Author Adria Wilkins, a Bowling Green, Kentucky preacher’s daughter, grew up to marry her Prince Charming, a Minister of Discipleship. They later moved to Woodbridge, Virginia where they lived happily-ever-after.
At least that’s the story her contagious smile and infectious spirit might imply. Nevertheless, this non-fiction writer soon encountered the harsh reality and profound truth spoken of in Psalm 30:5. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
Life quickly became a cruel taskmaster that knocked on Adria’s heart’s door with the birth of their second child, Blake, born with spina bifida—a birth defect that occurs when a developing baby’s spinal cord fails to close properly before birth. Blake’s condition, complicated by other medical issues, required 24-hour home health care and a ventilator to help him breathe. After three years, their small gift from heaven left a massive hole in their heart when he lost his earthly battle. Although their family suffered the unthinkable, Adria found that Jesus sustains and even surprises his followers with joy in the depths of their sorrow.
After twenty years of journaling her thoughts and prayers, Adria’s desire to share her experience and pass along this unfathomable joy led her to attend the 2015 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Last month, her hot-off-the-press book, The Joy Box (Specialty Journal), was released by Hachette Book Group on July 23rd. This unique journal, filled with inspirational devotions, not only inspires readers to reflect and record their thoughts but encourages them to keep joy notes in an easy-to-assemble joy box.
When asked what advice she would give a writer who is struggling with their first book, she said, “Keep writing and wait on the Lord. When He is ready for you to publish a book, He will open the flood gates.”
God’s flood gates have opened for Adria, and her joy doesn’t stop here. “My daughter, Katie, and our son-in-law, Michael, are expecting their first baby—my first grandchild. We’ve decided I could be called Nonnie. That doesn’t sound quite as old as grandma.”
In the future, Adria hopes to write more books. “I have four or five proposals written, and a few have been submitted to publishers. I’m praying about doing videos, podcasts, and television and what that will look like.”
She’d love for you to connect with her on her Joy Box Stories website, and she invites you to check out The Joy Box Journal as well as her contributions to several anthologies listed on Amazon.
“God has a way of blessing us when we least expect it!” —The Joy Box (Specialty Journal)
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Starr, you did a fantastic job writing up a snapshot of my life. At first I had to make sure you were taking about me. LOL. I am so humbled at how well it is written and how much time you must have put into writing it so eloquently.
Thank you. Blessings and Joy to you!
😂 Thank you so much. I loved working on your sweet story.
Haven’t gotten my copy yet but am looking forward to it. I knew Adria when she was a baby, she was soooo cute. Having a 25 year old son with very severe epilepsy I understand about a sick child and all the feats that go with it.
It is a difficult road when you have a child with medical issues. The memories you make with your child are the ones to embrace and hold on to. I hope you will be able to get your book soon and journal some joy moments. Thank you.
I do have a child with a disability…Down syndrome. I pray your son is doing well. You will LOVE Adria’s book. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. 😃
Truly enjoyed this insight into a wonderful writing friend’s life. I was so overwhelmed by her infectious spirit of joy in her Bible study in Feed Your Soul with the Word of God that came out in June of this year, entitled Scratching the Surface. if you’re reading this Ms. Adria, know that I “look for joy” every day ma’am. God’s blessings ladies.
J.D. thank you for your kind words.
I am glad that you look for joy everyday. It is all around. Look for surprises of joy today.
I believe when we think about and look for blessing around us we will be overflowing with joy. Then we should take the time to thank God for the blessings. This will keep us in continual conversation with God.
Thank you, JD, for your comments and your encouragement.
That is an amazing article written about Adria and I appreciate it and thank you for sharing it.
Mary, thank you for your kind words.
Starr did a great job writing up a snapshot of my life.
Mary, I am thankful for all God has done in my life and thankful you are part of my life.
Thank you, Mary. And thanks for stopping by and commenting.