One of the best things about sending stories out into the world is that we never know how our stories may travel, where they may land, or what connections they might forge between the writer and the reader. At times, those connections are nothing short of miraculous, as is clearly illustrated by this amazing tale from Miriam Lozano, the Big Sister of Circle #9 in the 2014 Sisterhood Of the Traveling Books. As Big Sis of her group, Miriam received her circle’s copy of The Story Keeper first and after being the first to crack open the spine, left her thoughts jotted in the margins before mailing the book on to her chain of “little sisters” in the group. She also left this amazingly beautiful story. — The Story Guru
Contributed by Miriam Lozano
My name is Miriam Lozano and I just received my copy of The Story Keeper. I am so excited to be a part of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Book. It is no coincidence that I should be involved in this project. I can already see that God gave me this opportunity to share my experience and to read a book that will impact lives.
From the moment I opened the book I knew something special was going to take place. I haven’t gotten very far in my reading, but I just needed to share my first impressions.
The fact that Jen Gibbs works at Vida House Publishing immediately caught my attention. You see, it was at Life Publishing/Vida Publishing that I “rewrote my history…threw away the pages from my past” and embarked on a new journey with the Lord.
I came to the Lord after a difficult divorce. I lost my marriage, my mortgage business and my home. I found myself a single mom with two boys to raise and no job or place to life. I could not find a job because everywhere I went, I was told I was over qualified because of my background as a business manager and owner. I came to the Lord a couple of weeks later, at a Women’s Aglow Fellowship and soon after met a girl that worked at Vida Publishing, an arm of the Assemblies of God Life Publishing. She told me they had a job available but it was only as a mail clerk and didn’t pay very well. I told her I really didn’t care, as long as I could work; I needed to provide for my boys someway.
My job was to collect all the incoming mail, read it and then distribute it as needed. Let me tell you that reading those testimonies that came in the mail touched my heart and my spirit. I was lonely and alone and felt dejected. I thought I was unworthy and that I would never be able to get back on my feet again. I didn’t know that much about the Lord and had just recently started reading the Bible. Through those testimonies I learned about different books that people were reading and how it was impacting their lives and that is when I too started to read the books being published right there, at my place of work.
Sitting in the office one day, going through the mail, I was in tears as I read those heartfelt letters. It was at that moment that Jean, my friend and the girl who had originally told me about the job, came in and saw my despair. She sat down with me and listened to my story and that is when she opened the Bible to Jeremiah 29:11 and told me that was God’s promise to me. That was my life changing moment; the moment I heard God speak to my spirit and the day I knew that things were about to change for me. It was all history after that! Through my work there I was promoted to the accounting office and later became the comptroller. I issued paychecks every Friday and the employees came to the office to pick up their checks and that is how I met my husband of 27 years now. He was an artist for the company.
So you see, Vida Publishing was a very important place for me and for the life that I was to live. I grew in the Lord, married, had a daughter and now have 2 biological sons, 3 step-sons, a daughter from this marriage and 15 grandchildren with another one on the way. My life was enriched through my relationships there and life long friendships were made. I have had a long and beautiful journey with Christ and the promise of Jeremiah 29:11 has been my theme: His plans were good and continue to be good and He has prospered me.
Thank you, Miriam, for sharing this story. Who could imagine such a profoundly deep and meaningful story connection?
Who else, but God, anyway? — Story Guru.
Author bio: Miriam Lozano is the Big Sis of Sister Circle #9 in Sisterhood Of the Traveling Books 2014. She is also a former publishing house comptroller, a mother, grandmother, a dedicated library worker, and book lover.