Behind the Book
Letter to My Readers by Yolanda Shanks
Most people have just a few questions for an author in order to glean insight into their writings. So I have tried to tackle three possible questions off the bat for you, my dear readers.
What made me select this title?
YS: DESTINED TO LIVE, DESPITE ME has been birthed through my personal testimony from suicide to salvation. At the tender age of fourteen, because of feelings of despair, loneliness, and uncertainty, I decided that life was not worth living, and I attempted to end it all one day. Thankfully God had a different plan for my life and a family member recognized the signs of suicide, and reached me in the nick of time. So the “Despite ME”, is a personal reminder of my actions and the acknowledgement of God’s grace and mercy in my life.
What was my purpose for writing “Destined To Live, Despite Me?” and who is the intended audience?
YS: Well I am definitely glad that you asked…
My purpose for writing D2LDM was simply to use my testimony to assist others, in choosing to deliberately live life in abundance- regardless of their story. Now I am not speaking of an abundance of things or money, but I am speaking of abundant “Joy, Peace, and Hope” all of the treasures, which I have found in Christ Jesus.
Now initially I thought my intended audience was solely attempted suicide survivors, but as the book progressed, it became clear that absolutely every person has a breaking point. Another’s breaking point just may not manifest itself the same way –
With this said, D2LDM is my story, written for you. I am sharing my private life, my disappointments, my fears, my un-loveliness… Yes it started out hard for me. But the Lord poured out of me many of the things that had been holding me down.
I know now, that I can be alone; but I don’t have to be lonely.
I sometimes feel unloved; but God loves me unconditionally.
I can be financially broke; but God will provide.
I can be friendless; Jesus is always longing to be my friend.
My life can be broken; He will put it back together again.
I can be a sinner, Jesus died for my sins, your sins – He already paid the price.
This book sums it up by saying…….BUT GOD!
What message of encouragement would I like to give to our young people today?
YS: Know WHOSE you are and WHO you are. If I can elaborate, I want our next generation to NOT define themselves by the standards of this world; you know – not by the cars, clothes, and simply the tangibles of this life – But instead let’s consider our whole-man: Mind, Body, and Soul. Choose to use the standard in which God defines you.
If you have surrendered your life to Christ, you are His child, a co-heir with Christ and you can stand on all of God’s promises in the bible because you are sons and daughters of the Creator Himself. So do not walk defeated!
Decide to live this life “deliberately” – knowing that each morning that you are alive; God has a purpose for you.
For those contemplating suicide; Please know that suicide is NOT an option – It is a permanent solution to a temporary problem! ~ Please reach out for help.
Now if you have not surrendered your life to Christ, I encourage you to not simply dismiss the fact that you are hearing this message right now – God is calling you personally to live this life and the next to come in His presence. Stop dismissing Him and choose to live life abundantly by allowing God love you back to wholeness!
I pray that you enjoy reading Destined To Live, Despite Me!