How did you develop the idea for this book?

I was doing a file purge in December 2019 when I found a letter I had written to a friend shortly after I experienced a divine healing and deliverance. I thought it important to keep a copy to remember details. But before I refiled it, I decided to update the language and put it on my website as a testimony. I rewrote it and then submitted it to my critique group. They kept asking questions as we met monthly, and I grew increasingly frustrated as the months went by and it grew to a twenty-page document. But the group still wasn’t satisfied, nor was I, so I cried out to God for help (July 2020). He responded, “You’re not giving this story the attention it deserves. It needs to be a book. Put aside your other manuscripts and write this to the best of your ability.” I didn’t know how to do so, but God led to a publisher and content coach who helped me develop the story. Remarkably, God inspired a GoFundMe campaign, and I had the funds I needed to start within a week (Aug. 2020).

What did you enjoy the most about the writing process?

The interactive process of working with professionals and the Spirit. The coach was digging for roots to my story, and I resisted, saying, “There’s nothing from childhood—it was an accident!” She pressed me in our preliminary calls, and then the Holy Spirit took over! Guiding me through memories and prompts, he showed me how past events led meticulously to the moment of healing and beyond. I loved what he showed me chapter by chapter.

What did you struggle with the most during the writing process?

Probably finding those roots. It took about a month before doing much writing. I just jotted down ideas and notes. But I couldn’t find a way in till for five or six weeks. Once I found it, I wrote like a maniac for the next few months! But I only got a piece at a time. I had to trust the process. As soon as I finished one chapter or section, I asked, “What happens next, Lord?” And he’d drop something in my spirit. Fascinating.

What tips can you give authors about working with freelance editors?

Be professional. Become an excellent editor yourself. Join a writer’s group for critique. Submit as polished a manuscript as you can. You may save money, but either way, you’ll produce a better book and honor your readers and God. Cooperate with the editor, consider her words carefully, and unless you have a good reason not to take her advice, take it (even if you tweak it some). Then investigate Christian Editors Association to find a good editor!

What does winning the Editors’ Choice Award mean to you?

It feels so validating—like a “well done, good and faithful servant” from God after the journey we took together. I think it helps my journey as an author (it’s a great marketing piece!), but another win is to have discovered some excellent service providers. Not every Christian writer is as concerned with excellence as I am, but I was gratified to find how seriously—can I say sacramentally?—everyone approached the ministry of editing. Estee Zandee epitomized this in her workshop, but I heard it from so many in the group. I love that. I very much enjoyed the group and felt more “with my tribe” than I expected.

Award-winning author Pat Butler is a newly minted retiree who can still speak in full sentences, which don’t always correspond to questions asked. Of Irish descent, she has no idea how to make a long story short, but after authoring three poetry chapbooks, she can do it poetically.

A pioneer in missional arts, Pat envisions a world in which every Christ follower flourishes in the abundant life Jesus promised. In partnership with Greater Europe Mission and Inspiro Arts Alliance, she has cultivated a global network of artists and authors through writing, mentoring, and spiritual direction. From European cloisters to Costa Rica’s rain forest, Pat has wandered through twenty-five countries, lived in two, holds dual citizenship, and speaks two languages.

Learn more about Pat at

Want to Learn More?

You can learn more about the Editors’ Choice Award in our recent blog post, Getting to Know the CEA’s Editors’ Choice Award. We’re currently accepting entries and recruiting judges for next year’s contest. You can learn more about submission guidelines and how to become a judge at Editors’ Choice Award | Christian Editors Association. Stay tuned to learn about our other winners in future posts.