by messaging her on Facebook at Joe-Lisa Hysell, or on Instagram at hysellj or butgodmomentsquarantinedworld.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.