On September 27, 2007, I was in attendance when Calgary Opera presented Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in recital at the Jubilee Auditorium. Dame Kiri, as she is often addressed, was embarking upon a series of farewell tours, and I, a long-time fan, was delighted to be at her concert.
I’d had a previous occasion to savour my favourite diva’s prodigious talent, artistry, and charm when she performed at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium on May 8, 1994. Nearly 20 years later, I still have a framed and autographed program on my bedside table, and every word of our brief conversation is etched in my memory. Equally imprinted were the lyrics Dame Kiri sang from a Christmas carol composed by Carl Davis in 1985: “The Most Wonderful Birthday of All.”
For most of my adult life, I have been a closet Christian. As a reclusive child growing up on an isolated farm, I often thanked my grandparents for assuming responsibility for my spiritual development, and for teaching me about Jesus Christ. During years of communing with God and Mother Nature on my solitary strolls, I have always believed that my Saviour is with me.
However, I soon realized once I started to establish friendships in school, and more definitively when I began nurses’ training, that it was not in vogue to assert that Jesus was my best friend. Subsequently, I chose to conceal my deep religious convictions. Just how successfully came to light during my western tour in October for Choosing: 1940-1989. A long-time friend alluded to how devout Amelia and Gustav Werner were portrayed in my trilogy before she hesitantly asked if I shared their profound beliefs.
On my last day at the St. Albert Farmers’ Market, a woman approached me, and without preamble announced, “I’m awestruck by your writing.” More and more of my fans are asking how I could have written for nine years, following five generations of my family across the Canadian prairies over a period of 80 years. Whenever I contemplate my achievement, I too am wonderstruck. Although writing my trilogy has been my dream, my passion, and my destiny, I believe I could not have accomplished it without divine inspiration.
How vivid this intervention was, occurred to me at 3 p.m. on the Thursday afternoon of September 16, 2010. Hiking an elevated peak of the discovery trail around Jasper, I spied a park bench situated directly across from Whistlers. Unlike during my other mountain climbs, I decided to sit down. Within minutes, I received a command that precipitated the publication of my trilogy.
As I concluded at the launch of Choosing: 1940-1989 on September 29, 2013, “Become the master of your destiny, not a victim of your history.”
May you believe and trust in Jesus Christ, and bring Him the gift of your love as we celebrate “The Most Wonderful Birthday of All,” one that we always remember, and one that brings us together forever.