The Illumination Awards, whose motto is “Shining a Light on Exemplary Christian Books,” recently awarded my book a Silver Medal. When I scrolled the list of award winners under the category Biography/Memoir—Personal Struggle, it read, "SILVER: No Tears for Dad by Pete Cruz (Redemption Press)." My immediate thoughts were What? Me? followed by a mix of unbelief, confusion, and pride. Even then, I wanted to say my book won, as if it did the winning, not me. Thoughts of this will bring unwanted attention or you don’t deserve this air bubbles floating to the water's surface.
I sat on the news for days and told only my daughter and two other friends. It was as if I were holding on to a big secret.
The following week, I Zoomed with my monthly group of fellow Christian writers. “By the way," I said (an intro sure to downplay good news), "my book received a silver medal." They were thrilled and happy for me. Plainly, I had trouble doing the same for myself. I admitted that I didn’t know what to make of it. One member, Rachael, told me what God had told her pastor. He had shared it in a sermon, saying “Stop taking yourself off the list. I (God) put you there.”
Indeed. God put me on the list. To Him it’s a big deal.
The Lord nudges me all the time. This is who you are, He says, intending for me not to stay hidden.
At my future speaking engagements, when I’m called to the podium, I'm sure to be introduced as, “Award-winning author, Pete Cruz.”
Sounds good to me. Feels good. This is who I am.