In many ways, the year 2010 was a year Margaret Wesley of New Bern will never forget.
The 32-year-old mother of three young boys went through a physical, spiritual and professional transformation that at first took her from a banking officer’s chair to a wheelchair. By the end of the journey she was back on her feet – a miracle, she says – and striding full speed ahead as a writer.
“I stayed out of work that whole entire time, and just throughout that journey my relationship with God just continued to grow stronger and I just found my purpose,” Wesley said. “I started writing kind of to get through what I was going through, and I realized that what I was going through and how I reacted to the adversity I faced, I was able to help other people. And, that’s how my first book evolved.”
Wesley wrote her first book, “The Job Experience: My Personal Testimony of How to Face Battles and Win,” as she endured months of medical tests to diagnose and physical therapy to treat the cause of her ailment, which remains undetermined. She began to walk again on July 26, and she has no lasting effects of the mysterious disability.
The word Job in the title refers to the Biblical Book of Job.
“It was written in the present while I was going through everything, didn’t know what the outcome would be. I just believed things would work out for the best,” Wesley said. “God led me through the Book of Job, which is about someone who lost everything, family, finances, but he kept his faith.”
Wesley grew up in Cove City, the youngest of Daniel and Della Hargett’s five children. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from N.C. State University in 2001, and entered the banking industry as a financial services officer. She was at work on Dec. 23, 2009 when a tingling pain radiated down her arm, she said. Before long, the tingling, pain and numbness spread to her legs. Her mother moved into her house to help her full time, her sister took care of her children, and her father brought in groceries and other necessities. For months, Wesley said, she fought back against any unproductive emotional response.
“I had faith to make it through, and I would make it through if I looked at the situation in the right way,” she said. “Because crying about it and getting depressed and taking it out on other people, I would still find myself in the same situation and then alienate people who love me.
“So I had to look at the situation differently, and once I did, you know, I kind of got my healing before it became physical. I had peace and I still had joy.”
The book, which is published by Publish America, is available at amazon.com and at the Barnes and Noble booksellers Web site. She has received positive feedback from readers, who say she inspired them, she said. She was instantly motivated to keep writing, and has since self-published a second book, “Beyond the Veil, A Meditation in Psalms.” The self-published book is a product of her English professor sister Eunice Hargett’s publishing company, Dandella Books, of Florida.
Wesley will have her first book signing event in April 16, at Sign of the Fish Christian Book Store in Raleigh. She hopes to hold events in New Bern, and she would like to begin speaking engagements, too.
In the end, Wesley said she realizes that her work as a Christian author has been God’s plan for her all along. While she loved her work in the banking industry – “it was my dream job,” she said – she is not only at peace with her new path but also is excited and energized.
“I think your destiny is set before you’re even born, that there’s already a plan for your life, but our job … is to discover that plan and to do the things we need to do in order to see that plan fulfilled in our lives,” Wesley said. “So, even though God has that divine plan for our lives, we still need to do that work.”
----P. Christine Smith New Bern Sun Journal