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.”
“God has a way of blessing us when we least expect it!” —The Joy Box (Specialty Journal)