When I saw the first drafts, I knew that The Works of George MacDonald needed to publish Melissa Alvey's 40 Dawns and 40 Dusks, which is an extraordinary combination of watercolors, meditation, scripture, and prayer. In her acknowledgments, Melissa wrote of George MacDonald being a source of inspiration who guided her to hope; he would be most pleased to be associated with this wonderful book.
From the Preface:
40 Dawns & 40 Dusks originated from a season of suffering. In the summer of 2014, I underwent a foot reconstruction surgery that triggered an unexpected nerve complication—Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (also known as CRPS or RSD). This condition placed me in an invisible torture chamber of unrelenting pain. Although I healed slowly with the support of many, I felt lost and robbed of my passion for life.
In an effort to cope with the repercussions of anxiety and depression, I started painting the colors of the sunset and sunrise on a daily basis. My last hope clung to the idea of resurrections: Every sunset represented a death of my own expectations, achievements, and failures. Every sunrise represented a resurrection into new life, fresh mercies, and the abundant grace of Christ.
Revisiting this practice in 2016, I set out on a forty day journey that began on Easter morning, rising with Christ. Prompted to make this process public, I was amazed and humbled to receive encouragement by countless people along the way—and what is more—the opportunity to compile this endeavor into the form of a book.
Reflecting back on 40 Dawns & 40 Dusks, I have experienced transformation. The most extraordinary shift I have witnessed in myself is the gratitude I feel for the pain, suffering, and sorrow from which beauty, blessing, and life arise.